William Chandler was recently forced to resign from South African Airways (SAA) and charged with fraud after flying without proper documentation.
Chandler was granted R5,000 bail and has been ordered to appear in court on May 15.
The pilot has apparently been with the airline since 1994 after claiming to have been in possession of an Airline Transport Pilot License.
The advanced licence would give him permission to fly large passenger planes, but in November last year, it was discovered that Chandler was only in possession of a commercial pilot license, which requires less training and experience.
The discovery was made during a flight to Germany while Chandler was co-piloting Airbus A340-600 and was required to perform a recovery manoeuvre during turbulence.
The crew were grounded and an evaluation was performed in line with safety procedures at which point Chandler’s deceit was unveiled.
SAA have not disclosed how many aircraft Chandler had piloted but are set to seek recovery for millions of rands in wages.