British Airways planes at Zurich. Photo by Arie Wubben

A British man has been given a prison sentence for deceiving airlines over his flying experience, according to the UK’s aviation regulator.

The Civil Aviation Authority said Craig Butfoy, of Matfield in Kent, provided false information to airlines BA CityFlyer and now-defunct Dublin-based Stobart Air whilst seeking to gain employment and then in an effort to retain his job.

BA CityFlyer, a subsidiary of the UK’s flag carrier, operated Embraer 170 aircraft from London City airport to destinations in the UK and mainland Europe.

Forged logbooks

Over a span of almost two years, between April 2016 and March 2018, Mr Butfoy added inaccurate details and doctored previous entries in his flight logbook in an attempt to appear more experienced than he was.

He was also accused of listing untrue credentials on his CV, including that he had held a private pilot’s licence since 1998 and had flown 1,610 hours as a captain.

pilot jailed for lying about experience to get job at british airways and aer lingus
Aer Lingus’s regional operator Stobart Air collapsed last year amid the downturn in air travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. | © Russell Lee

On Monday, Mr Butfoy was sentenced to 12 months in prison at sentencing at Snaresbrook Crown Court in northeast London. A hearing held prior to that saw him plead guilty to four charges of fraud.

According to reports at the time, the original charge faced by Mr Butfoy was eight counts of fraud by false representation.

“Pilot integrity at the heart of aviation safety”

The Civil Aviation Authority’s top lawyer, Jonathan Spence, said that the agency’s “prosecution and sentence imposed shows that offences of this kind are taken very seriously by the [agency] and the courts.”

“Pilot integrity is at the heart of aviation safety and we will take all steps necessary to maintain that position.”

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