FOHLA DE S.PAULO (Brazil)
SÃO PAULO - "Enjoy "ze flight!" One of the secret pleasures of international flying is checking out the fantastic range of accents of pilots and flight crews. Across all languages. But for security reasons, a very solid grasp of English is mandatory for all pilots on international flights.
Passengers on flights leaving Rio de Janiero or São Paulo may have noticed some seriously bumpy language skills of pilots, who frequently fail to remember crucial words when passing along basic flight information.
Now Brazil's Agency of National Civil Aviation (Anac) has also noticed some pilots' insufficient English skills, and found its apparent source: in Spain. Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reports that by December 15, 37 pilots will have to prove once more they are capable of speaking good English. A lawyer showed Folha documents indicating the number could be even higher — as many as 94 people. Most of them belong to TAM, the nation's largest airline company.
All of the notified pilots had done their English tests in a Spanish school located in Madrid and certified by Aesa, the local aviation agency. From the beginning of 2012, Anac started to accept exams done there. The issue began when the Brazilian agency became suspicious of the high number of pilots taking tests in Madrid. The results were usually higher than those gotten in Brazil. In some cases, pilots who failed in Brazil succeeded in Spain.