View Full Version : Drunk in charge


Ghostie31
4th Jan 2006, 15:07
Whats the general consensus on aircrew being breathalysed before each flight?
I only bring this up as I have heard many rumours of aircrew drinking heavily the night before flights and I was wondering what the general aviation "scene" thought about it.
Hope this doesn't stir up to many deep feelings.
Thanks
Ghostie
:}



Daysleeper
4th Jan 2006, 15:11
Whats the general consensus on doctors being brethalised before each operation, or high court judges before trials.

I suspect a rapid move to jet blast for this one.

Rainboe
4th Jan 2006, 15:14
Youo've posted in the wrong forum. It is a mark of respect to observe how a forum works before you step in blindly- now a Moderator has to shift the whole thread.

As you ask, I would be happy for it to take place.....as long as every Doctor going on duty undergoes the same thing, every policeman, every single last MP every day he is in Parliament, every Judge and Lawyer before going into Court, nurses, midwives, power station operators, ATC controller, lorrydriver, TV journalist, entertainer going on stage or TV, Traffic Warden, Flight International editor........but this has all been done to death before. Yawn. Just don't listen to rumours! And post in a sensible place next time. There is a Questions Forum if you'd only look.
And funny- Daysleeper beat me to the post with almost exactly the same points! I see you are a student about to undergo Uni. I am a taxpayer significantly funding you there. I would hope you would not waste my money by trying to stay awake in lectures in a hungover state. YOU should be breathalysed every morning too- and as for a drugs check every week- yes please for ALL students! And if you are doing a non-ology course like 'Media Studies', you're wasting my money!

Ghostie31
4th Jan 2006, 15:32
Hi,
thanks for your reply, as I said I hoped it wouldn't stir up to many deep feelings. Obviously I was wrong.
I was not saying that I think they should, I was only wondering what people thought of it. I agree completly with you, although I find some of the Jobs you mention are slightly over over the top. As far as I know If an editor of a magazine is drunk at work it wont put hundreds of lives in danger!!
I also agree with your comment about putting it in the wrong forum, point taken.
I am at Uni and I am studying Aerospace engineering. I belive thats a "non-ology" subject as you put it so nicely. But I dont think I am wasting my money doing it.
I have never taken drugs and I agree everyone should participate in drugs testing. Next time it maybe wise not to tar everybody with the same brush. :ok:
Ghostie

Rainboe
4th Jan 2006, 15:42
I was not tarring you with any particular accusation just as you were not tarring me with the accusation of ever carrying passengers in an inebriated state. It is the duty of every pilot not to carry passengers so affected, just as it is the duty of every student to ensure he does not waste the taxpayers money by being hungover at lectures, so it is as important that all those jobs I outlined are not carried out by people drunk. You seem to have chosen some that are OK done by drunk people. Explain why pilots are so very special- what about train/bus drivers? Shouldn't Judges in particular be checked? What's your hangup?

Ghostie31
4th Jan 2006, 15:57
Umm, Im not sure what you mean by "hang-up" but the only reason I mentioned pilots is because this is PPRuNe. Had this been Professional Train Drivers forum or Pro Bus drivers forum then I would not have written pilot.
I think you might be taking my original post a bit personally. As you are obviously a good pilot having flown 747's (I had a quick peek at your profile :p) Then you must understand the ability to be completly in control of an aircraft. When I said "rumours" I was being a bit misleading. This is the story, its a bit complicated but stick with it. My best friends, dads best friend is a pilot for a very large carrier. I have been out with them and have witnessed for myself heavy drinking the night before he was flying.
Now im not saying that he would've been drunk during the flight, because the flight may not have been till the next night.
All I wondered is what people in this profession (one that I hope I am able to enter one day) thought of being breathalysed. Im still not sure if its something you would indorse or not. From what I can make out you would agree to it as long as everybody in every job in the world did it aswell. Am I right?
I think that only people that are in a job where peoples lives are at risk should have it done. As I agree that tax payers dont want people wasting there money, but I think that lives are more important than a bit of money...However this is just my opinion and your allowed your own opinion.
Im interested to hear what you think about this matter.
Thanks
Ghostie

agent x
4th Jan 2006, 16:14
yeh you are allowed you own opinion Ghostie...but....leave it be. If it was introduced into every profession of high responsibility such as pilots then everyone would happily take part, obviously its not rocket science! I suggest that you have a read around pprune and get a feel for the place first before jumping in with both feet. Don't take offence to him Rainboe he's a newbie after all!

Agent x

Ghostie31
4th Jan 2006, 16:29
guys! im not trying to get it implemented!! lol.
Just wanted to hear peoples opinions!
Obviously i've hit on a nerve!
Ghostie

Rainboe
4th Jan 2006, 16:31
I just lurve fresh meat!

What riled me up was 'I've heard a rumour' too. In fact I know. I have had 3 children at Uni including the very august institution this young man is at. I know where they nightclub. I know what goes on. I know the drug problem. I know flying- I was doing it for 34 years. I know a bigger threat to civilisation is drunken/hungover students wasting my money than a pilot having a drink the night before a flight. Heavens- whatever next? But this should not go any further until students, particularly Uni students, are drug and alcohol checked every Monday morning. Then they should do 2 hours of solid English grammar with the emphasis on their/there/they're and punctuation before they even start their degree courses that week!

