The Australian Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) recently revealed that numerous pilots were using cheat sheets during their Air Transport Pilot License exams. A pilot was discovered to have emailed exam answers to another candidate pilot and he was immediately banned from flying.
It was subsequently revealed that the aviation safety exams haven’t been updated for 20 years, allowing candidates ample opportunity to cheat in the exams. As the scandal whistleblower made clear, Air Transport Pilot license candidates would encode the exam answers in the handbooks they were allowed to bring with them in the examination room and obtain their licenses. It is confirmed that up until 2011, there were various cheat sheets circulating around and taken advantage of by candidate pilots.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal Deputy President, Philip Hack SC initially condemned the cheating scandal. Subsequently though, Mr. Philip Hack overridden CASA’s decision for suspending the banned from flying commercial pilot. The argument was that the pilot the cheat sheet was emailed to had already passed the exam the previous year.
The lack of exam proctoring standards in this case could result in a serious safety issue. Individuals such as pilots, doctors, lawyers, and engineers are often held to higher standards. Society should rest assured that they have achieved and maintained their certifications as a result of their own work.