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Brazilian Pilots need to retake their English tests

April 2, 2013 Blog, Pilot_Articles No Comments

Brazilian Pilots need to retake their English tests.

News circulated in the media this week that some Brazilian pilots (the exact number varies between 37 and 95) will need to redo their English proficiency tests. These pilots went to Madrid to do the test, after this test center was approved in December 2011 by ANAC to apply the test for Brazilians.

ANAC went to do an inspection of the test center in June 2012 and decided that the test was not of a high enough standard and therefore have required the pilots who did their test there to retake the test in Brazil.

This has caused considerable debate. On the one hand, we need pilots to have a suitable level of English so that the safety of the flight is never jeopardized.  On the other hand, why was this inspection not made in December before the center was approved? Many pilots would not have spent money to go to Spain to do this test.

The other point is that many have questioned the quality of ANAC’s own test. Is this a quality test? Many have suggested that it does not emphasize aviation English sufficiently. In the test itself there is very little involvement from aviation experts. Most involved have little or absolutely no experience in aviation. Are the people with level 5 and 6 really ready to fly to JFK tomorrow?

We can hope that ANAC keeps inspecting its own test to keep the credibility of the test and process, and to guarantee the safety of flights.

Read these 2 reports that came from newspapers in Brazil. The first one is in English http://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-daily/brazilian-pilots-retake-english-exams/ and the second in Portuguese http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/cotidiano/1119487-ingles-ruim-ameaca-licenca-de-pilotos-de-aviao-no-pais.shtml

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Brazilian Pilots Retake English Exams: Daily

BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL – Almost forty Brazilian pilots who fly internationally must retake English proficiency tests, Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil, or ANAC) ordered on Friday, citing suspicions that they are not as fluent in the language as they claim to be.

Folha reported that the agency said the 37 pilots had received certificates of English language proficiency from Spain’s Flight Crew Training Academy.

ANAC became suspicious about the rigor of that organization’s testing standards after noticing that many pilots went to the Madrid language school after failing tests in Brazil.

Testing is mandatory, ANAC said, because a good command of English is crucial to passenger safety on international flights, as poor communication can cause errors that may lead to accidents.

In May, ANAC sent inspectors to visit the Madrid school, and established that the institution’s standards were inadequate.

According to Folha, the inspectors’ report stated that “the goal of proficiency test applied by the center assessor … is not in compliance” with international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Folha reported that a lawyer close to the case had told that newspaper the number of pilots affected may, in fact, be as high as 94.

Most of the affected pilots fly for TAM, the Brazilian airline that carries the most international flights from Brazil, reported Folha, while others work for Gol and some executive aviation companies.

The pilots have until December 15th to take another English exam; otherwise they will lose their authorization to fly outside Brazilian territory.

Read more (in Portuguese).




Inglês ruim ameaça licença de pilotos de avião no país



A Anac (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil) mandou pilotos de voos internacionais refazerem a prova de inglês -obrigatória para atuar nesse tipo de voo- por suspeitar que eles não sejam tão fluentes no idioma como dizem.

25% dos pilotos são reprovados em teste de inglês
Anac fere parecer ao afrouxar nível de inglês de pilotos

A medida, segundo a agência, atinge 37 pilotos. O número, porém, pode ser maior: um único advogado mostrou à Folha uma relação com 94 pilotos afetados.

Essas pessoas têm até 15 de dezembro para se submeter a uma nova prova de inglês. Caso não o façam, perderão o direito de atuar em voos fora do território brasileiro.

O inglês é padrão e obrigatório na aviação internacional. A má comunicação pode pôr em risco a segurança e contribuir para um acidente.

A maior parte dos tripulantes é da TAM, a companhia aérea brasileira com mais voos para fora do Brasil. Há ainda alguns da Gol e de empresas de aviação executiva.


Todos os tripulantes notificados pela Anac haviam feito a prova de inglês no exterior, em uma escola em Madri avalizada pela Aesa, autoridade de aviação espanhola. Em dezembro de 2011, a Anac passou a reconhecer esses testes como válidos.

O imbróglio começou porque a agência desconfiou do grande número de pilotos que iam a Madri para fazer a prova de inglês e comparou os testes que esses tripulantes haviam feito no Brasil (em órgãos autorizados por ela) com os da capital espanhola.

Resultado: quem fazia o teste na Espanha, na maioria dos casos, melhorava a nota em relação à obtida no Brasil. Em alguns casos, quem foi reprovado na prova brasileira foi aprovado em Madri.


Em maio, a Anac mandou duas inspetoras para visitar a escola, chamada Flight Crew Training Academy.

Em relatório ao qual a Folha teve acesso, ambas sustentam que "o objetivo do teste de proficiência linguística aplicado pelo centro avaliador (…) não está em conformidade" com os padrões internacionais estabelecidos pela Oaci (Organização Internacional de Aviação Civil).

Em junho, a Anac começou a notificar os pilotos. A medida se deu em "prol da segurança operacional da aviação civil", diz o relatório.


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