End of sorry thread? It's been done to death a hundred times before.

Ghostie31
4th Jan 2006, 16:42
lol, you seem "to know" quite a bit. yet again I feel you are on the way to tarring everybody under one brush!
As for all this patronising im not sure its appropriate.
As for hungover students being a bigger threat to civilisation than a hungover pilot, im afraid your going to have to explain that one a bit better as im sure the general public who use aircraft once or twice a year to go on holiday may not totally agree.As for the drug problem at a certain Uni it is non existant as far as I know. It wouldn't be hard to work out either as this particular Uni requires high grades to get into it. Anybody achieving high grades is usually not on drugs. Maybe in your day things were different but things have changed.
Im not sure why you are getting so heated about this, possibly you could explain that to me. You may want to use words with a small amount of letters as I may not be able to understand it (being "fresh meat" an all!!).
Ghostie

BRL
4th Jan 2006, 16:43
[pedant mode ON] Had this been Professional Train Drivers forum They do get tested, for drugs and alcohol, quite regularly, also after any kind of incident that may happen in the course of duty. They also get tested at random too!
[pedant mode OFF/] :8

Full Emergency
4th Jan 2006, 16:56
Will the greatest of repect to Ghostie, if you think about the number of different people that 'drunk' pilot would have to meet during the course of their day before they got on a plane, I am sure someone would say something.

Chewing gum/mouth-wash and the like don't work. I have stopped too many people at the road-side after an accident/driving offence to know that that 'trick' won't work.

Remember the cabin crew that share the transport bus to the plane are flying on board too...

FE

Ghostie31
4th Jan 2006, 17:04
Hi FE,
As has happened before, pilots have been stopped by the cabin crew as they have been drunk.
But what if that someone didnt say anything?
What if it were a fully loaded 747 the pilot were flying?
What if your family or my family were onboard?
Would you not then insist on pilots being breathalysed before every flight?
Ghostie

P.s. thank you for not sounding patronising. :)

Wide-Body
4th Jan 2006, 17:08
ghostie,

I do not have a problem with this, as long as there is proper legislation. But make sure all others whose jobs affect lives have the same rules. Actually, I now have seen your last post. I am happy to enter a sensible debate, but now you are turning this into sensationalist drivle. Please show some respect to the Professional pilots on this forum.

Regards

Wide

Ghostie31
4th Jan 2006, 17:11
Couldn't agree more.

Full Emergency
4th Jan 2006, 17:26
ghostie,

I do not have a problem with this, as long as there is proper legislation. But make sure all others whose jobs affect lives have the same rules. Actually, I know have seen your last post. I am happy to enter a sensible debate, but now you are turning this into sensationalist drivle. Please show some respect to the Professional pilots on this forum.

Regards

Wide

I work in a field where this sort of issue is just being discussed. They are talking about random testing - drink and drugs. It does not indicate that there is a problem if it is introduced, it is just another way of the employer/company covering their backs incase something happens.

Personally I do not have a problem with it and will gladly take the tests if asked. The only concern is what do they do with my DNA once they have finished with either the blood or urine sample??

FE

Ghostie31
4th Jan 2006, 17:37
Gd question. Anybody know what happens to the sample after testing??

Rainboe
4th Jan 2006, 17:52
Ghostie- I was hoping this sorry thread would die, but if it is not to be, so be it. You're a student. You have little life experience. Can you see how offensive it is for you to come here and dredge up the subject of alleged 'drunken pilots' from 'a rumour you've heard' when it comes out you saw someone's Dad daring to have a drink the night before a flight (when you don't know when he was flying the next day!)? You are talking to professionals here- not students in your Union bar. No pilot would fly with an inebriated buddy. Very rarely a pilot or two gets caught having crossed the line- very rarely, and even coppers fail breath tests and Judges drive drunk. It's human. So take your young arrogance and learn to live a bit more and learn about life- if you think students aren't 'jointed up' or hungover in lectures, you are naive! Go clean up your own corner before pointing a finger at others. We really don't need your 'discussion instigations'.

Solid Rust Twotter
4th Jan 2006, 19:00
UNHAS has a policy in place to breathalyse aircrew if they feel it's warranted.

Jerricho
4th Jan 2006, 19:09
Hi FE,
As has happened before, pilots have been stopped by the cabin crew as they have been drunk.
But what if that someone didnt say anything?
What if it were a fully loaded 747 the pilot were flying?
What if your family or my family were onboard?
Would you not then insist on pilots being breathalysed before every flight?
Ghostie

P.s. thank you for not sounding patronising. :)

Ghostie, I'll pose a question to you just to see where your head is at about this topic.

Are you aware of the effects of FATIGUE on cognitive ability? I'd be more concerned about that.

stue
4th Jan 2006, 19:12
WOW!
Bit hot in here:p
Good reading though:}

Personally, id feel alot happier getting on to an aircraft than a bus or train. It takes alot to get to the position were you are up front in an a\c (i know and am trying to do it myself) but rarely people in that position will turn up for work "drunk." They are clever folk and know what responsibility they have.
Im not saying that it has never been done, but it aint that oftern really.

It takes alot more to fly an a\c than to drive a bus.

