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unplugged
11th Jan 2005, 09:33
This I heard has happened last Saturday Jan 8,2005 in SXF:
After going through security and check in, a female english Easy Jet Captain was asked by some authority personell to please come along to take an alcohol test.I assume that they recieved a tip.
The test showed 1.6 Promille !!
The CoPilot I heard has confessed to have noticed some sighns of alcohol but the young lad he was, descided to be a good boy instead and not say anything.
Needless to say that this flight was canceled for that crew but what surprises me is that nothing came out to the public.
What a headline that would be!
Did anybody hear something or does this stay inside orange rooms?

CaptainProp
11th Jan 2005, 09:48
1 - If this indeed happend, there would be NO WAY that this would stay within "the orange rooms"

2 - 1.6!!! I think with 1.6 most people could not even stand up or even talk...

Any other good story to give the public!??

:yuk: :*

Wide-Body
11th Jan 2005, 09:48
I think it would have hit the press if it was true. There would have been a plane load of Daily Mail readers (if it was going to the UK).who would have been on the phone instantaneously. I really hope it is not true. Not only for the individual, but her airline and the general industry.

Regards

Wide

CrossBars
11th Jan 2005, 10:07
aouch! If true, I woulden't want to be in her shoes.

Don't understand why the airlines don't put an end to all this by testing all their pilots before they fly. It's seems pretty easy to just have them blow befor flight. I mean sure some poeple would probaly find it intrusive but you have to consider how this puts a bad stamp on all pilots even though it's just a few who have these kinds of problems. Also publicity like this doesn't exactly speak: "flightsafety".

It should also make peopley think once or twice before they "fill up" before flight, knowing that they abolutely will get caught.

Immelmann
11th Jan 2005, 10:54
I think its not quite apropriate to deliver postings like this until an official statement is in the air.
I know, not everybody likes to see EZY in Germany. Who knows whats realy behind all this-even if its true?
So lets wait for an official statement!

Sick Squid
11th Jan 2005, 10:58
Just a note... this is a completely unsourced rumour (by admission) from a newly registered poster at the moment. Not even a twitch from any official sources. So, perhaps a quick reprise of the red text at the foot of every page of this site would be a good idea.

To wit... As these are anonymous forums the origins of the contributions may be opposite to what may be apparent. In fact the press may use it, or the unscrupulous, to elicit certain reactions.

Prepared to stand corrected, but definitely worth the reminder given the potential seriousness of the issue.

Sick Squid
Rumours and News Moderator

Norman Stanley Fletcher
11th Jan 2005, 11:22
I am an easyJet pilot and although I cannot categorically say this incident did not happen, I can tell you that there has not been one single mention of it at work. That includes the pilots I fly with and also through official company channels such as the intranet site or the crew e-mail system.

I would be extremely wary of accepting this rumour as true until there was some sort of independant verification of it. This is not the sort of thing the company would hide from its employees and if it is true you can rest assured that there will be a whole lot more on it than one thread on PPRUNE started by someone who has never posted before. I for one will reserve judgement until there is more to go on - I am sure that all responsible pilots will do the same.

Sparkle
11th Jan 2005, 13:09
unplugged, what are you trying to stir?

"a FEMALE ezy CAPTAIN ( oohh, what a scary, scary thaught!!! ) who is drunk to unconsciousness and it doesn't hit the headlines!! because the individual is female!"

ezyjet and the industry trying to disguise it, BECAUSE of the gender? While the Finnair guy, getting all he deserves, she gets away with it!!

Was that your point?

You noticed: all the people who took the trouble to post a reply didn't pick up on "the fact" it was a woman! They are more concerned about the validity of your story.
I am soo pleased, it looks as though we regard each other as individuals who are performing the same job, rather than bickering about gender aso.

Unplugged, remember: although it sometimes doesn't look like it: the intelligence of this audience is above average, here.

May be you're a wannabee, who got rejected by ezy, and you can't stand the fact, they took a girl, instead of you?

Immelmann
11th Jan 2005, 13:42
Folks,

as pilots we should (especially if pilots, also from other airlines, are involved personally) look for facts!
Maybe there is something to it or not! Even if UNPLUGGED knows more than everybody, its no style to bring it up like this!
The question remains: what is your intention, UNPLUGGED?
I would not like to have an FO like you by my side!
Again, lets wait for an official statement to come or not to come!

Basil
11th Jan 2005, 14:01
According to an alcohol spreadsheet given to me some years ago (and which I accept may not be accurate) a consumption of about 2.5 litres of wine over a period of five hours would just reach 1.6 parts per thousand. Seven hours later the subject would be back down to 0.2 pro mil. Do these figures sound reasonable?

Not sure I'd be happy to do anything more demanding than make a cup of tea after that though :yuk:

noflare
11th Jan 2005, 14:59
I am an EZY pilot and I can confirm it is true; however she was not drunk and incapable, the lady in question smelt of alcohol and was taken aside by SXF security and tested positive.

Removed from flying duties ufn, nothing official from orange towers and dont expect anything unless the tabloids get hold of it!

When will we all learn!

ou Trek dronkie
11th Jan 2005, 15:05
Maybe needs plugging again.

oTd

brabazon
11th Jan 2005, 15:12
noflare - after this thread I'm sure the tabloids will know about it.

This again shows up the perils of PPRUNE, that unattributable posts are sometimes looked on as malicious when they may in fact be based on reality. Either way it's had the effect that the poster may have intended which is to get it into the "public" arena. As they say this one still has some way to go...

Flyingphil
11th Jan 2005, 15:43
But the tabloids will also forget about it again quite soon.

Remeber: The guy last year in MAN is not worth to speak about anymore but with pprune or other similar forums.

Also nobody is talking about the BA guys anymore, BBC proofed to be drunken the evening before the flight and still having a rest of alcohol at the time of crew-c/i.
....
ETC ETC ETC ETC
...

So lets wait and figure out what happend after getting something official by the german LBA (Aviation Admin).

One possibility I am thinking of is that there a certain medications e.g. that contain alcohol (even the ones you dont expect to) - so maybe she took one of that the evening before hand a a little rest of alcohol.

I also think we do not have to discuss that 1,6 Promille are out of any reality.
As pilots are very restricted in consumption of alcohol,
I would assume most would lay down as if they would have met Mike Tyson before:ouch: after consuming the amount necessary to have such a number.

But anyway - drunken pilots are a danger and dangers have to be eliminated.
So if my possible explanation with medication would be true why didn's she report sick and recovered and broke the rules by intenting to fly under the influence of Medication?


Regards Phil

crazyjayzee
11th Jan 2005, 17:16
It would seem that there is truth to this sad rumour...This has just been posted on EZY's intranet news...


STATEMENT REGARDING INCIDENT IN BERLIN


easyJet can confirm that on the 8th of January 2005 one of its pilots at Berlin Schoenefeld Airport was prevented from commencing flying duty on suspicion of being over the alcohol limit.

The pilot was scheduled to operate flight EZY3455 to Basle in Switzerland with 120 passengers due to depart at 06.45 local time. The aircraft was an Airbus 319. easyJet rostered an alternative pilot and the flight departed at 7.09 local time.

Safety is easyJet's highest priority and we pride ourselves on going above and beyond the minimum legal standards. Under UK Civil Aviation Authority regulations, pilots must not consume alcohol for a minimum of eight hours before reporting for duty. However, easyJet's own rules are more stringent and stipulate that pilots must not consume alcohol for a minimum of ten hours before reporting for duty.

Throughout our nine years of operations, we have never before encountered an incident such as this. Should the allegations relating to this incident be proven, easyJet would be extremely disappointed and distressed.

easyJet has suspended the pilot and begun its own internal investigation - as a result we are unable to make any further comment.

Doug the Head
11th Jan 2005, 17:56
This is not the sort of thing the company would hide from its employees... Come on Norman Stanley Fletcher, you got to be kidding us! ;)

RoyHudd
11th Jan 2005, 18:10
Just to be clear, is 1.6 Promille the level equal to 8 times the UK max? And what is the limit in Germany?

Immelmann
11th Jan 2005, 19:17
Quite simple:

0,2 promille.

Astronomy Dominie
11th Jan 2005, 19:46
First, would someone care to point to the string of accidents that make this witch-hunt so desireable?

Nope, thought not, as there are hardly any, but pilots being so highly paid and underworked with fabulous social and family lives, it's only fair to come down ultra-hard...

Second, I read with interest the statement 'Throughout our nine years of operations, we have never before encountered an incident such as this.'

Short memories, orange people? Granted, no-one's had their collar felt by the local plod before, but the T&G were remarkably successful in 'defending' one of their members soon after they took an interest in pilot-type people...

...and as for Norman Stanley... Just which planet is he on?

fireflybob
11th Jan 2005, 23:00
>The test showed 1.6 Promille<

Can anyone please explain to me what this means - never heard of this before - perhaps I should get out more!

Norman Stanley Fletcher
11th Jan 2005, 23:01
Just got back from work and there is a large and sombre notice to confirm that a pilot was arrested in connection with drining prior to flying. I nonetheless retract nothing that I said earlier - it is always best to be sure of your facts before presenting them here under the guise of anonimity. At this juncture, none of the specifics - ie how intoxicated the individual allegedly was - has been verified. Once again I choose to reserve judgement rather than believe the 'facts' as presented here. If the figures given here are correct then the truth will come out soon enough. Also as said earlier, easyJet have made a formal statement and have not hidden the truth from their employees. You can be certain that this is regarded with utter horror by all at easyland. No airline wants publicity of this kind and there will be no mercy from easyJet in their dealing with this individual. If proven guilty, this is well and truly 'game over' for the person concerned.

flapless
12th Jan 2005, 01:16
Quote Astronomy Dominie: "Nope, thought not, as there are hardly any, but pilots being so highly paid and underworked with fabulous social and family lives, it's only fair to come down ultra-hard..."

You must be so full off sh1t that it's unbelievable clearly you are not a pilot therefor what are you doing on this forum.
Perhaps you are a """"manager"""" :yuk: ???.

Firstly: Low cost means overworked and for the hours we do underpaid, furthermore social and family lives are not that great either, but hopefully that will change with our new rostering system.

Secondly: There is not a single pilot in easyJet who would even concider joining T&G, so more than likely you are talking about a Cabin Crew member.

Thirdly: Eventhough I do not know who Norman Stanley Fletcher is, he did write: " cannot categorically say this incident did not happen, I can tell you that there has not been one single mention of it at work. That includes the pilots I fly with and also through official company channels such as the intranet site or the crew e-mail system"

And now the company has come out with an official statement just as Norman Stanley Fletcher suggested.

I think you should be checking what planet you are on as reading does not seem one of the requirements on your planet.

And just to let you know before you unleash more of your bullsh1t; I do not condone drinking and flying and if this female pilot did indeed do so she should be fired on the spot.
There is no excuse as our job has too great of a responsibility to be drinking and flying.

However I would like to say that indeed 1.6 Promille for anyone would be almost unbelievable as I think she would not even be able to walk, let alone report to the crew room and prepare for the flight with more than likely many colleagues right by her side.

I suppose we will hear the outcome fairly soon, and I suggest you stay out of the conversation until that time has come.

Blackshift
12th Jan 2005, 01:34
Hang on, wasn't AD being ironic?

