Other forums have also talked about the increasing number of pilots in India that are being caught drinking and flying. Is this because they are worse than those in other countries or is the checking for alcohol more frequent in India?
They check much more frequently and until recently the pilots, airlines and the DGCA had a fairly lackadaisical approach to the problem. I suspect that if the FAA tested as often as the DGCA the rate of pilots caught in the US would be considerably higher.
In India I am tested before almost every flight. In 19 years of airline flying in the US I was alcohol tested exactly 6 times. Two of those were post flight after 6+ hour flights. All that I was saying is that if the rate of testing in the US was as high as it is in India I believe that there would be a higher rate of positives. I think the attitude to alcohol use and flying is better in the US but that with the sheer volume of pilots and flights I believe some pilots that are operating today could not blow all zeros in the morning. Some people cut the time from last drink till show time precious close knowing that the odds of being tested are vast. This is just my observation. I believe that the overwhelming majority take their resposibilty very seriously but we all have known people who push the envelope.
In India, the breath analyzer tests are done for all flights originating out of India for all domestic airlines. The same has been happening for the last couple of months.
The legal limit in India is 0.00% as opposed to some other countries.
Though 57 pilots getting caught on a BA check sounds high for 2 years, it would be a good measure to know how many total BA checks were carried out during the entire 2 years. I am sure as a percentage the figure will be really low.
Like in every profession you will find people being over the limit doing their job, be it pilots , lorry drivers or doctors .
The problem is, as long as the punishment is not hard enough it will not get better, for sure.
What's the point of checking every domestic flight if you don't punish the offenders ????
It's all well and good , but if the company doesn't dismess their drunk pilots, the DGCA for sure should take their licence, if they have a valid one in the first place ! on the other hand the airlines are short of pilot's and DGCA is stopping Expats to come in and fly, so what to do as to let offenders go, espically if they are friends of friends.....! by the way, that's not me saying, it's the indian media !
The legal limit in India is 0.00% as opposed to some other countries.
Are you sure? Even a person who has never, ever consumed any alcohol may have some in their blood due to normal body processes. So if this is true, is shows a great misunderstanding of human science by the DGCA.
The legal limit in India is 0.00% as opposed to some other countries. Are you sure? Even a person who has never, ever consumed any alcohol may have some in their blood due to normal body processes. So if this is true, is shows a great misunderstanding of human science by the DGCA.
Yes PM, sadly that is the way it is. If the machine shows 0.01 , you are treated as a positive case.
In Jet Airways, the company policy is : 1st time BA positive means , that you are grounded for 3 months without any salary at all. 2nd time if positive( even after 10 years) then ,that is your last day in the company. So , it is not correct to say that no action is taken.
I know a few pilots who were caught legally drunk both Indians and Expats. Being son of a DGCA officer has nothing to do with still flying for an airline. The rules were same for everyone, first offence and you are grounded for three months without pay (during this time you were also advised to go for some form of counselling). Second offence and you were out. It is a DGCA regulation and all +ve tests were required to be reported to DGCA. The doctors could not fudge the results as they were required to print all the tests and report any positive.
When I was flying for KFA we had random breathalyser testing, at IndiGo we had 100% BA. Most airlines in India do random testing whereas IndiGo is 100% for both flight and cabin crew.
When flying for airline in USA I was never tested. Although, in USA they also check your urine/blood sample for drugs. Now if that was to be done in India (testing for drugs) it will open another big can of worms.
You are right, there will always be some amount of alcohol in your blood. But in India they use breathalyser. A few years ago doctors used Alco Tester III, and it was possible to fool the machine by sucking the air rather than blowing in to it. Now almost all of them use Alco Tester IV, it is not possible to suck the air as there is a diaphragm in the tube that allows only one way flow of air (now it is also possible to remove the diaphragm and use it and that is why doctors give you brand new tube every time so it is not tempered with).
Every time I was tested in India my results were always 0.00 I never saw reading higher than that, of course if they had tested my blood it probably wouldn't have been all zeros.
The airlines do not want to pay for it and the government has not mandated it. The airlines already bear the considerable cost of the random drug and alcohol testing. They have to pay for the testing and if the pilots have a good collective bargaining agreement they also get paid for the time it takes them to do the test.
Even if he or she can't find Flight Simulator on their apps or whatever, there is this hoard of "media" running around outside MoCA/DGCA as though it was built yesterday. Come on guys and ladies, the place is so old it has been used for period movies like GANDHI and was a corrupt mess even when I was trying out power flying as a hobby alternative to gliding way back in the '70s - while on leave from my day job on ships, and since the better girls hung out with flyers rather than gliders.
People seem to have forgotten boy wonders like Rahul Mahajan, so then, why blame DGCA alone - when his documentation came pre-fabricated from the US? Likewise, the late dear departed Sanjay Gandhi, he wasn't doing too badly either.
if the MoCA or DGCA were really serious on trying to correct things, they would re-check documentation top downwards, instead of concentrating on the low lying easier fruit at the bottom. Even in the '70s it was the offspring and the children of the rich who made it up this ladder, unless they came horizontally from the IAF - and I can name two really REALLY senior pilots who simply didn't clear their XIth/XIIth exams - though they certainly got some certification subsequently.
The cops on security duty have for long been refering to some domestic airline pilots as BlueLine/RedLine bus drivers - those from Delhi will catch the reference. Is it any wonder, then, that 6E and SG are seeing the maximum action?
You want to investigate, you need to concentrate on some of the senior pilots in the "game", and their certification. The bottom base of the pyramid will then automatically fall in line, with far less effort.
DGCA and MoCA are only interested in "containing" the issue. Not resolving it. And that's the truth.