Just my 2pence worth:}

Standard Noise
4th Jan 2006, 19:14
Wul s'long as they don't wanna lethabrise me! Now, whattimes me shitenift start? :} :yuk: :zzz:

BRL
4th Jan 2006, 19:42
Personally, id feel alot happier getting on to an aircraft than a bus or train. It takes alot to get to the position were you are up front in an a\c With all due respect Stue, it takes 'a lot' to get to the front of a train. I believe it is about 14months training, costs the company around 40K, the driver needs to know the ins and outs of about six publications and needs to know everything about the particular type of train they will be driving. A strict medical, two weeks 'assessment' after which if successful they will get their drivers key, then they go off and learn the routes they need to know and sit a tough, verbal, exam with a manager before being allowed to drive over a particular stretch of track. Again, as stated in an earlier post, they have strict drug and alcohol tests that can happen at random too. There is more too it than turning up and going, similar responsibilty, around 800/1000 commuters per train entering London in the peak in all weather conditions. This is not a comparison to train drivers and airline pilots, I know a lot of people in both industries, some good friends are captians for the major airlines so I know exactly what they have to do to get there, and as you rightly say, it takes a lot to get to the position where you are up front in an a/c........... :)

(Sorry for the thread drift by the way!!!!!!!!)

SyllogismCheck
4th Jan 2006, 20:02
I know, Ghostie, I've solved it!

We'll all just have to have a breathalyser operated front doors. Fail and you don't get out.

That way, assuming you get out of yours, you can fly happily once you get to the airport, catch the train there without worry, ride the bus to the station and even walk safely to the bus-stop knowing no drunk transport professionals are driving to work past you as you do.

In fact, best include everyone, most people drive to work regardless of what they do. Satisified? :rolleyes:

That blue fella lacks the edge the original one had.


Cognative ability? I can drink lots of it! :ok:

tall and tasty
4th Jan 2006, 21:05
I’m probably going to loose any street cred I may have in what I am going to say.

I believe that all the professional bodies that have others trust in their hands should be responsible individuals and not go to work with any thing but the min allowance of alcohol in their systems. A silly slip up and it is their career down the tubes all the years of training, their reputation and for what having a little too much the night before.

I lost a good friend at work who had too much and was killed in an accident, not going to work but if he had the next day and had an accident airside he would be breathalysed airside as it is the same laws there as on the roads, he would have failed and it would have cost him his job, it infact cost him his life.

But a fellow work colleague did have his career on hold because of drinking too much, his reputation lossed and his career never to be continued for a night of heavy drinking!

Is it really really worth it? Enjoy yourself, but stop with the min amount you should have and never attempt to go to work with anything less than 2 hours per unit behind you. That is one pint per 2 hours. If you are worried then check out the CAA rules for alcohol consumption on their web site.

I personally would not drink the night before I had to go to work only on days off.

TnT

Astrodome
4th Jan 2006, 21:32
TNT

never attempt to go to work with anything less than 2 hours per unit behind you. That is one pint per 2 hours. The reference to two pints is no longer a valid rule of thumb as many drinks are now in the 'strong' range and thus the time is extended. You could still be over the limit after 4 pints, 12 hours later.

Somewhere I have a list of the strength/units used by the railway industry. I will look it up for you if you want. PM me if that is the case.

GrumpyOldFart
4th Jan 2006, 22:01
Rainboe:


It's been done to death a hundred times before.


I was hoping this sorry thread would die


So why in he11 do you help to perpetuate threads like this, then? If you don't like them, ignore them. It's not rocket surgery.

Sheesh.

:( :( :mad: :( :(

Ghostie31
4th Jan 2006, 22:13
Rainboe, if you've had enough, you don't have to post. Its not compulsory.
My opinion would be the same as tall and tasty.
Ghostie

Unwell_Raptor
4th Jan 2006, 22:51
I don't think that judges are a fair comparison. If a judge gets it wrong there are several layers of appeal court to put things right. There is no appeal against flying into a mountain.

con-pilot
5th Jan 2006, 01:10
Okay everybody, let’s settle down and take a deep breath.

Ghostie31 the question you have asked is rather insulting as you have automatically assumed that pilots are drinking alcoholic beverages at such an alarming rate that you are asking if all pilots should undergo a breath analyzer before any and all flights.

That is rather insulting you know.

Some of my brother pilots have, one could say, possibly over reacted.

I cannot blame them.

You may reconsider your approach to this subject. If this is such a concern for you may I ask why?

In one of your replies you said something along the lines that ‘pilots can cause the death of hundreds of people’, I do realize that I am paraphrasing here, however, I would request that you would consider people working at a nuclear power plant.

Would it not be possible for someone working in a nuclear power plant while under the influence of alcohol or drugs possible kill thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people?

Think very carefully before you answer that last question.

Hey, its okay to be young and concerned about life in general. I’m old and concerned about life in general. But, please phase your questions not to be abrasive against just one profession just because of what you have heard on television and have read in newspapers, both medias which strive for sensationalism.

Oh yes, one more thing. We pilots are always the first ones on the scene of an aircraft accident.

Thank you.