Jobear
12th Jan 2005, 04:11
"It's seems pretty easy to just have them blow befor flight. "

I for one would be happy to be blown before work. On a more serious note here in the US there have been several of the same type incidence, I for one just try not to"imbi" spirits on any overnights. But I am an overly careful with my newly minted ATP

Jobeer

catchup
12th Jan 2005, 06:21
1.6 Promille = out of 1.000ml blood, 1.6 are pure alcohol.


regards

stuartpearson
12th Jan 2005, 06:31
Story is now a huge headline on the front page of the Metro this morning (free paper on London's underground for those lucky enough not to have to use it) - not the greatest paper in the world but read by many.

Arkroyal
12th Jan 2005, 07:06
However I would like to say that indeed 1.6 Promille for anyone would be almost unbelievable as I think she would not even be able to walk It's actually just twice the drink-drive limit. So walking would be no problem.

Wizofoz
12th Jan 2005, 07:58
Quote Astronomy Dominie: "Nope, thought not, as there are hardly any, but pilots being so highly paid and underworked with fabulous social and family lives, it's only fair to come down ultra-hard..."

flapless,


Look up the work "sarcasm" before flaming someone who is actually on your side. Trust me, you've made yourself look like the one full of Sh1t!

EFP058
12th Jan 2005, 09:20
However I would like to say that indeed 1.6 Promille for anyone would be almost unbelievable as I think she would not even be able to walk
It's actually just twice the drink-drive limit. So walking would be no problem.
Not in Germany; 1.6 would actually be more than three times the limit for driving a car and eight times the limit for driving an aircraft.
Legal limit for driving a car over here is 0.5, but you can be sacked when driving with 0.3 and showing signs of unsecure behavior in traffic, whatever that is supposed to mean. As for flying an airplane, limit is 0.2.

beamer
12th Jan 2005, 09:27
Oh dear - its been on Radio 5Live all morning - lots of punters want us breathalysed every trip.....the mind boggles. Why oh why do they have to drag out the usual 'rent a quote' retired BA Concorde Captains every time - oh well, could be worse, could be John Nichol !!

Biggles Flies Undone
12th Jan 2005, 09:50
It's in today's Grauniad - quotes a reading of 106mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - five times the legal limit to fly but 'only' 25% over the UK drink/drive limit.

catchup
12th Jan 2005, 10:07
??????????????????????

hobie
12th Jan 2005, 10:20
I think the following rules applies to Drivers in Germany ...

"If the border is exceeded of 1,6 parts per thousand, a medically psychological appraisal (kurz:MPU) is due. The appraisal is prescribed legal and does not lie not in the discretion of transport authority."

(altavista translation)

Basically, I suspect it means, if you are caught driving at this level .....

"You must be Crazy!!!!"

chuks
12th Jan 2005, 10:44
'Pro mille' means 'per thousand'. 1.5 pro mille would be .15 percent. A seasoned drinker would hardly notice that blood alcohol level. Walking would be no problem at all, I think. On the other hand you might well show obvious impairment.

Yes, people are mean and unfair to pilots, because they think we are lucky to have glamourous, overpaid jobs. Life is unfair. Get over it, but not by having a few drinks too close to reporting time!

The German MPU (nicknamed 'the idiots' test') is a real nightmare. You even have wealthy Germans spending serious money with dodgy operators of driving schools to show foreign addresses to get a license without having to go through the test. Basically you will have to undergo it for various offences that hint at your having a personality that makes you inherently unsafe (busting the speed limit by a hell of a lot, driving with excess alcohol, etc.).

And just to make things really fun, the Germans operate a system like the USA's, where certain driving offences must be reported when you take your pilot's medical, when you will lose your license. Or else, you don't report, they catch you and then you lose your license.

I used to be a fairly naughty boy. Then I invested a lot of money and effort in getting a pilot's license, when I had to weigh continuing to have fun experimenting with self-medication versus finding myself suddenly grounded, perhaps for good. That was a bit of a no-brainer, really.

pohm1
12th Jan 2005, 10:51
How many incidents like this is it going to take before pilots finally realise that drinking any more than one or two standard drinks the night before a flight is just being irresponsible.

A recent case has ended with a pilot paying with his liberty, and a 6 month sentence for the uninitiated will not be all that pleasant.

Leave the partying 'til your days off, it's the only way to be safe, and be sure.

Arkroyal
12th Jan 2005, 11:09
Leave the partying 'til your days off, it's the only way to be safe, and be sure. Sound advice indeed.

In Loco world where one works six days, finish late, two days off, start early, one's social life is telescoped into 1 night.

:hmm:

Kilo-club SNA
12th Jan 2005, 11:17
As far as feeling insulted bu the company, pilots should have grown a thick skin by now. :cool:

A big difference is that if you have a few to many beers and still go to work the next day you can still perform you duties in many jobs (with a nice ache in the roots of your hair of course) but NOT as a pilot. It would make sence to test everytime but i would be a bit concerned of the risk of errors? As it is now you have to be observed beeing "not upp to speed" and then that impression is confirmed with a test (breath test isn't it?).

All systems have a error margin and testing a few thousand pilots every day would mean that we would eventually get a inocent pilot accused. not good either.

I really don't think that's reason not to test pilots, just that it's a pretty complicated task

gashcan
12th Jan 2005, 11:33
Paracab - you've been listening to Radio 5 Live as well have you?

I appreciate your sentiments are well meant, but if you test all pilots, then surely you should also test Air Traffic Controllers, Engineers, Refuellers, Despatchers, Baggage Handlers, Marshallers and anyone else involved with the operation of an aircraft.

Come to that why not breathalyse every bus driver, coach driver, van driver, car driver, train driver & ship's officer before each journey.

Or even emergency service or military personnel or doctors or surgeons or teachers or bank staff or building site workers or anyone at all before they clock on for their shift.

By law of averages, at least a few people from the above categories will be suffering from alcohol impairment to one degree or another - when did you last have a teensy bit of a hangover when going to work? Did you drive? Were you fit to?

Now, I'm not condoning the behaviour at all, but I suspect that a lot of 40-something or even 30-something pilots will remember the (not so?) old days when the subject was treated with a degree of light heartedness, along with drink driving.

Times and attitudes have changed and it is not acceptable, (it never was, but even more so now); however, a knee-jerk reaction such as breath testing before each flight is not the answer.

What is required is even more education, encouragement and large doses of correctly applied peer pressure, alongside effective and timely medical treatment of those who genuinely have a dependency.

I don't know for sure, but I bet that aviation in general and pilots in particular, are less affected by alcohol related work-incidents than most other industries - it's just that the profile is much higher and the reporting is therefore much more sensational.

There's nothing the media like more than a bit of pilot-bashing - unfortunately we give them the ammunition to do it.

Brenoch
12th Jan 2005, 11:44
Story in the Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1388286,00.html

fireflybob
12th Jan 2005, 11:48
I am a little surprised that things get this far.

I am not making any comment on this specific incident but surely felllow crew members have a role to play in this situation?

If you suspect that a fellow crew member has over imbibed the night before would it not be prudent to suggest to said crew member that he/she goes sick rather than risking an infringement?

Paracab
12th Jan 2005, 12:03
Paracab - you've been listening to Radio 5 Live as well have you?

Not at all gashcan, but you post made me think about the wider implications of testing, tests for one industry where safety is a factor should mean tests for all industries where safety is a factor.

You are quite right and I wholly agree with you.

I fully expect breath testing to be introduced into my job (UK NHS Ambo) within the next few years, albeit probably on a random basis, the culture of blame we live in will make sure of that.

Danny
12th Jan 2005, 12:20
Just before everyone provides every link to the articles, do yourselves a favour and just go to the Google News website (http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=easyjet&btnG=Search+News) and type 'easyjet' into the search field and hey presto, you will have links to every report published on the internet in chronological order.

Whilst the subject is one that obviously makes many of us uncomfortable and it was first revealed exclusively here on PPRuNe, almost eight hours before easyJet made an announcement, it serves little purpose to try and shoot the messenger. Obviously, easyJet have known about this incident since Saturday and it would appear that they have had their hand forced by the rumour that was first posted here.

What we should be avoiding is petty ideas about breath testing before every flight. I personally would find it offensive if my employer didn't trust me to turn up to work drug and alcohol free. The sensationalism used by the media in an attempt to highlight their fantasy that because of two recent court cases and now todays new revelation as somehow being indicative of a 'problem' is obviously just the news editors way of generating interest in their stories.

Can anyone provide any idea on the number of all commercial passenger flights originating in the UK and also flights operated by UK pilots worldwide per annum? The two cases that went to court recently were over incidents that occurred long before the court cases themselves. How many incidents of this kind have we had in the last 12 months? How many flights are we talking about? Do the maths and at least show yourselves to be slightly more intelligent than the subnormal luvvies and drama queens who make out that this is some kind of a huge problem. It is just the media luvvies making mountains out of molehills.

Every case where it is highlighted that a pilot has been caught over the limit is bad news and the media love to have a go at pilots because in reality they do probably envy our supposedly glamorous jobs and lifestyles. For those of us in the 'know' we can just roll our eyes and confirm to ourselves that those media luvvies really do live in a fantasy world. What we need to be sure of, and I'm sure that the vast majority of us are responsible enough to make sure that we will never become one of those who break the rules and bring the medias attention to this miniscule problem.

We all know that if we are impaired in any way, in fact we are not even supposed to work when we have even a simple common cold, then we call in sick. Those who may be under the weather because of alcohol consumption are able to exercise their right to call in sick too. Their own shame and guilt in knowing that they probably shouldn't have imbibed so much at the time is often enough to prevent it happening again. In this particular case, and I am speculating right now, it would appear that the authorities were tipped off by someone. Is that right or wrong? With random screening there is no guarantee that a pilot over the limit would be caught because the numbers are in fact so miniscule. Draw your own conclusions about the methods used to single this particular pilot out.

In conclusion, this incident was first reported here on PPRuNe. That in itself appears to have forced easyJets hand in admitting publicly that the incident in fact was true. You can't keep something like this a secret, no matter how embarrassing it may be to a company and to the huge majority of us in the profession. At least we can discuss it and show the media luvvies that we are aware that a tiny proportion of our colleagues will have human failings. What we shouldn't be doing is giving the media ammunition with stupid suggestions that we should just be tested before every flight. They're just story tellers, we're not... at least I hope that we can discuss this as fellow professionals without descending to the medias gutter levels.

Paracab
12th Jan 2005, 12:33
Just to clear up any confusion, it was my post that started the discussion about breath testing (although it did say that I disagree with it, what I really wanted was informed discussion to shut the R5 phone in bods up !) and since reading Danny's post I have chosen to delete it.

Danny clearly does not want the thread to go that way and I would ask that we leave it there, as a courtesy to Capt PpRuNe.

rubik101
12th Jan 2005, 12:37
Well done Danny.
Just a point that bothers me; the Biased, (Bigotted, Brusque, Beligerent, whatever you choose) Broadcasting Corp have all day been referring to the 'Drunk' pilot. Just what quialifies as drunk? Where does the transition from sober to drunk and back to sober occur? I called and challenged them on the point and they obligingly changed the reports to 'allegedly drunk'. (on 5live at least)
We gave them the story so have no-one to blame but ourselves but I do wish more of us would complain about such inaccurate and biased reporting. To report that she failed a breath test would have been accurate but far less inflamatory. Which is, of course, why they used the term 'Drunk'!

PPRuNe Pop
12th Jan 2005, 12:38
How does the song go? "PPRuNe is all around you, you can feel it in the air".

