A Russian pilot who faked his license is still flying planes even after being discovered.

Taras Shelest, 44, is from the town of Yakhroma in western Russia's Moscow Oblast region and has worked as a pilot on around 800 passenger flights, despite receiving no official training.

Local media have recently reported that the fake pilot has been working as a commercial pilot for a Ukrainian airline since 2016 even after he confessed to fabricating his university training and diploma.

An investigation by Russian authorities in 2015 uncovered that Shelest had never attended the St. Petersburg University of Civil Aviation as his license stated, he had fabricated the 290 hours of flying experience and bought his diploma.


According to local sources, Shelest had always dreamt of being a pilot but did not get into the pilot schools and instead learned how to fly planes from a friend of his fathers.

A friend of his identified only as Andrey said: "His father's friend was working as a coach preparing pilots on special exercise simulators, he was working on the development of a local pilot simulator."

This is when Shelest allegedly learned how to fly and then further developed his skills on his own using computerised flight simulators.

After saving up enough money, Sheles reportedly bought a pilot diploma and got a job as a flight attendant in a small private company, where he worked for a year until he was employed as a pilot.

Since then the fake pilot has spent about five years flying around the world and has conducted 804 passenger flights, with an approximate total of 2660 hours in the air.

Shelest reportedly confessed to the Ukranian airline company he has worked from since 2016 the nature of his diploma, but has been allowed to stay on at the company, as he has proved his skills in the air.

Netizen 'petr' said: "Look at the photo, he looks mental. How can sick people be in charge of flying so many people."

- By Australscope