BlueDiamond
5th Jan 2006, 05:22
Ghostie, I think it is to your credit that you chose to ask the question rather than simply assume the rumours were correct and subsequently perpetuate them. It is a shame that some people have seen fit to mock you for this and have tried to make you appear a stupid time-waster. (I had teachers like that in school.) One of the best ways of acquiring knowledge is to ask for it from people who should know and the tone of the answers you receive will give you as much information as the answers themselves.

It is easier for older people to understand younger ones than vice versa because we have already been where you are now and you have yet to be where we are. It is a shame that not much of that understanding and tolerance has been displayed here. You should have been able to ask your questions and seek personal opinions without being subjected to patronising attitudes and childish name-calling. Good luck with your studies.

flapsforty
5th Jan 2006, 07:34
Ghostie, you have asked for moderator input; here it is.

Firstly, read again and very carefully the post made by Mr Con-pilot. He spells the facts out exactly. Your thread starter is insulting and shows little forethought. If you really wanted a reasonable answer from professional pilots, you should have used your intelligence to phrase your opining post in a different manner.

You apply to the Mods because you are treated harshly by another poster.
Well, what did you expect? Not all professional aviators are personable, patient, forgiving people. As long as their posts fall within PPRuNe rules, they have, on this bulletin board made for THEM and not for Incipient Students, the right to answer you any way they please.

Let me phrase it differently. You have had at least 2 professional pilots take the time and trouble of answering your badly phrased question. That is not a reason for complaint, that is a reason for gratitude.
The fact that you don't like Rainboe's style is not relevant.
The fact that he picks you up on being a student, is merely him extending to you the same courtesy you have extended to him.
The fact that he knows rather more about student life than you do about pilot life is uncomfortable for you, but such are the chances you take when venturing out onto the net.

Life would be grand if we all were pleasant, patient and understanding of other people's weaknesses. But we are not.

Chalk this one up to experience, suck it up and next time you ask a question, think twice about the way you phrase it and remember your manners. :ok:

flapsforty
Moderator

Loose rivets
5th Jan 2006, 08:20
I'm really surprised. Poor lad. I really can't see what was wrong with this young man's post. That Rainboe should have elected himself champion of the moderators is perhaps typical of the stereotype image of....erm, old airline captains. That he should have used the word ‘disrespectful' rather adds to this assessment.

Some time later we get a clue. The father of (at some point)...deep intake of breath, students. Ah well, all is forgiven. Enough to make a man set against anything that has not lost some teeth and much of his hair.

All credit to Ghostie for not curling up into a little ball and cringing off into the sunset. Aviation needs spirited lads and he does keep firing back.

Probably better not to do it in yer first job though lad.

#18 post seems to be reaching surreal levels of comparison. Won't bother to list them, but with many of these people, especially high court judges, it would make little difference to the world if they exploded while on the job...so to speak.

At the end of the day, he asked a question about what has become a kind of airborne urban myth. We can thank television for that. T/V programs have hammered that to death, so is it surprising that young people are primed with this imagery?

Any belief that we may have the right to insist on other professions and trades being made to have ‘equal inconvenience' in being tested, is just wishful thinking. We do a demanding job that can have immediate and disastrous consequences if we have a laps of coordination or make duff decisions. To simply blow in a tube prior to going on duty is hardly a loss of civil liberties.

It's only a matter of hours ago that I described the horrendous circumstances that caused me to storm out of a good job. It was all to do with pilots (2) drinking. Nobody would listen. A test in those days would have made a huge difference to my life and how I felt about my, hitherto, admired bosses.

Oh, given that he did start off on the wrong forum, it now seems that he is still being brought to task for some lack of "respect". When the heck did we start having respect on JB?

flapsforty
5th Jan 2006, 08:39
Rainbie as 'champion of the moderators '??
Here my bitter laugh there Rivets!! ;)
Rainboe and I can hardly be considered bossomfriends. His posts under his previous nome de plume turned my hair grey, and my editing of them didn't endear me to him either. <ahem>

Be that as it may, Rainboe has here some very valid points.
he's not championing the mods, he's championing the integrity of professional pilots as a body. Good for him, it is PPRuNe after all.

If you have look at the name of the bulletinboard and the JB RoE, it clearly staes what the purpose of the whole thing is. It's for pilots and others involved in aviation. If a person comes here, to pose a seriously meant question, such a person should show some respect for the hospitality extended to him/her by the aviation community.
Not come in spouting silly offensive nonsense as Ghostie has done.

As to respect on JB; teasing, leg pulling, ribbing, winding up is a very different animal. It's meant as sometimes harsh fun, not meant seriously.
The intent does matter greatly in this case.

As does the presumption of drunkenness behind the controls. Regardless of what silly media babble caused the presumption.

chornedsnorkack
5th Jan 2006, 09:04
Look at it this way:
as stressed, the jobs of a judge, lawyer et cetera are not important for anyone´s safety. A judge who is drunk - or hungover, feeling tired or sickly et cetera - has plenty of time to reconsider what he does. Any apparent errors can be pointed out to him and corrected by himself or through appeals.

A surgeon with his knife inside a patient, or a policeman on patrol, are doing safety-critical work and a momentary error of judgment can be fatal without room for correction. But fatal for one person, generally - the patient, or whoever is at the gunpoint.

It is the public transport drivers who really are safety critical for large numbers of people.