Its in all the papers this morning, as far as I could tell, and as Danny says it no doubt came from here. THAT, dare I say, is when we have to be circumspect and unspeculative - just to save the whole industry being thought of as incapable. And wouldn't the press love that thought. :p

five iron
12th Jan 2005, 12:46
What part of that is not clear to most of you?

Unplugged started a thread based on a rumour. Perfectly acceptable. For so many ppruners to attack him in such a way is sad (no names mentioned: CaptainProp & Sparkle!!)

Sort your lives out. If you don't like hearing bad news, perhaps you should stay away from this forum!

Beanbag
12th Jan 2005, 12:55
Am I alone in finding it additionally irritating that all the tabloid coverage has focused so heavily on the fact that this pilot is female? If it had been a man it certainly wouldn't have made the front page of Metro, and it's hard to imagine a banner headline saying "man pilot fails breath test", while all the headlines mention her sex in this case. Perhaps the tabloids assume men are pi$$ed all the time, but it's unusual for a woman.

Incidentally I wonder if there's some confusion as to legal limits reflected in the coverage. In the UK as I understand it the driving limit is 0.35 in breath but 0.80 in blood - perhaps some of the comparisons here are confusing the two.

Danny
12th Jan 2005, 14:40
Just to point out that I edited the title of this thread from 'easyJet - pilot drunk' to 'easyJet - pilot tested over the limit?'. It doesn't help us if our own colleagues are too stupid to realise that what they publish on here is usually picked up by the media and if one pilot calls another pilot a 'drunk' when in fact they meant 'tested positive for alcohol', then perhaps we shouldn't expect any better from the media.

DDF
12th Jan 2005, 14:51
Why should easyJet have made this public. Surely they have a duty of care to their passengers and staff to investigate and take appropriate action, not to release a press statement each time somebody makes a misguided error of judgment. Danny Im surprised you are proud to have a fellow pilots future debated in a kangaroo court style without the full facts

hobie
12th Jan 2005, 15:03
it would appear that the authorities were tipped off by someone.

As an aside, remember there is always someone in the World who doesn't like you:( ..... give them the slightest opportunity to "get you" and they probably will

and example ..... a few days R&R in Cancun, A Hotel staff member who clearly didn't like the look of me although I have no idea why:confused: .... I remember he dressed in a very odd style(to me at least) and maybe I frowned whenever I saw him?

anyway, checked out and waiting outside for the coach to the airport ..... there was my "Friend" looking on and then talking seriously to another staff member ..... a moment later I was asked to return to checkout to confirm I had payed my bill :{ (with those around me thinking I was a "Career Criminal")

a few minutes later ... my Inocence confirmed and back to the Coach ..... with my new "friend" growling at me from the hotel lobby :ugh:

CargoOne
12th Jan 2005, 15:29
I've been always wondering why airline rules stipulating "no alcohol for a minimum of eight hours before reporting for duty"? It all depends what you drinking (two bottles of wisky or a glass of wine), who you are (45 kg female or 110 kg male), what's your experience (if you drink very regularly in large qtys it causes much less effect on you), and finally it depends of individual body's metabolism.
Our airline stipulating min 48 (fourty eight!) hours before the flight and that's our CAA request :}

I believe it would be fair to measure/regulate/prescribe max amount of promilles only rather than stupid time period limits...

Evanelpus
12th Jan 2005, 15:31
Will the FO also face disciplinary action as a result of this incident?

It is alledged that he smelt alcohol on the pilots breath but failed to report it to his employer/authorities.

Just a thought....

Lee-a-Roady Moor
12th Jan 2005, 15:46
Perhaps the FO *did* report it to the authorities....?

Docfly
12th Jan 2005, 15:58
Not sure what the initially stated promille figure means but the UK limits for flying are:

9mg (road 35) alcohol per 100ml breath.
20mg (road 80) alc per 100ml blood.
27mg (road 107) alc per 100ml urine.

Anyone know how the promille converts?

lead zeppelin
12th Jan 2005, 16:01
From CNN http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/01/12/germany.pilot.ap/index.html



'Drunk' easyJet pilot suspended
Wednesday, January 12, 2005 Posted: 1245 GMT (2045 HKT)



BERLIN, Germany (AP) -- An easyJet pilot has been suspended while the airline investigates whether she showed up for a flight drunk, the company says.

The pilot had been scheduled to fly a 6:45 a.m. flight on January 8 from Berlin's Schoenefeld airport to Basel, Switzerland, but was "prevented from flying duty on suspicion of being over the alcohol limit," spokesman Steve Eisenberg said Wednesday.

The airline instead found another pilot, and the flight left at 7:09 a.m. local time, he said.

The pilot has been suspended while the airline conducts an internal investigation, he said.

British law requires that pilots not consume alcohol for a minimum of 8 hours before reporting for duty.

London-based easyJet's regulations are stricter, banning all alcohol 10 hours before flight time and limiting the number of drinks pilots can have in the 14 hours before that, Eisenberg said.

The company has 1,081 pilots, he said.

"We have never before encountered (an incident) such as this. Should the allegations be proved, easyJet would be disappointed and distressed," Eisenberg said.

Schoenefeld airport refused comment.

chuks
12th Jan 2005, 16:03
In Germany, at least, if you fail a breath test then the cops take you to a doctor for a blood test. (We have a friend who does this work at all sorts of odd hours; it's a nice little earner and she gets to meet lots of British soldiers.) So you are going to get nailed on the basis of a blood test in any case.

I was getting a lift in our flight surgeon's car, back to my compound in Nigeria. There was a stack of blank FAA or maybe DOT or DEA or whatever it was, drug test reporting forms there, so that I looked one over. Scary stuff! Either you fill it out, fail the test and you are toast or you refuse to sign, fail the test and you are toast... there is no clever out if you have been misbehaving. If your number comes up for that random test you had better be clean.

As noted, yes, the world has changed. 20 years ago most of us were hooting with the owls before going out to fly with the eagles. But that was then and this is now.... Either you hang up the headset and bore everyone with tales of how it was 'when I' or else you adapt to the way it is now.

There have been quite a few stories about the barman (who else, really?) blowing the whistle on his customers, come to that.

Part of the reason I used to drink is not to notice what was going on around me. That might well include some little pr*ck deciding to get even with me by dropping a dime. Heck, some companies reward whistle-blowing!

flystudent
12th Jan 2005, 16:24
Beanbag, re the attention and the pilot being female. I must say when I heard the headline about a pilot over the limit I didnt think twice about it, but then when the story went on to talk about a female captain I did stop what I was doing to pay more attention. For me it's the first incident invloving a female member of the flight crew that I have heard of.

I wonder what the real story is this time, like the BA guys you always hear later who shopped who and what it was all about, love triangles etc etc....

FS

Sans Anoraque
12th Jan 2005, 16:33
What do people think the correct course of action for the first officer should have been? I presume he would have tried the quiet word in the ear that perhaps the Captain took a sickie today. Or perhaps he would have been frightened to do even that?

pilotpilot
12th Jan 2005, 16:41
What I cannot understand is how this woman, who must have really worked hard to become a captain, and must have shown real conviction in a male-dominated environment, suddenly lost it all to a few lousy drinks.... what was she thinking? Where did all her conviction go???

The mind boggles... Also, this is REALLY bad press for female pilots, after they built up quite a 'good' reputation over the past couple of years.

Final 3 Greens
12th Jan 2005, 16:46
It's not just the airline industry that is suffering from this type of regulation.

Banks have Basel II, other companies have to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and some of the other legislation floating around is beyond belief too. In reality, will it make a real difference?

As a professional in another field, I have deep sympathy for airline crews, who it would appear now cannot enjoy a normal life and who will be persecuted for reporting with a level of alcohol, that frankly, probably would not affect their judgement and that is difficult to judge without the aid of testing apparatus.

How many crashes, on scheduled airline flights, have been caused by pilots under the influence of alcohol?

Unfortunately, once legislation is passed, it will be enforced. i'm just awaiting BJCCs comment :-)

I have been flying as a pax since 1976 and do about 90 sectors a year. I don't feel any safer as a result of this new approach.

I wish I could influence a change, but will have to settle for expressing empathy for this lady (if the allegations are true.) I am sure that ATPLs would not report if they felt they were endangering their passengers and crew.

Astronomy Dominie
12th Jan 2005, 17:00
flapless,

Others have already pointed out that my first words were not to be taken as sincere, and I agree with Wizofoz's analysis.

I hope - no, I'm sure - that your new rostering system will solve all your problems, after all, the 'new rostering systems' that have been churned in and out in the last seven years or so in your company have invariably worked beautifully and to always to the pilots' benefits.

(That, again, was sarcasm, just in case you still couldn't spot it).

A quick call to the T&G office in Luton will confirm that there are (and have been for some time) a number of easyJet pilots who are members of that union, as was the pilot who was assisted by them some time ago.

Oh, and I'll stay in the conversation when it suits me, thanks all the same for your offer!

LTNman
12th Jan 2005, 17:22
Well the story has just made the BBC 6 o'clock news

bjcc
12th Jan 2005, 18:03
Final 3 Greens

I hate to disappoint.....

It may have escaped your notice, but this happened in Germany, it is therefore a matter of how the German Police and Prosecution Authority chose to proceed. Nothing to do with UK law and how that is enforced.(although there are circumstances when she could be prosecuted under UK law)

In any event, yes, law is passed to be obeyed, if not, then yes it gets enforced. As for impingement on life style? Well depends on your life style doesn't it? I don't drink often, so the UK legislation would make no change to my world. Others drink more, but with some care they can easily avoid being over the limit for flying or driving.

As far as I can find, there are no airline accidents where alcohol was involved in the UK. That may be different in other parts of the world.

If you do some research, you will find that the CAA asked for the UK legislation to be introduced as a result of a recommendation from AAIB in respect of a light aircraft accident. (Pauses for howls of indignation). Common sense says you cannot have one rule for private pilots and one for airline pilots. Hence the law applies to both, in the same way as a bus driver is subject to the same drinking driving laws as a car driver is.

As to the levels, I have no idea why Europe decided they were the levels that should be set, but they did, the CAA and Government adopted that level as a result. In any event, it really doesn't matter as both the pilots so far dealt with in the UK were well over that limit.

As to this lady being drunk, I doubt she was. Having said that, I have known people arrested as the result of a breath test result of about the same level who were certainly also unfit to drive also.

Final 3 Greens
12th Jan 2005, 18:29
BJCC

I was just being playful, thus the :-) icon. As (you are) a police officer, I realise that you must enforce the laws passed by the government of the day, regardless of your personal feelings.

The condundrum seems to be how an individual tests their own compliance, accurately and thus avoids becoming a criminal.

I do fnd it ironic that the people who pass such laws in this country have bars in the workplace and apparently use them on duty.

mach79
12th Jan 2005, 19:04
Final 3 Greens,
I think you'll find BJCC is no longer in the police, although when asked when he left by myself, he wouldn't answer.

You'd be forgiven for thinking he was indeed plodding away given the flavour of his answers.
However for someone who tries to write in precise terms re the law and its application, he does make some howlers.
The idea of drunkeness re driving law in the UK has no definition.The merely differentiates as to whether tou are over the limit, or whether you are "unfit" either through drink or drugs.
The analogy of the Public Sevice Vehicle-busdriver-and the car driver is not quite so simple.
Same law yes, but eg in the case of a bus driver with schoolchildren on board, the penalties would be much more severe.
With aviation, things are simpler with in effect a zero tolerence approach.
There is a concept of he idea of public responsibility that an airline pilot should have to his pax which seperates the probable punishment notwithstanding the same legislation applies

Final 3 Greens
12th Jan 2005, 19:10
Mach

Thanks for the pointer - having revisited BJCCs profile, I see he is "air traffic", which conjures up irreverent memories of Dan Akroyd in a T38 complete with "Blues & twos!"

bjcc
12th Jan 2005, 19:10
Final 3 Greens

Who would these people who have bars and use them on duty be?

I was a Police officer, no longer.

I agree with the condundrum, but one or 2 glasses 8-12 hours before you fly, or work isn't going to be there in the morning. 10 pints then you are running a big risk. The problem is the area in between. It may not be a popular thing to say, but being careful, or going without is really the only way....It all comes down to what someone values most, thier job or a drink.

As to feeling safer? Well, I arrested a pilot, turned out to be just over the drink drive limit, on his way into LHR one afternoon. He insisted his driving was not affected (it was, it was crap which is why he was stopped). He didn't fly that afternoon, mostly because he spent a fair amount of it sat in the Police station but to be honest I wouldn't want him flying me or my family, so if this deters him then great.

Final 3 Greens
12th Jan 2005, 19:11
BJ

Did you ever see his driving when he was sober ?:}

bjcc
12th Jan 2005, 19:33
Final 3 Greens

If he drove like that sober, then he would never have passed a driving test.

mach79

I ignored your question, because it's not relevent.
Any more than your claims to be 'more senior' than PC are, or your reasons for no longer being.

If you want to turn this into a slanging match, feel free, to do it elsewhere.

You are right, there are 2 offences as you stated, and your point is?

As regards to the bus driver, the fact he had passengers on board would lead to a stiffer penelty, in exactly the same way, I would guess that a private pilot would get a lower penelty to an airline pilot with the same BAC reading. However time will tell on that score.

cargo boy
12th Jan 2005, 19:57
Oh for heavens sake, who woke bjcc up? Do we have to endure the endless replies that try to whittle the argument down to its sub atomic particle levels with comparisons to bus drivers and whatever? Give us a break. If you're going to post your opinion then at least give it 12-24 hours before you jump in with your 'last word' analasys instead of trying to reply to every post as it appears. It makes the thread ever so dull when we have to hear [sic] the monotonous and never ending drone of one mans reminiscing about when he was a plod and the law actually means this or that. :rolleyes: Can't you just point us to previous threads on similar topics where you have dragged a dead subject up umpteen times with your stock answers. :hmm:

I'll get me hat now. :{ :zzz:

hobie
12th Jan 2005, 19:59
I do find it ironic that the people who pass such laws in this country have bars in the workplace and apparently use them on duty
Answer? .... the Houses of Parlament of course :p

Our own Parlament has a number of Bars and were recently discovered to have never been "Licensed" :( after xxx knows how many years of operation :hmm:

behind_the_second_midland
12th Jan 2005, 20:08
Cargo

He's a policeman.

He has to have the last word.

And you have to agree with him.

mach79
12th Jan 2005, 20:10
BJCC,
You ignored my question because you wouldn't have liked the answer you would have to have given because it would have given the date you joined-and no, Z-Cars probably wasn't on TVwhile you pounded your beat-correct?

Thanks for telling me I was right about drink driving legislation son.Only thing is, I was was probably reading ot while you were still at school.
Re your question"The point is?" , the point is the definition of being drunk is nowhere to be mentioned.When you said that you doubted she was drunk, it was meaningless.

Regards testing the pilot, you appear to write with such relish, that you seem to have issues re pilots that will probably cause you problems in your new chosen career.

eight iron special
12th Jan 2005, 20:51
Captain Morgan, indeed!

CHIVILCOY
12th Jan 2005, 21:06
What has annoyed me reading through the posts has been the reaction of some pilots to this "rumour and news" posting which was pretty obvious to be genuine from the start

I wonder what would your response would be if you had a child on a bus that was going to be driven by someone caught under the influence, would you mind if the story was out in the open as soon as?

The days of keeping things quiet until proven guilty are over.

I genuinly feel sorry for her and maybe airlines and unions should be taking more steps to understand why it seems to be happening more often, if indeed it is.

Norman Stanley Fletcher
12th Jan 2005, 23:19
Astro Domine (ex nav per chance?), as I stated previously easyJet have not made any attempt to hide this incident from their employees.

You seem to be suggesting that easyJet are misleading everyone in that there has been previous drink/flying incidents involving pilots within the company. Pilot members of the TGWU are extremely rare (I have met one in my whole career), but you are suggesting that a number of pilots have used the T&G to somehow assist them to escape from retribution in previous incidents. I personally am not aware of a single other incident of this kind in easyJet's history, nor am I aware of any pilot ever attempting to fly whilst 'under the influence' and it subsequently being hushed up. You, however, appear to have the advantage of me. Despite not appearing to be either a commerical pilot or an employee of easyJet your 'insight' into all that goes on within the company is remarkable. It is quite simple - either easyJet or you is not telling the truth. You are hiding under a cloak of anonimity to make exremely serious and unsubstantiated allegations. You should either clarify your previous claim or withdraw it completely.

autobrake3
13th Jan 2005, 09:56
This world seems to full of self righteous twits with ready commentary on a subject of which they know very little but such is the pilots' lot I guess. It was until relatively recently that, should you have been sitting in a french cockpit, a glass wine would have been an integral part of the crew meal. Lots of pranged french aircraft everywhere ? I don't think so.:ok:

Final 3 Greens
13th Jan 2005, 10:13
Autobrake

It was from this knowledge, as a long time pax user of AF (and others) that prompted my earlier comment that I don't feel any safer because of this new legislation.

There are plenty of reasons that I do feel safer, e.g. new generation aircraft, more experience operating jet aircraft and learning the lessons (as 411a recently pointed out about upsets), better nav kit etc etc

Hope I'm not one of the opinionated twits you mention ;)

CyclicRick
13th Jan 2005, 11:33
It was all over the German national television news last night.
hasn't done any of any favours I'm afraid. :(

MPD
13th Jan 2005, 11:58
Sorry, new to all this - first post. Can I ask what will happen to the pilot concerned? Will there be criminal charges, or will they lose their licence?

Ludo
13th Jan 2005, 12:17
Funny how the metropolitan legend of AF pilots drinking wine on cockpits keeps being resurrected any time someone is caught over the limit. Funny it's never a French pilot though, huh? :hmm:

Few Cloudy
13th Jan 2005, 12:56
Sorry Danny,

I have to disagree. When I flew in Japan there was a company breathalyser ( a rather difficult word for our Japanese colleagues to pronounce incidentally) in the crew briefing and dispatch room.

It was not used a priori but was used if any crew member appeared to be in question of being under the influence.

The result was that nothing got as far as in any of the last public cases - the crewmember was dealt with (in an understanding way, I may add) by the company and lived, somewhat chastened to fly another day.

I much prefer that system to a suspicion of alcohol on the breath
by some airport employee and what that leads to.

As for the copilot's passive reaction - see my post on the last drunken pilot thread - or was it the one before last - or the one before that...

Take care, FC.

Scottie
13th Jan 2005, 12:57
Just checked google.de news service and their are 45 German newspaper articles about this. :{

Heliport
13th Jan 2005, 12:59
Ludo

Touch. :)

Best foot forward
13th Jan 2005, 13:43
There but for the grace of god go a lot of us, and before some sanctimonious git starts jumping up and down, having been in aviation for a long time I have heard and seen most of the legends that are recounted on these threads. I'm not saying that what went on in the past was excusable let alone acceptable but the system we had and the rules worked fine and as someone mentioned earlier has there ever been an accident or incident recorded where the pime or only blame was a p1ssed Pilot, tired pilot I can recall a few accidents attributed to that, lets hope they don't find a way of measuring how tired we are when we arrive at the security gate.

One things for sure though, The rules have changed, the rules are well known and the result of breaking the rules are catastrophic. as much as I would like to show symathy for the young lady concerned, If it is proved that she broke the rules, then she has been very silly, and no doubt a promissing career well and truly down the pan. You don't, from my understanding of how it works, end up with that level of alcohol in the Blood system from having a social drink and then abstaining for 10 hours.

Despite what some people think we are well paid, our training costs a lot the equipment we fly is expensive and passenger lives ....... you can put own price on those. In return we should turn up fit to fly.

Final 3 Greens
13th Jan 2005, 14:06
Ludo

Let me say categorically that I sat on the next table in the airport restaurant, next to the flight deck crew of a DC9 in Southern Europe (not AF) and watched them have one smallish glass of red wine each with lunch, which the waiter poured from a bottle.

We all then boarded the DC9 (me through the normal channels) and I subsequently saw both pilots in the "office" as I entered the aircraft.

I'm not going to name the airline nor the airport, since it could result in trouble for PPrune, but it did happen, in 1979.

So if the AF wine is an urban legend, this was a direct observation. I certainly did not intend to suggest that French pilots drink on duty these days or report over the limit, so apologies if this is the impression that I agve.

Maybe I was a little young and naive in those days, but it never crossed my mind that this could be a problem.

Phil Brentnall
13th Jan 2005, 14:33
She was sneaked on by the hotel barman who saw her at the bar at 2 in the morning, 3 hours before pickup.
Her blood/alcohol level was 0.8/1000ml
Source: Berliner Zeitung 13th Jan

Biggles Flies Undone
13th Jan 2005, 15:14
Without wishing to deflect the central argument..... if the reading reported in yesterday's Guardian was correct (about 25% over the UK drink/Drive limit) - I, personally, would be more concerned at her lack of rest than her alcohol level.

I know how I feel after the equivalent of four units of alcohol and I know how I feel after less than 3 hours sleep. In my opinion the lack of sleep is by far the more serious threat to safety.

Ludo
13th Jan 2005, 15:23
Final 3 Greensthank you for the clarification.
I work for AF and happen to experience that "Twilight Zone" feeling every time someone mentions that metropolitan legend as if they had witnessed it themselves, while I know from experience it is indeed a legend.

ILS 119.5
13th Jan 2005, 16:01
As a pilot, I would never (now under the new law) turn up for work knowing that I was above the limit. However, I could not guarantee it due to the unrealistic low limit. This is why I am one for mandatory company testing. It will cost a company far more to replace a pilot than paying for a day off sick. Unfortunately because of the new legislation the employers will pay the price, the employees will face the disgrace, the passengers will not know any difference.
In the old days nothing would be mentioned if you had a tot of whisky and jumped in a meteor to defend queen and country. Nothing was thought when soldiers were given drugs (now illegal) to stay awake to serve the country.
Point is:
Limit too low
If you tested all the professions subject to this law I reckon at least 30% would be over the limit.
Companies will have to introduce mandatory testing to save themselves money.
Sickness will increase.
Company profits will decrease, some may even become bankrupt.
Many professionals under this new legislation will be punished far beyond what they should be.

Enough said, I hope you get my drift.
Rgds
ILS 119.5

CrossBars
13th Jan 2005, 16:49
What do you mean? Should we not post our reflections on this if it's something you don't agree with? Do you really think that if someone here talks about breath testing every pilot that's gona give the reporters ammunition. I surely think they possess enough brain cells to figure that one out by them selves. Newsflash: demands of breath testing every pilot has probably been around since the first one got caught over the limit.

I totally respect your opinion on this matter... so I would expect the same from you. And exactly what is so wrong with this idea? Sure this would have to be looked on and evaluated before implementing and sure there are downsides, but I think it's pretty arrogant to just put your foot down and say it's wrong.