But the standards of safety seem inconsistent. Has anyone heard of a bus with a two-person cockpit? A bus driver can load 100 passengers and drive them single-handed. Wonder why a single pilot is not entrusted with anything like this number?

Also, for some weird reason passengers getting on a plane are subject to incredible amount of harassment. Check-in. Checking in the luggage. Changing "ticket" for "boarding pass". "Security" search. Then checking the "boarding pass" at a "gate". ID checks around the story.

Compare with a bus. At the very worst, someone reads the ticket to see that it is for the right trip and perhaps checks that you have the valid ID for your discount - the latter is inapplicable to ordinary grownups paying full price. Usually, you merely walk in and wave your ticket at someone.

Sure you could do something nasty with a knife in a bus, or a gun, or, say, a backpack full of explosives. But no one bothers to search people at every street corner. If someone were to be so stupid as to try and kill large numbers of people without an easy way to get away with it, well that is an acceptable risk - except for some weird reason, on a plane.

Now as for the drunkenness checks...

When airplane passengers are stripped of their money, keys, belts etc. etc. they are assured that everyone is checked - even pilots. And the pilots actually are checked.

I think it is an abuse of pilots´ time AND honour. If a pilot were to be so massively stupid or desperate that he would misuse a knife or a gun, then he has much more convenient weapons he is trusted with - the plane. Ask the passengers of Egyptair and Silk Air, and also those of JAL (a pilot flew his plane into sea at Haneda with over 20 passengers killed but was among the survivors of the crash and taken alive).

I am not afraid of a pilot abusing metal items on person in flight. I am afraid of a pilot making errors of judgement in flight, and not being in best condition to make quick and right decisions. Because, after all, despite all the hijackings, most plane crashes end up described as "accidents" due to "pilot error".

Therefore, I am not consoled at all to hear that a pilot walks through metal detector. I would rather that the pilot instead pass a routine - rather than random - breathalyzer/drug testing and be waved past "security" with any metal he may like to bear.

You see? But I suppose it would be the best use of the pilot´s time to make, routinely before each takeoff, a short test of things like coordination and reaction time - so as to spot not just a pilot who is drunk, but any who are hungover, or who are tired because although drinking only nonalcoholic drinks they have stayed up too long, or are tired because, although they went to bed in time, they could not in all good faith fall or stay asleep well enough, or who are feeling slightly unwell.

Any objections?

BombayDuck
5th Jan 2006, 09:34
"Whats the general consensus on Electrical Engineers being breathalysed before each flight?
I only bring this up as I have heard many rumours of Engineers drinking heavily the night before flights and I was wondering what the general Engineering "scene" thought about it.
Hope this doesn't stir up to many deep feelings."

Somehow, if that topic had come up on the Professional Engineers Rumour Network, I'd have responded with two things:

1) The rumours are unfounded
2) I agree / disagree with the issue

Flaps, with all due respect (and I must say anyone who moderates in JB deserves more than a bit :) ) Ghostie has been at the receiving end of unwarranted anger... the very fact that Rainboe had to trouble himself to read through Ghostie's profile and then comment on his profession / educational status is sad. All that was remaining was for Ghostie to be accused of being a journo.

Ghostie31
5th Jan 2006, 09:36
Ok, I've taken on board the "constructive criticisim". I genuinely didn't mean to insult anyone. It is my dream to fly so this was definitley not the aim of the original post, so I apologise if I in anyway caused offence to people that I admire greatly.
I was only wandering what pilots opinions on it were. I am still open to any comments.
However I think some of the people that have posted in this thread have gone WAY over the top and become personal about it. I've tried not to get personal in the same way and although there is nothing I can do about it I would like a apology for this.
Surely if people that aren't in the aviation industry but want to be can't use this forum then its a poor show.
There have been some very useful posts and some very supportive posts and I thank you for them.
I will not be answering any questions left for me in the previous posts as I would like this thread to carry on in the good way that it is proceeding as of chornedsnorkack's post. If anyone is desperate for me to answer them, then PM me with the question and I will offer my opinion on the subject.
Thanks
Ghostie

got caught
5th Jan 2006, 10:14
Ghostie, it sounds like you may have hit a nerve with some posters. I'm always a little nervous of people who hide behind "professionalism," as if they are above question from people outside their click.

Unfortunately, alcohol related problems afflict all members of society, and I guess are just as prevalent in the "high stress" areas mentioned in this theread.

However, whilst I respect the need for protecting the public, whilst we perform our duties, I'm not sure if the draconian measures you mention would actually make much of a difference to thise people who this dreadful illness affects. Its usually easy for determined people to circumnavigate the protection systems you mention. Perhaps we should look at why a minority of people are exhibiting this behaviour. (High pressure, lack of control, away from home etc etc), and address these issues.

Standard Noise
5th Jan 2006, 10:25
There seems to be little willingness among employers to institute a testing policy, rather, they prefer to put out a new leaflet round staff. I see no reason why some sort of testing shouldn't be introduced in aviation, but it must also be introduced in other areas.
The bit that gets me is that a complete stranger can make an allegation to the Police who then feel they have to follow it up. I could be asked to take a test on the strength of a security guard on the gate beside the CTB thinking I smelt of alcohol regardless of whether I do or not . But testing such small measures of alcohol (as proscribed by the R&TS Act) isn't possible, as far as I'm aware, using breathalyser units currently in use. That's where it starts to get a bit ridiculous. You may have to be removed from your place of work in order for a blood test to be carried out, suspended from duty until results are known and all the while the presumption is naturally one of guilt until you are or not proven otherwise.

Rainboe
5th Jan 2006, 10:40
Flaps, if my posting stepped over the line of being personal, I apologise for that. I will rest on making this point. Ghostie seems to think inebriated airline pilots is enough of a problem to create a discussion out of. I ask where is the risk? How many people have been killed by drunken pilots in the last 10 years. How many people have been killed by drunken drivers/pedestrians in the last 10 years? How many students have become so sozzled/marijuana'd that they have died? We have had here in Hampshire one just fished out of Portsmouth Harbour after 3 weeks and one that has been disappeared for about 2 months. Where is the drinking risk? It is students who should be breathalysed at the gates at random once a week......and drug tested. As a pilot of 34 years, I know where the risk is. I know where the drinking is done. If Ghostie is willing to point a finger at what he perceives to be an area of weakness (otherwise why draw attention to it?), he must be willing to defend his own corner for the same factors. So, what are we going to do about drunkenness and underage drinking by students, and how can we stop it wasting the resources poured into education by the taxpayer?

I make no pretence at being a 'champion of the Mods'. Idiots posting in plainly the wrong forum spoil things and are a great inconvenience. Many times I have tried to access Pprune abroad on slow modem connections where pages can take 30 seconds to load, to find it unusable because of people posting the wrong stuff in R&N because it gets the widest readership. That is why I highlight it.

Tal66
5th Jan 2006, 10:52
LOL bombay duck, engineer drinking? i work with them all day and have never met a sobar one!!!! hehehe jokes (kinda) :p they drink me under the table at every visit to the pub. off topic i know.

im not a pilot just to let you guys know.

ghosties question is fair enough, you have to remember that flying for most people in the world is the one place where if you hear a different noise, or anything out of the ordinary, everyone is suddenly on edge. i see heaps of peeps doing whole flights with fists on knees with their eyes shut. pilots fair enough getting peeved at this, but you taking it out on the wrong person. if ur in the bus with a drunk driver, you can go up the front, and smack him one, or call the cops and they can pull you over, and chances are hel be going so slow it wont even bend the fender. what do you do if their is a drunk pilot? what can you do? although you can almost garantee there wont be a drunk pilot, you can also almost garantee you will neva be in a plane crash, but does that thought help calm the nerves of the few hundred passangers? im just giving you guys a view of what a non pilot/aviation industry/ and non media obsessed guy thinks :) just remember for alot of people, flying can be a big deal because its a long fall to the bottom.

chornedsnorkack
5th Jan 2006, 11:23
LOL bombay duck, engineer drinking? i work with them all day and have never met a sobar one!!!! hehehe jokes (kinda) :p they drink me under the table at every visit to the pub. off topic i know.

If a drunk engineer slips and then goes "Oops!" then they can at worst throw away the plane. Some hundreds of millions of dollars, sure, but if a drunk pilot slips and then goes "Oops!", the plane is wrecked just the same, and hundreds are dead.

Of course, it is possible than an engineer slips and neither himself nor anyone else notices until the plane is in air and crashed back. But generally, an engineer has more time to check things over and ask second opinions before risking their lives on judgement than in the case of pilots.

pilots fair enough getting peeved at this, but you taking it out on the wrong person. if ur in the bus with a drunk driver, you can go up the front, and smack him one, or call the cops and they can pull you over, and chances are hel be going so slow it wont even bend the fender. what do you do if their is a drunk pilot? what can you do?

If you are in the bus with a drunk driver, there is only one steering wheel, and controls under his feet. And no autopilot or autothrottle. And how many pilots are flying their planes with just a few feet clearance before colliding with posts or traffic passing in opposing direction?

In a plane you can sit at the other pilot seat, settle in the controls and ask the drunk pilot to get up from his seat.

stue
5th Jan 2006, 11:40
BRL,
Didnt know that it was that hard to get up front in a train!
I knew ther was a reason that i read JB, you learn something new everyday! :ok:

ExSimGuy
5th Jan 2006, 12:06
Ghostie, Rainboe,

Lets ease off a bit eh?

Ghostie, you are on a very sensitive subject, as you obviously have noticed by now. Yes, it HAS happened in the past - I remember at a party many years ago (when I was young!) Capt.X and FO.Y having a big belt of Scotch at 5 to midnight (after a fair bit earlier) and the "8-hour rule" (as it was in those days) was toasted as they they both had 8 a.m. departures.
Also, if the internet goes back far enough (;) ) Google (Anchorage "cattle transport" stall). But although I wouldn't say it can't happen these days, people are so much more aware - like in a pub today when someone has his car keys with him (wasn't considered much of a problem in my youth)