Where I'm from there will soon be alcohol looks on all government cars. Probably pretty soon after that the busses and taxis will have them as well. Meaning you can't start the car if you are above the limit. And I don't hear anyone complain about that. As a matter of fact I think that most of us would feel a bit safer knowing that the taxi driver isn't drunk, oh sorry "above the limit". So why should we as pilots sit on our high horses and refuse this. I don't see it as a symbol of misturst but as a safety measure putting an end to all this bad publicity. Because two things are for sure, this isn't the last case and some pilots undeniably can't be trusted with a can of beer.

It's pretty naive to think that it's only those who get caught that brake the rules. If there is one caught every year you can be certain that there is a whole lot more that dosen't get caught. And this is exactly how the general public sees this. That's why it gets so much press, not because they are jealouse (get back on earth). This has gone to the extent that I often get to hear semi jokes about how all pilots are drunks, and I'm getting pretty tired of it.

I don't know about you but in my opinion ONE pilot over the limit is ONE to much regardless of the total amount of flights. Would you agree if that ONE pilot put a 747 into the ground? I thought that we should try to make it as safe as possible to fly, and this problem seems pretty possible to eliminate if people could overcome their egos.

Being wrongfully accused is not a possibility if this is handled in the right way. Where I'm from and as I understand, in Germany, every breath test has to be followed up with a blood test to guarantee a valid result.

What comes first, safety or your integrity?

lead zeppelin
13th Jan 2005, 17:07
In the Exxon - Valdez disaster, I believe Captain Hazelwood was drunk, and admitted as much.

Do ship captains now have to pass a breathalyser before a voyage on the high seas?

Food for thought, gentlemen.

Flying Lawyer
13th Jan 2005, 17:18
"If there is one caught every year you can be certain that there is a whole lot more that dosen't get caught. And this is exactly how the general public sees this."
That's not true of the general public in the UK. They might think it's a widespread problem if they read Pprune and believe some of the claims made - such as yours. I'm not in a position to know if it's serious problem but, based on what my pilot friends say, it isn't.
"That's why it gets so much press etc."
No, it isn't. It gets Press coverage because it's easy to create a 'Shock horror! Hundreds might have been killed' story by claiming any pilot found over the legal limit was 'drunk'. There have been only two pilots prosecuted in the UK to date, and neither was 'drunk'.
"This has gone to the extent that I often get to hear semi jokes about how all pilots are drunks, and I'm getting pretty tired of it."
See above.
(If it continues, you'll get used to it. If jokes and ill-informed comments bother you, just be grateful you're not a lawyer. ;) )

_______________

bjcc
I arrested a pilot, turned out to be just over the drink drive limit, on his way into LHR one afternoon and It is, Mr Mach79, evidence that there are pilots who were happy to fly when frankly they shouldn't have been.
Thats quite a jump from one pilot to there are pilots.

No-one suggested you apologise for arresting a pilot. Machs suggestion was that you appear to write with such relish, that you seem to have issues re pilots. Im not convinced its limited only to pilots but, with respect, you do tend to come across as someone who relished nicking people and miss it.

Why are you so reluctant to reveal how long ago you left the police force?
You frequently reminisce about events which occurred, and repeat (rather rigid, IMHO) opinions you formed when you were a policeman. You also frequently post what you understand to be the law. Since you choose to mention you were once a policeman in support of the opinions you express, surely its reasonable for people to ask when you were on the beat and when you left the police?
Youve said its not relevant. Surely when the incidents which form your opinions occurred is relevant? ie Were they recently, or a decade ago? Or more?
The fact you were in the job when Z Cars was on television isn't much of a clue. The series finished about 26 years ago.

Kalium Chloride
13th Jan 2005, 17:49
Since all journalists and the whole of the press seem regularly to be slated on this website on the basis of individual examples of incompetent tabloid reporting*, I trust that the members of the pilot community will acknowledge that - owing to this, the latest in a string of similar incidents - they are just irresponsible idiots who shouldn't be anywhere near an aircraft?

Or do the rules of prejudiced stereotyping change when it's one of your own involved?



*With apologies to those contributors to this forum who aren't that narrow-minded.

christn
13th Jan 2005, 17:54
If we have many more incidents like this, with the resultant publicity, how long will it be before the public/politicians demand preflight testing?

CrossBars
13th Jan 2005, 18:24
oh, so you seriously think that the ones that have been caught so far are the only ones ever to show up for work above the limit? Well that's got to be the only 100% system in the world. That's just ridiculous! Or you don't believe that but you think that the general public is stupid enough to believe that and now you are worried that I have given them the truth?? Please! Remember a little documentary about BA pilots, do we???

You're kind of stepping on my point there with your "shock and horror!" That's exactly what they do and that's exactly what we should stop! But if, according to you, the general public believes that all pilots get caught before they can create a mess, why should anyone worry? I mean if anyone is stupid enough to show up above the limit then they will positively get caught, right? Now that's a superb story for the tabloids! "everyone, listen to this: the airline industry is 100% safe"!

You seem to have a talent to turn your own words against you. Good career choice! ;)

The only thing that is frightening is the X-files feel over this whole discussion. Cover-up, cover-up! Come on everyone if we all close our eyes then this might go away!

Yeah, well that's something that shouldnt be allowed anywhere near an airplane!!!!

Hand Solo
13th Jan 2005, 18:29
I remember a certain documentary about BA pilots, the one that employed selecetive editing, voice dubbing, clocks that went backwards and led to most of the pilots involved having no case to answer? Sure we'll go along with all manner of measures because the TV demands it. Right now I'm off to wrap my head in aluminium foil to stop the alien mind benders taking over my brain. I saw that on TV too.

Danny
13th Jan 2005, 18:33
What do you mean? Should we not post our reflections on this if it's something you don't agree with?If you'd care to read my post properly, and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt in case English isn't your first language, you can post your opinion exactly as I did. Your apparent contempt at my opinion leads me to assume that you have not quite grasped the concept of "opinion".

I am against mandatory breath testing before every flight because as far as I'm aware, I'm not a heavy drinker, I stick to the rules and add my own personal buffer to them and in the knowledge that I have no intention of arriving at work having consumed anything near the amounts that would cause residuals to give a positive test. However, I am not against companies having kit available for those that feel they should test themselves voluntarily should they not have the same personal regime as I do when it comes to alcohol consumption.

So, just because all government cars in Germany are to be fitted with alcohol keys is irrelevant as I am fairly sure that most government drivers haven't put in as much effort, training and on-going training and testing as I or my fellow colleagues have. I'm sure you'll be able to dig out statistics that will show a record of accidents caused to government cars in Germany because their drivers were over the limit. I challenge you to show any statistics that even one public transport, scheduled flight that has been involved in an accident and attributable to alcohol consumption by the crew.

Also, your assumption that because one person has been caught and two others already convicted after being caught before they even took control of the aircraft in some way proves that therefore there must be some that slip through doesn't stand. There may have been but all that proves that those that may have slipped through were obviously not drunk even if they were possibly over the extremely low limit. I would point out that the fact that because this pilot was caught and as were the other recently publicised ones that the current system is adequate. After all, those tested positive did not fly and there have been no airliner accidents related to alcohol that you can point me to.

Of course if you are so insecure in your own ability to judge your own alcohol intake then feel free to demand kit that can be used to test yourself. Personally, I like to believe that I don't live in a nanny state and that I can be trusted to behave properly. It may sound chaotic to you if you hail from a much more ordered society in your part of the world.

Just to challenge CrossBars conspiracy fears, the documentary that you refer to was proved here on PPRuNe to have been selectively edited to make it appear that the pilots involved had consumed alcohol within the bottle to throttle period. It was shown that it was impossible to have taken place as was suggested because the makers of the programme forgot to edit out the various clocks that appeared in the background.

Even more importantly, not one of those pilots was tested and any allegations made were hypothetical with no substantive evidence. Of course, if you wish to refer to that programme that is your choice but I would be very wary of trying to make a point with fellow colleagues when your regard for them is so contemptible. You have not offered one iota of evidence except to relate to German government cars. That is pathetic.

The argument here is either accidents caused due to alcohol (none) or pilots tested positive for alcohol before getting airborne, which as far as I can remember is the case being discussed here, the two recently convicted in the UK and a few in the US. The total number of departures made annually just by European and US carriers and the number of convictions is the point. The ratio is miniscule and therefore just goes to prove that you are so easily led by gutter press and media luvvies who will sensationalise a story and eat their own babies.

Flying Lawyer
13th Jan 2005, 18:48
Crossbars

It might help if you read what I actually said. You seem to believe that press comment and public opinion are the same. I don't - although press comment/allegations, if repeated often enough, can of course influence public opinion.

BTW, I've managed to achieve a reasonable degree of success in my chosen career, but thank you for your concern.

CrossBars
13th Jan 2005, 19:26
What we should be avoiding is petty ideas about breath testing before every flight

Well maybe it's because English is not my mother tongue, but it sounds a lot like a recommendation from "capt pprune".

And I'm not from Germany nor have I ever lived there. I live in a little place called Sweden where we are all woken up 7 in the morning and put to sleep at 10.30 in the evening by our nanny. It feels safer that way. I can't really cope with personal responsibility. ;)

So that's the reason why we shouldnt be tested. We have all gone through so much. Poor us. Well shame on the public for not trusting us. Personally I can't blame them after what the media have accomplished. And to be honest, thanks to all the screw-ups who have created this mess.

If a simple breath test would mean that these kind of stories wouldnt pop-up time and again, well then that seems to be a pretty cheep price to pay.

That's just a splendid way of approaching this! Well nothing has happened so far so nothing will probably happen in the future either. Better safe than sorry, right? Well obviously there actually is a problem because they keep slapping us in the face.... ALL THE TIME!

I have no problems with alcohol and I don't doubt my judgment, thank you very much! Can't really understand why you would assume that. FYI I exercise zero alcohol when driving my car as well. But I hear that you don't know much about people with such problems. They are masters at disguise. You would probably find them acting in a strange way if they where sober.

And do you really mean that if someone slips through with, lets say 0.3-0.5 promille (limit is 0.2), then that's OK? I wouldnt expect much understanding from the yanks since they think it's perfectly fine to drive a car with 0.8 in your blood but I thought that we all had pretty similar views on this in Europe. Especially amongst pilots.

Just to answer Dannys challenge. Who's got conspiracy fears?? "Various clocks that appeared in the background". First of all I don't take stand on whether the BA documentary was real or just edited crap. But the fact is that a lot of people saw it and I'm pretty sure that you didn't explain to them what you where able to expose on pprune. I used it as an argument to simply state that the publics view might not correspond to flying lawyers view. Or as you superiorly like to put it: If you would have read the post....

And I take serious offence when you accuse me for disrespecting my fellow colleges. I did no such thing! If those pilots in that film where wrongfully accused I would stand by them any day.

The cars, which by the way isn't German, isn't "evidence" it's an "example". Maybe Flying lawyer can help you sort this stuff out

When it comes to people slipping through or not, this is an impossible thing to prove.... hence the expression "slipping through". It's just a statistical fact in a random and reporting testing system.

We simply have a difference in opinion on what the facts are in this case. You choose to "see" number of convictions as number of pilots working under influence. I believe that there probably is a larger number which haven't been caught by the system. Sure I believe that everyone is innocent until prove guilty but I'm not singling out people here. Im simply admitting that there might be a problem here and discussing possible solutions. But according to you there is no problem - so no need for a solution.

Finally, I would gladly take a breath test before every flight if it would improve the publics respect and trust in us as pilots regardless if there is a problem or not. But obviously a breath of air per day is too much to ask for. They cant just come and walk all over us in such a respect less way, after all we are pilots. Who are they to question our morale - they are just trusting us with their lives.

Keep the head in the sand; I'll stay on the lookout!

Omaha
13th Jan 2005, 19:48
Am I alone in finding it additionally irritating that all the tabloid coverage has focused so heavily on the fact that this pilot is female?
Why should this surprise you? :confused:

One has only see the ratio of male pilots to female pilots in Easyjet & elsewhere in aviation for that matter to understand why the press thinks it will grab more public attention, its a rarer occurence, after all so many male pilots have been found p*ssed or allegedly recently p*ssed at the controls or about to take control it's a bit old hat. Unusual different stories sell papers, I know when I was on the tube the other day I was as guily of this as anyone else. When I saw the headlines 'female pilot found drunk' or whatever my curiosity became so insurmountable I ended up reading a strangers paper while she was reading it much to my colleagues embarassment.

Of course the press will emphasise the novelty of it being a member of the fairer sex in this case and of course the public are interested in this fact. One may not like it but one can't change human nature and public preceptions. Of course she was going to be thrown to the sharks & IMHO if shes guilty she deserves to be as much as her male colleagues.

Personally I'm fed up with the drink culture that appears to exist among pilots. When I get into a plane I am putting my life in these so called responsible peoples hand, the concern whether they've recently hit the bottle or not & are fully sober should not need to be there. Personally I think she and any other pilot who takes the controls without observing the bottle to throttle limit are a disgrace to themselves, their company & profession and do not deserve to wear the stripes they do on their sleeves. :mad:

Bronx
13th Jan 2005, 23:17
My hunch is bjcc stopped being a cop a long time ago and don't want to let on he's out of date and 'air traffic' means air traffic security guard not a controller. ;)

Hand Solo
14th Jan 2005, 00:02
I think Omaha said rather more than he appreciated when he posted the following (my italics, not his)

Personally I'm fed up with the drink culture that appears to exist among pilots

To echo Dannys previous points, how many flights operate to, from or within the UK each day on G or EI registered aircraft? Perhaps a thousand? Probably not far off at a guess, which means upwards of 300,000 commercial flights each year. And how many operators of those flights are found to be over the incredibly restrictive limit of 20 promilles? If my memory serves me correctly, just one pilot of a G or EI registered aircraft failed a breath test last year. Thats one in 300,000+. That doesn't strike me as even statistically significant. Human error/failing/weakness exists in every job which involves human involvement. That is simply impossible to avoid. Yet the puritans amongst us, notably those from the Nordic states, would ask us to invest heavily in expensive detection systems to find that one in 300,000 , rather than invest in technologies that would provide far greater returns in safety but would not sell newspapers.
Well to paraphrase a previous poster, personally I'm fed up with the drink culture that appears to exist among pilots simply because the gutter press can sell papers on it. I'm also fed up with the idea that I can't enjoy a pint or two downroute, should I feel like it, because it upsets some puritan who doesn't have an inkling about flight safety, metabolic rates or perspective. If they have a problem with that then I'm sure an unmanned airline will be along very soon and they can fly on that. I won't be joining them on it.

etrang
14th Jan 2005, 02:33
I think its really very silly to suggest that, in the absence of any comprehensive testing or control system and with new, very low blood alcohol limits, that the recent high profile cases represent 100% of all the occasions where a pilot has flown whilst over the limit.

mgc
14th Jan 2005, 05:09
My posts normally try to introduce a level of moderation and sense, however this thread is getting me anoyed.

Omaha ststed ' a drink culture that appears to exist'. The last one to admit he has a proble IS the alcholic. Think about it. The stories of flight crews on benders in hotels are legendary and rife. It may not happen the way it used to, but to say it doesn't go on at all is plain wrong.

Fact, the law has introduced rightly or wrongly an alcohole level that is to all intense and purpose zero. Accept it, live with it or get anotther job before you get a spel at HM's holiday camp.

Fact, with a near zero alcohole level, if your breath smells of booze you are almost certain to fail the breath test.

I am amazed by how many flight crew still tell me that there rules are 8, 10, 12, 24 hours bottle to throttle. It seam a lot of people (flight crew) just haven't caught up with what the law means. I would suggest that collegues, unions and the companies themselves need to do some urgent education.

These threads are full of how we think pilots are wounderful highly educated and talented proffessionals who work in poor conditions. My message is, if that's how you view yourself, act like it. 'Proffessional' is taking the bad with the good, not just cherry picking the good bits and saying 'I'm above the bad bits'

there have been a couple of threads recently about how wounderful women pilots are and how life is so hard for them compared to their male colleagues. I believe (see my other posts) in fair and equal treatment. If this female pilot was doing somthing wounderful she would be all for 'I'm a women and I'm great' therefore she can not expect to have the fact that she is a women overlooked, nay some would say 'be unmentionable as it's not PC' when she's done somthing bad. And being the first bad female pilot, and apparently very bad, is going to get the headlines, that's life.

To the coupple of posters who have implied 'that because pilots aren't caught over the limit there aren't any over the limit' or implied that all pilots over the limit have been caught; what planet are you on? FL I suspect you are applying the innocent until proven guilty stance, but it doesn't stack up statistically.

Sadly, I suspect that we are going to see a steady stream of flight crew being caught out by this legislation, both of the heavy drinkers and the accidental 'I had no idea' type. Eventually they will stop making the news as old news doesn't sell, but it will still put a premature end to people's career and probably liberty.

Flying Lawyer
14th Jan 2005, 06:44
mgc

I do take the "innocent until proven guilty stance" because I think it's fair, especially when someone has been identified, but that wasn't the point I was making in this discussion.

I merely challenged Crossbars claim that the general public think if one pilot is caught every year they can be certain there are 'a whole lot more' who aren't caught. That may be public belief in Sweden where he lives, but I don't accept it's true of the general public in the UK.
I don't believe the overwhelming majority of the general public in the UK even think about the issue - except for a few days when the press/media try to whip up concern and make exaggerated and inaccurate comments about 'drunk' pilots. Public attention soon turns to some other hot topic.

What percentage of the thousands of people who board flights in the UK today do you think will give even a moment's thought to whether their pilots might be over the prescribed limit?
The UK public knows its aviation industry has a well-deserved fine reputation and a superb safety record, and I simply don't believe public opinion has changed because of a couple of widely-publicised cases.

Of course, that might eventually change if enough members of the public read some of the comments in these discussions - or the press quotes from posts which may have been made by people who aren't professional pilots and know little or nothing about the industry.
eg A journalist reading your post could accurately report that 'mgc' on 'the professional pilots website' referred to flight crews on benders in hotels, saying "It may not happen the way it used to, but to say it doesn't go on at all is plain wrong" - without knowing (or caring) if you're aircrew and speaking from personal observation or simply making a sweeping allegation based on nothing more than stories you've heard.

CrossBars
14th Jan 2005, 07:56
Thats one in 300,000+. That doesn't strike me as even statistically significant

I don't think you really get the point here. The statistical fact is that there actually are a lot more than the system revels. The problem is that every time something like this shows up in the newspapers the trust for pilots degrade a bit. How many more cases like this do you think is tolerable? At what point will it be too much? But maybe this is something that you guys don't worry about since the public seems to be able to take an endless stream of stories like this and don't care a bit.

That is simply impossible to avoid. Yet the puritans amongst us, notably those from the Nordic states, would ask us to invest heavily in expensive detection systems to find that one in 300,000

Thanks for taking it down a bit more! Sort your thoughts out before you post them, ok?

Anyone remember two Lufthansa pilots taken from their airplan at Helsinki Airport? Both were above the limit. Now what's the odds of that? 2 out of 600 000 IN THE SAME PLANE!? Sh*t, if they had only played the lottery.

I'm also fed up with the idea that I can't enjoy a pint or two downroute, should I feel like it, because it upsets some puritan who doesn't have an inkling about flight safety, metabolic rates or perspective

Who said you can't?? Hell, I'll join you! I'm assuming that you mean that you'll still show up for work the next day clean and sober below the limit? If not, I suggest you take a look at the meaning of flight safety, metabolic rates and perspective.

Flying Lawyer, let me get this strait. You're not worried that the general public is influenced of what's printed in the paper but you are actually worried about what's said here??? Get real! And to think that they are stupid enough not to draw the conclusion that there probably are more pilots out there not being caught is :mad: .

Say stories of politicians caught for fraud is printed in the paper. You don't think that the publics trust for politicians are influenced by this?? And that some might think that a lot more politicians are probably also greedy suckers?

I'm not out to get breath test just for the fun of it. But I'm willing to take the collective burden of what some of us have bean able to create. If you can tell me that there is absolutely no mistrust for pilots here and that future stories will have no such affect, well then I would gladly skip the testing.

autobrake3
14th Jan 2005, 08:56
Wow, there are some bitter people who have clearly been raised in a flying world far different to mine. Wish I could be so perfect.
I note that article 54 (from memory) of the ANO states that it is also illegal to be under the influence as a passenger in an aeroplane, yet this coveniently appears to be largely ignored save for the occasional profile case. Strange how the law is used so selectively.

luoto
14th Jan 2005, 09:08
My "neighbour" to the left (where it is marginly preferable to like compared to the one on "the right") makes some interesting comments. Of course, Nanny Persson does like to restrict the sales of alcohol and keep the prices high through Systembolaget.

However it would be nice if all passengers could be breath tested too, and not just those flying AY or SK routes (actually, the Scandinavians that drink tend to get on with the drinking as a rule, not shouting about it as the Brits seems to do !)

An exercise in study is going to Alko (Finnish alcohol monopoly in Tornio) just by the border to Sweden.. Full of Swedes buying cheap (!) booze..

But as a pilot, if it makes your passengers feel safer, what's the problem of blowing into the bag. Noone expects you to do it by the cockpit door as the C class PAX parade on or an Intercom announcement "This is a non smoking flight.. Captain MadeupName is in command and he has scored 0.011 on the alcohometer, thus passing the mandatory limit of 0.0200 and thus he is cleared to fly this Boeing 747+400 today en route to Osaka:"

find similar stats for number of drink drivers each day / number of individual a to b car journeys and then buses, lorries and suchlike?

As a drinker myself, I think there\'s far too much emphasis placed on drinking, especially with the British and Irish people (as compared to others who drink heavily like Italians, Swedes, Danes and a few Finns).

Why is it that the British stag party has a worse reputation than a Polish one or a Finnish one in the same resorts+ Same with football "supporters".

Of course not all of the orchard has a crop of bad apples, mind.

Mr Flying Lawyer said: "I merely challenged Crossbars claim that the general public think if one pilot is caught every year they can be certain there are \'a whole lot more\' who aren\'t caught. That may be true of the general public in Sweden where he lives, but I don\'t accept it\'s true of the general public in the UK."

Maybe the typical British person does not think that they can/could have an alcohol problem and that alcohol problems in society are mostly "teenagers" and the smelly old wino drinking meths, instead of looking closer to home. Governments can have their "initiatives" but they don\'t have much impact. Scandinavian countries have their own problems and in some ways "alcohol problems" are accepted, but not accepted if you know what I mean, elements of society but the same degree of public nuisance causing, wantom damage, beating up passers by etc is not, on the whole, here. Same with knives and the like.

Of course, I\'ve not heard of any pilots brawling at an airport after imbibing so this is not strictly just about pilots or cabin crews.