Rainboe, The guy touched a raw nerve, we all know that, and he probably should have "lurked" for a bit before posting his first. But not really fair to accuse him and his entire generation of being "druggies and alcoholics"; there are some, yes, but not the majority.
Hopefully Ghostie will be designing the first 500-seat Mach-2 sub-space airliner, and I hope I'm around to see it (and my medical condition up to flying it :8 )
Apologies at this point (editing my post) for accidentally skipping from page 1 to page 3 - missed the 2nd.
ref my point above:
ask the drunk pilot to get up from his seat.
That's exactly what the co-pilot out of anchorage should have done (if he didn't want to cost the Skipper his job), but didn't, and sadly paid for the mistake with his life, as well as those of the Skipper, several "cow-handlers" and around a hundred head of cattle (if I recall correctly, somewhere around 19late '70s)

Peace to all

ESG
_________________________________________

"Martin Baker, the only way to fly"

Rainboe
5th Jan 2006, 13:01
Mmm. So you accepted my challenge of 'how many people have been killed by drunken pilots in the last 10 years?' by going back 30 years to a DC8 Freighter Alaska crash. Yup- a real 'topical' problem....not. I point to 2 students alone dying from alcohol abuse here in the last 2 months, as well as thousands on the roads.
Ghostie called this thread "Drunk in charge". How offensive is that? He has a lot to learn about diplomacy and discretion, like how not to prejudice what you want to say. If he wanted to instigate a proper discussion, that is not the way to do it. I can tell him now the problem has been almost completely 'handled'. There will always be the very rare exception. More of a problem and risk to health are areas where he should be concentrating his efforts, and that starts at the very institution he attends!

chornedsnorkack
5th Jan 2006, 13:17
Mmm. So you accepted my challenge of 'how many people have been killed by drunken pilots in the last 10 years?' by going back 30 years to a DC8 Freighter Alaska crash. Yup- a real 'topical' problem....not. I point to 2 students alone dying from alcohol abuse here in the last 2 months, as well as thousands on the roads.

I can tell him now the problem has been almost completely 'handled'. There will always be the very rare exception.
Very well. Now challenge this:
how many people have been killed, ever, by a commercial pilot illicitly carrying a metal weapon aboard?

There must be a problem because pilots are routinely screened.

G-CPTN
5th Jan 2006, 13:28
Ah! but the pilot may have been blackmailed into carrying the metal impliment by someone who was aware of the pilot's drinking habit, so that the blackmailer could acquire said impliment and, and, er . . .

I compliment Ghostie for keeping his cool when all about him have lost it.
He (or she) will make an excellent pilot, maybe even a TEST pilot.

Jerricho
5th Jan 2006, 13:40
Ghostie, did you just ignore or not see my question?


Are you aware of the effects of FATIGUE on cognitive ability? I'd be more concerned about that.

Reverand Lovejoy
5th Jan 2006, 13:43
More of a problem and risk to health are areas where he should be concentrating his efforts, and that starts at the very institution he attends!

Maybe true. Surely you should also be considered to have an obligation to focus your efforts if this true.

I have had 3 children at Uni including the very august institution this young man is at.

Glass houses, stones, throwing!! Surely in todays world it shouldn't be "he should" and "his efforts" without first being "I should" and "my efforts." After all he is only a mere student with no life experience. Maybe you could demonstrate what you have done to prevent this and let Ghostie know so he can further expand his limited life experience from someone who has "been there - done that" A little more constructive I feel.

I too am a student and have let the matter lie in the early stages of your heated replies. I think the mods have done a good job of detailing exactly what Ghostie should have done with respect to his posting, but good god man. Ghostie, you've rocked the boat in the way you asked the question but don't be put off about asking others. Your answer could have been found without the need to even post. Take a look at the search function because I remember this being brought up alot. Once even by a pilot (with life experience!) who asked the same question but in a different way. The response was pretty much the same though!! This question will always raise it's ugly head because it is something that people or journos (some would say they're the same) love to discuss, maybe because it gets the same fiery response. Just read the rules man, whether it's the POH for the aircraft you fly or the RoE for the forum you post in. At least then you can hide behind something to avoid the incoming flack.

The Reverand

Ghostie31
5th Jan 2006, 14:43
firstly, thanks G-CPTN.
Secondly Jerricho I stated in a previous post number 37 I think, that I wasn't going to comment on other matters and if you want to ask a question then PM it to me as I thought the thread was going in a good direction. However it seems to have turned again slightly with the comments of certain individuals.
I hope it can get back on track as I think we have all more than aired our views. This thread needs to be a little more grown up from now on.
nuf said!
Ghostie

Rainboe
5th Jan 2006, 16:03
Not 'grown up'. After a short retirement, 'deceased from dementia', I think. Perhaps next time you feel the need to start a controversial discussion for no reason other than idle interest, you'll think more carefully about what title you should give it.

Ghostie31
5th Jan 2006, 16:08
Anything else you want to get of that cheast of yours before we close this thread up?
Because I for one am getting pretty bored of the bickering.
:zzz:

strafer
5th Jan 2006, 16:09
Perhaps next time you feel the need to start a controversial discussion for no reason other than idle interestAnd the other reason for JetBlast is?

G-CPTN
5th Jan 2006, 16:13
I believe the topic was justified for JB (read the heading), but unfortunately, Ghostie kicked it off with the wholey of the wholies (sic) ie R&N where things are taken (very) seriously (hic).
I blame the French.

strafer
5th Jan 2006, 16:15
Fair point G-CPTN.