Interestingly, in the Uk press this week, I read that there is more problem with binge drinking amonst the younger ladies now. Ladetteism is on the increase.

"I don\'t believe the overwhelming majority of the general public in the UK even think about the issue - except for a few days when the press/media try.."

Maybe because the "pilot" is still held in esteem like "the doctor" or "the lawyer" even though many jokes can be made or nasty comments made. The gold bars on the shoulder pander to security, trust and suchlike.

But the public is easy to manipulate anyway !

jammydonut
14th Jan 2005, 09:32
Why not look at it another way as a statistic.
How many commercial a/c have been involved with incidents where the handling pilot has been so called "drunk" - zilch I would think.
Unless you were falling about pissed with bad DT's or speech so slurred ATC could not understand your clearance, what problem would you have flying the a/c from A to B

luoto
14th Jan 2005, 09:37
jammydonut: I make no comment on the specifics but much research shows handling of machinery, cars, tools etc IS IMPAIRED by alcohol from the first drop through the "max drink" level and higher.

CrossBars
14th Jan 2005, 10:05
Well then we might as well go ahead and get stoned befor every flight. Obviously that hasn't had any impact on incidents so why not? Can't recall any incident where the pilot was f**ked up on cocaine - must be safe then, right?

If I would worry about anything posted on this forum getting to the press, it's comment like yours suggesting that: screw the limit, just try not to be too pissed. Scary really!

And might I say that attitudes of that sort just proves that there absolutely should be a mandatory testing system before each flight. Not to get rid of bad publicity but because some people obviously have a pretty screwed up idea of how alcohol impair judgment and performance. Hope you don't have to deal with an emergency on that flight - god forbid you would have to disconnect the AP.

And when it comes to your question, I sure as hell can't answer it. Havn't tried the "just-below-not-being-able-to-communicate-level" while flying. Hope you don't speak from own experience.

Doug the Head
14th Jan 2005, 10:37
Well, if you believe what's been said in this (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=157748) thread, a lot of pilots at EZY are maybe flying around 'drunk' anyway, without even toughing a bottle of booze! :(

I'm curious to see what the reaction of EZY management will be to the pilot in question. Will they take the same approach as the way they combat their grueling schedules/rostering? Will they show their 'true' Southwest Airlines spirit and look at any possible human tragidy of the person involved before rushing to a decision? Or will they just fire her, ignore everything else and move on pretending nothing has happened? :rolleyes:

Golf Charlie Charlie
14th Jan 2005, 11:43
<<<
How many commercial a/c have been involved with incidents where the handling pilot has been so called "drunk" - zilch I would think.
>>>

The usual response here is the Japan Air Lines DC-8-62 in 1977 where a take-off on the wrong runway and subsequent stall at Anchorage killed 5 on a cargo flight.

The record seems to show 4 other possible fatal incidents where high alcohol consumption may have been contributory, including a Dornier 228 in Tahiti in 1991, plus three others in Norway, India and Finland between 1961 and 1973.

Hand Solo
14th Jan 2005, 12:00
No I don't think you get the point CrossBars. The statisitical fact is not that there are a lot more than the system reveals. Thats just speculation on your part. I've no doubt there are some more, but you have no evidence as to the scale of any problem that exists, you just prefer to speculate widely that everybodies drinking hard before flying. Well on a day to day basis I'm not seeing the evidence for it. The lack of incidents suggests my guesstimates are a lot closer to the mark than yours. We all pass through security umpteen times a day there's plenty of opportunity to stop somebody evidently over the limit. Personally I don't think any case like this should be tolerated. Just like no accident should be tolerated. But until you take the human being out of the flight deck it's going to happen whether you like it or not. So that brings us to your ridiculous call for mandatory testing. Of what? Why just alcohol? What if somebodys done a line of coke at the weekend? Or a few E's? Or smoked a joint of two? Evidently nobody in the industry can be trusted to police themselves and so a regulator is required to police them for all banned substances. Perhaps you could have a full blood and urine analysis before work to ensure closet drug abusers can't take to the skies. After all, nobodys been caught so by your logic there must be a lot of people doing it.

Danny
14th Jan 2005, 12:48
Crossbar, you appear to assume that if every pilot was breath tested before every flight, let's say in the crew room before making their way to the aircraft, that that would prevent any pilots over the limit from getting near an aircraft and therefore the press wouldn't have any sensational stories to publish. All very nice but I would wager a months salary that every time (almost certainly very rarely) a pilot tested positive and had to be replaced before a flight that the information would be leaked, just as it was in this case and the press would have a field day.

You seem to be more worried about the image the public have of you. You are prepared to sacrifice your civil liberties so that your image isn't tarnished by the miniscule proportion of pilots who break the rules. :rolleyes:

Someone mentioned the two LH pilots who were tested over the limit on the same aircraft. Well, doesn't that just go to prove once again that the system as it stands works. The two were tested and removed from duty before taking control of the aircraft which is again one of the reasons we haven't had any accidents where alcohol is a contributory factor.

If we're going to go into the statistics of accidents where alcohol was a contributory factor then lets look at UK or even EU registered a/c over 5700kg within the last 20 years. Once again, I challenge Crossbar to provide the total number of accidents where alcohol was a factor. You can claim that there are probably many more incidents where pilots who were over the legal limit 'got away with it' but you can't provide any hard facts. If there really were so many actually turning up for work over the limit then we would have the statistics to prove it on record.

Can anyone give me an idea how many departures of UK registered aircraft of over 5700kg there have been in the last 20 years? How many accidents involving UK registered aircraft where alcohol was a contributory factor? Until those of you who are so worried about your image because the media is highlighting a single incident where the pilot has tested positive get over it you should not have to force the rest of us who have enough confidence in our own abilities and professionalism to subject ourselves to knee-jerk solutions that are just extra chips in the block of civil liberties.

I would rather we had the occasional rip roaring headline when the system works and a pilot who has turned up for work is tested positive rather than to be presumed guilty until proven innocent by being forced to take a mandatory breath test before every flight. Statistics speak for themselves:

UK/EU Flights over last 20 years = millions
Accidents due to alcohol = Zero
Pilots tested over the limit = a few
Pilots who are responsible and safe = 99.999% of us.
Pilots who worry about and are affected by the media hype = Crossbar and maybe a few others. :rolleyes:

Flying Lawyer
14th Jan 2005, 13:12
Crossbars

You may be right that "every time something like this shows up in the newspapers the trust for pilots degrade a bit."
It's an assumption. Even if it's correct, I believe (as a member of the public) that the degradation miniscule.
"The statistical fact is that there actually are a lot more than the system reveals."
It may be a reasonable assumption, but is it a statistical fact? Where do we find the stats?

"Let me get this strait. You're not worried that the general public is influenced of what's printed in the paper but you are actually worried about what's said here??? Get real!"
I'm not worried - it's not my industry.
Yes, I do think what's said on PPRuNe could be more damaging than the occasional newspaper report if enough members of the public read some of the comments - or the press quotes from posts here - because it's a website on which people from inside the industry post and outsiders are likely to be influenced by what they read. The same danger arises in relation to many aspects of the industry, not just the issue being discussed here. eg I think it's a good thing the press don't publish the attitude of some FAs towards customers which is regularly displayed in the CC forum. (The attitude of FAs who work for UK carriers seems to be the worst by far.) I might pause to wonder if such an attitude is actually widespread in 'real life' because I've never had a bad experience myself, but the press wouldn't.

Re your response to jammydonut:
Scary?
Do you really think he's an airline pilot?
If he is, which I strongly doubt, do you think he was being serious?

Are you claiming there's a serious problem?
What are the statistics for alcohol having been a cause or contributing factor in airline accidents?
In what percentage of fatal accidents has alcohol been found in a deceased pilot's blood?
In what percentage of cases where alcohol was found (if any) was it sufficient to be reasonably inferred that the pilot's ability was or might have been impaired?


PS: Your command of English is very impressive. Why not use it to argue courteously instead of being so aggressive and rude to people with whom you disagree?

Cpt.Unemployed
14th Jan 2005, 13:53
Crossbar,

I totaly agree with you. I think you have to be increadibly narrow minded to think that the only people to arrive for duty over the legal limit are those that get caught. I have personally sat with a group of pilots in a hotel bar the night prior to them all flying, and watched them all drink like fish until the early hours.

Flying Lawyer/Danny - While you may be right in saying that there have be no aircraft accidents directly attributed to pilot alcohol consumption, are you prepared to wait until a pilot who has been drinking crashes an A380 with all 550 pax on board into the ground? Is that what it will take?

Give me one good reason why pilots should not have to take a breath test before taking control of countless peoples lives (and Danny, smudging your lipstick does not count!) And don't start giving me the 'civil liberties' rubbish. If you are that against it what are your true motivations?

Low-Pass
14th Jan 2005, 14:12
Cpt.Unemployed - I really don't mind what you do with your civil liberties, but please leave mine alone.

We all know that at some time in the future an A380 will probably crash taking 550-odd souls with it. However, following your line of reasoning, we might have to provide psychological profiles before each flight too.

In the end, if a company wants to address a problem, let it do so internally. Subjecting company "A" to regulations designed to cure a problem in company "B" is more than a bit silly.

Cheers,

LP

Cpt.Unemployed
14th Jan 2005, 15:05
I honestly don't see the problem.

What about jobs that require employees to clock in before commencing duty. Is this a violation of civil liberties?

Low-pass - what I was trying to get across is will it take an incident caused by alcohol consumption and resulting in deaths of passengers to put a simple (and inevitable) system in place.

Low-pass - may I also ask if you would challenge a police officer if you were stopped in your car and asked to provide a breath test. Would you tell him no, because it violates your civil liberties?

CrossBars
14th Jan 2005, 15:10
When have I ever suggested "that everybody is drinking hard before flying"? I was simply amazed of the response from various posters that we should only count convictions as people who work under influence, or try to work under influence. That I find ridiculous and apparently others too.

My suggestion to test before flight was first and foremost a way to get rid of unflattering articles about pilots "over the limit". But sure we can follow your logic - if we can't test for everything then what's the point in testing at all. When we're at it, maybe there something else we should get rid of. What's the point in PCs? I mean they can't test us on all procedures so what's the point?

I'm well aware that not every pilot is a drunk, as a matter of fact I belive it's a very, very small number of pilots doing this. But this is a question about credibility. If things like these keep popping up, I'm pretty sure that it will have a bad impact on the publics view on pilots and the airline industry in general - not good for business.

You've heard it yourself: "Personally I'm fed up with the drink culture that appears to exist among pilots". Sure that's just one persons view but I'm pretty sure there are others too. For every article about pilots "over the limit" the crowd grows stronger. Just today there is a new post about a pilot arrested for being over the limit. It's just a matter of time until the next one pops up. And since the media regard this as such a newsworthy story it's blown out of proportion and that's why I think we should try to do something about it.

To me giving a breath of air is not that big a deal. Obviously to some it's the end of the world. Honestly I can't really understand what the problem is. Is it really that intrusive to take a breath test just as a safety measure? You go to the doctor once or twice every year, how do you cope with that? Can't they just trust us that we are fine to handle an airplane full of people? Someone suggested that you might even be under the influence without knowing it, from medications for example. Well then wouldn't it be good to know then if you were?

I can't really figure out your interpretation of my logic: "nobodys been caught so by your logic there must be a lot of people doing it." I simply stated that in any radom and reporting system it's a statistical fact that not all gets busted. Not everyone who drives over the speed limit get caught - the police have a radom monitoring system. Not once have I suggested that this mean that there are a hole bunch of drunken pilots flying around i Europe. I have only suggested that the amount of pilots over the limit is of a greater amount than the ones who get caught.