Moi, aussi.

ghost1
5th Jan 2006, 16:32
I really don't see the problem with breath testing, if you are not over the limit what is there to worry about?

It seems to me, that only those who get on their high horses about it must have something to hide! :\

Gt1

Techman
5th Jan 2006, 16:43
It seems to me, that only those who get on their high horses about it must have something to hide! :\

I was wondering when that argument would come up. Used and abused to justify just about anything.

Is seems some wants to create a problem where there is none.

Jerricho
5th Jan 2006, 21:06
Anything else you want to get of that cheast of yours before we close this thread up?
Because I for one am getting pretty bored of the bickering.
:zzz:


I don't think this thread quite went the way you were indending it to, eh Ghostie. Looks like it stimulated a little more discussion than you may have thought. As to the "other matters" you "won't discuss", perhaps a litle narrow minded with respect to the premise of the discussion. If your concern is over what may impair a pilot from doing his/her job, a simple throw away comment like "I have heard rumours........." is certainly going to get backs up.

Ghostie31
6th Jan 2006, 04:57
With all due respect jerricho I dont think it was narrow minded because the thread had started going in a way that I had originally thought it might, so I didn't want to start going off on a different subject.
Maybe you feel that was the wrong way to go about it. What do you think?
Thanks Ghostie.

MReyn24050
6th Jan 2006, 07:22
Well you certainly started something Ghostie. Perhaps you should add "Leaders of Political Parties" to your list of those who should be breathalysed before going to work!

Flying Lawyer
6th Jan 2006, 08:20
Ghostie31
Your question would probably have achieved a different reaction if:
(1) you hadn’t chosen such a provocative title
(2) you hadn’t added ”I have heard many rumours of aircrew drinking heavily the night before flights.”
(3) this topic hadn’t already been discussed at length and in detail by professional pilots in other forums on this site.

I appreciate PPRuNe’s title includes the word ‘rumour’ but, for my part, I’ve always assumed that referred to rumours concerning possible events/developments concerning the aviation industry in general or a specific airline – rather than encouraging or inviting the repetition of ‘shock horror’ rumours published in the tabloids and broadcast in tabloid-style television programmes.

”Obviously i've hit on a nerve!”
Perhaps you have. You might wish to consider why that might be.
If, as I don’t doubt you are, you’re a student working hard towards a Degree (in a sensible subject at a university worthy of the name, rather than one of the numerous daft subjects at one of our many now so-called ‘universities’), negative rumours and sweeping generalisations about students can be a little frustrating. It’s only for 3-4 years and it doesn’t really matter. Some students react indignantly at the unfairness, some just ignore it.
Reflect upon what you said from the perspective of people who’ve spent years working hard to pass the challenging examinations/practical tests required to achieve their qualification, who are justifiably proud of their profession (again, ‘profession’ properly so called, not as frequently used these days to describe jobs), and who for decades have approached their work in a manner consistent with being professionals. You should then be able to understand why the sensationalist drivel which has appeared in the media in recent years might (understandably IMHO) make some a little sensitive and why some might react rather sharply when someone posts on this site not simply asking a question but saying they’ve “heard many rumours.”

“My best friends, dads best friend is a pilot for a very large carrier. I have been out with them and have witnessed for myself heavy drinking the night before he was flying. Now im not saying that he would've been drunk during the flight, because the flight may not have been till the next night.”
I have to admit, you lost me there. Since you didn’t know when he was next flying, I don’t understand your logic.

You say you want sensible discussion.
Was ”It seems to me, that only those who get on their high horses about it must have something to hide!” meant as a sensible contribution to the discussion? Or as a provocative comment? Is that really how it seems to you?

What’s the general consensus on aircrew being breathalysed before each flight?
(I assume you mean by legal requirement, rather than company policy.)
If you’re interested in the opinion of someone who’s only a PPL, not a professional pilot – I don’t think it’s necessary or justified.
See the post by Rainboe in which he points out the facts. Despite the sensationalist media treatment, and the melodramatic comments made by some when this topic comes up (thankfully, a minority on this thread), there is no evidence that it is or ever has been a safety issue such as to justify subjecting pilots to such a procedure.
If Parliament decided the measure was appropriate even in the absence of a problem but out of an abundance of caution then, like Rainboe, I think it should apply to a very wide range of occupations.

If you’re interested in views from within the industry, here are some links I kept because of the legal element. There are more threads, but the search function isn’t working at the moment.

Alcohol and Flying: The New Law (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=113035)

LHR Breathtest. (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=136060)

I can't remember if the ridiculous Manchester breath-test incident (police breath-testing pilots after information from some crank) is mentioned in either of those threads but, if not, you'll be able to find it when the search function is working again. It's arguably the worst example of what Standard Noise referred to in his post.

PileUp Officer
6th Jan 2006, 12:23
I thought this was about Charles Kennedy :ok:

Gouabafla
6th Jan 2006, 13:12
Has Charles Kennedy ever been in charge of anything?

I'm surprised that no one has raised the thought of Ghostie being a journalist. It seemed that way at first, but on second thoughts, I don't think a jouno would have got quite so upset when people argued with him.

G-CPTN
6th Jan 2006, 13:30
Nah!
Ghostie's responses were far too considered to be from a Journo.
And I don't think he (or she) was upset. Just, . . . upset . . .