And Danny, I don't regard not being breath tested as a civil liberty. I feel priveliged to be working as a pilot and I'm proud of my proffession, I would simply like to keep it that way. Part of my job is to make people feel safe with me up front. If a breath test will accomlpish that and if that is my passengers wish, well then I see it as my got damn responabillity.

So what if it's a knee-jerk solution? At least it sends a message that we will not stand by this and that we are doing something instead of sitting around and waiting for the next over exposed "over the limit" case. I can hardly see how this could do any harm other than hurt your feelings.

I think that most of us can agree on, that flying under the influence of alcohol has a negative effect on your performance. What more proof do you need? Does it actually have to happen something before we figure out the fact that pilots over the limit is a hazard and don't belong on the flight deck? But I know, the ones who try gets caught so there is no problem.

Yes, I do care how others regard us as a community. Apperently It would do some good if others did as well. And yes, I'm willing to give up my so called civil liberty:{ if that makes people feel safer. But some of us are obviously too high up on the food chain to care about what others think of us. Really admirable fellow pilots.

Maybe the reason why I seem to have such a different view on this, might be beacuse from where I'm from all pilots have to go through pretty intrusive screening. You might say that I have already given up all my civil liberties so why stop now. :) Honestly, I have a hard time understaing your reluctlance against this... but I'll respect it.

Flying Lawyer
14th Jan 2005, 15:22
Cpt.Unemployed
I have no problem with infringing civil liberties provided a sensible analysis of available evidence founds a convincing case that it's necessary for the greater good. There was ample evidence to justify the introduction of breath-tests for drivers. Where is the evidence of a similar problem relating to pilots?
'Just in case' some A380 pilot is impaired by alcohol and crashes at some time in the future doesn't amount to a convincing argument IMHO.
It's all very well to refer in tabloid style to "550-odd souls", but 747s with 400-odd souls have been flying around safely for more than 30 years without any evidence of carnage caused by pilots under the influence of alcohol. And don't 744s in 2-class config already carry 500-odd souls in equal safety?
Does the number of souls add anything to the argument other than dramatic effect? Surely the considerations are the same whether it's an A380 in the future or a Dash-8 now?

Given the very low level prescribed by the new law, I can see an argument for companies providing breath-test devices for the voluntary use of aircrew - but some might have concerns about where 'voluntary' might lead. I'm not a professional pilot and don't presume to offer an opinion.

mgc
14th Jan 2005, 15:22
Flying Lawyer

Your posts and reasoning here do not appear to be up to your usual standard. I normally find your posts to be amongst the most informed and well thought out on PPRUNE, in deed should I ever fall fowl of any aviation laws, you would be on my short list of people to contact.

However, to assume that all pilots over the limit are caught is ilogical. As I said before, if you show any sighns of having been drinking your chances of passing the breath test are close to zero. I suspect many people who show no signs at all of drinking would fail the test. Random testing would give a reasonable idea of how big the problem is, but I suspect that few would like the Old Bill to do this research. As I said before, education is the answer, and quickly!

Some people are caught out because they just do not realsie how restrictive the new rules are. The last 2 cases covered in PPRUNE both fit this category. By all accounts they were totally and genuinley amazed that they were over the limit; EDUCATION. These people have my total sympathy and it is my belief that the way they have been treated is a disgrace. In the case in question, it has been aledged, that the lady pilot was in the bar until shortly before reporting for duty. Not only is that blatantly stupid it also breaks every version of the rule book. I will agree with you though that she should be presumed inocent until proven otherwise. IF the allegations are proved she will get little of my sympathy because she knew exactly what she was doing and when.

I will aslo agree with you that the average punter doesn't give the blood alcohole level of their pilot a second thought. Aviation has a very good safety record and people know that. But to say that we need to be careful what we write on a 'rumour network' because it may be miss quoted seams a bit strong. The media will always find someone to quote, miss quote, distorte to to back up their fabricated version of events and stories, Damien from 'drop the dead donkey' springs ever to my mind. In my last post I carefully omitted any details that may have pointed at specific airlines or events to prevent any possibility of mis quotes. If you want quotes for air crews on benders you need go no further than the [discredited] BBC documentory on the subject. The fact that I said they do not occurr the way they used to is a positive statement. But go back to my point of the need for education, not everyone has yet fully adjusted to the massive change in the rules. My posts are more about encouraging air crews to be aware of the need to change and the consequences if they don't change than to provide dodgy quotes for lazy journalists. However, as I've already said, if you don't accept that there is a need to change you will not. Therefore the first part of the education process is to be open about what is or hopefully WAS the situation only a short while ago. Recent events show that we have not yet fully reached the 'WAS' state.

Hand Solo
14th Jan 2005, 15:31
CrossBars - In my opinion you spend far too much time worrying about what other people think of the profession. That is no way to run an industry or anybodys life. Take a look at the thread about the England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson being involved in a 'near miss'. No airprox report, no loss of seperation, by all accounts a perfectly normal flight. Yet the press are making it out to be a near disaster that should terrify every member of the public. What would your response to that be? Roll back the implementation of RVSM? Increase lateral seperation? You cannot change the world to satisfy the concerns of the media because those concerns can never be satisfied. To do so would put them out of business. The only way to deal with sensationalist press reports is to wait until the lose interest, not zealously sign up to any number of unnecessary and intrusive measures just to be seen to be doing something.

Low-Pass
14th Jan 2005, 15:37
Cpt.Unempoyed -

Firstly, I erroniously took you to mean that a pilot should be tested before every flight so I appologise if that is not the case. The odd random testing, I really don't have a problem with however then you start to get quotas like the police have for speeding etc. and then it DOES become a problem.

What about jobs that require employees to clock in before commencing duty. Is this a violation of civil liberties?

In this instance, the answer would be no unless there was a law requiring the person to do so. If the company chose to do so, then the employee would have the choice of complying or leaving. Your example would fit with actions being taken by the company to deal with a problem (tardiness or drunkeness or ....).

I understand that what you were suggesting is aimed at preventing deaths, which is admirable. But this world is a dangerous place. Life will kill you. So really, you have to draw the line somewhere. And I hate it that the many have to pay for the mistakes of the few.

Of course I wouldn't refuse to give a breath sample if Mr. Plod asked me to - that would be against the law and he would nail me anyway. But if they started making everyone give breath tests before they got into an automobile, I would have something to say about it.

Good luck,

LP

DX Wombat
14th Jan 2005, 16:00
May I just remind people that with civil liberties also come civil responsibilities?

Danny
14th Jan 2005, 16:08
I have personally sat with a group of pilots in a hotel bar the night prior to them all flying, and watched them all drink like fish until the early hours.Hmmm... I don't remember reading about the subsequent accident that was attributed to the group of pilots you sat with at the hotel bar. Can you say with confidence that those pilots you were sat with were still 'over the limit' when they went to work at whatever time the next day? Of course you can't. You obviously weren't that concerned that you did anything about it such as highlight your concerns to those pilots or if that was too difficult, tip off the appropriate authorities to warn them about the possibility that several 'over the limit' pilots were on their way to the airport at some time the next day. At least in this case someone tipped off the German authorities and as the system shows, prevented a pilot over the limit from flying.

Until you or Crossbar or anyone else can provide evidence of this problem being so widespread that you have to introduce mandatory breath screening before every flight then perhaps you would settle for random breath testing? The railways here in the UK suffered from a few serious accidents that were alcohol related and random breath testing was introduced. No real problem with that but if you take the stats from the USA where they have had random testing for pilots for quite some time I challenge you to produce any stats that show the problem is widespread there. Surely there would be little difference in stat between two similar group from either side of the pond.

If your only worry is the current hype in the media, get used to it. Have you not heard of the 15 minutes of fame scenario. I can promise you that until the next pilot is caught over the limit, which may be next week or maybe next year, who knows, this incident will be forgotten by the news luvvies. It will be resurrected when any case comes to trial or else will be highlighted the next time someone is caught.

What about the miniscule number of pilots who have taken drugs of one kind or another? I'm sure there are some. How do you test for them? Surely they are even more likely to be involved in an incident. Never mind illicit drugs, what about over the counter drugs that have the ability to impair? You can't legislate for every single possibility. There is a risk factor in everything we do. If you keep worrying about what joe public thinks about pilots and you in particular because of the 15 minute furore this latest incident has caused then your paranoia will prevent you from getting out of bed in the morning.

It is here on PPRuNe that these things will be discussed long after joe public has forgotten about this pilot being tested positive. If you worry about the influence PPRuNe has on joe public then you give far more credit than is due!

opsbod
14th Jan 2005, 16:19
I find the tone of a number of posts here disappointing. Having been air crew myself during the 90's I can admit that I have had a few on a night stop, and no, there was never an incident because of it.

However, times have changed, the danger of alcohol and drugs, their effects n the body and our ability to make decisions have become increasing well know.

Given that we are now in the 21st century prehaps its time we realised that we should not be taking chances with the lives of our passengers and those on the ground. I work blocks of 5 shifts and during that time I don't drink....period!

I have no problem with breath testing for myself or any of my staff, random or otherwise, nor do I object to the testing of any other aircrew or ground staff. My advice to all is grow up, this is a professional industry and we should all behave as such. If anyone in our industry is caught over the limit they should be prosecuted.

I will now step off my soap box.

Flying Lawyer
14th Jan 2005, 16:34
mgc

Thank you for your kind remarks.

I don't assume all pilots over the legal limit are caught, and have never said that.
On the contrary, I think that under the new UK law (a very significant change from the old), there's a real risk some pilots may actually be over the prescribed limit without realising it - and at risk of losing careers and liberty if caught.

I wholeheartedly agree that education about the new law is vital. I began doing what I could in December 2003 - before the new law came into force:

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

and continued in another thread in December 2004:

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

having asked for and obtained my client's permission to disclose on this forum what happened to him in the hope it would help other pilots.

I remain convinced that the overwhelming majority of pilots are both responsible and extremely careful, unlikely to find themselves in trouble and only need to remember the risk of being over the limit without realising it. The 'others' need to remember that impairment is no longer the only test and that 8 or 12 hours bottle to throttle isn't enough after a heavy session.

mgc
14th Jan 2005, 16:57
FL
At last your normal level of reasoning has returned and I fully agree with your last post.

OPSBOD
At last someone showing a truly 'profesional' attitude. However don't forget time from last drink to attending first shift! Also, with the way the law stands/ is interpeted I am not convinced all cases should be prosecuted, see FL's post above. I still believe in education as often being the best response, especially in marginal cases.

Danny, really?
I thought I was prety well up to speed on UK rail accidents and causes. I can not recall a major accident being attributed to drink, please enlighten me. However you are correct they do have random testing (inc drugs) which is carried out regularly by the transport police. The limits are the same as aviation. The Railway has adopted the correct profesional attitude without anywhere near the amount of complaints I hear in the aviation industry.

CrossBars
14th Jan 2005, 19:32
Little did I realize when I suggested that airlines should implement breath tests as a counter measure against the recent years media hype about pilots over the limit. That there was such a fundamental reluctance and offence taking against this "civil rights violation" took me totally by surprise.

If someone would stop me at the next flight with an alcohol testing device and inform me that the airline had implemented mandatory breath testing before every flight, I wouldn't do much more than give them my contribution of air and get on with my job. I would probably say to myself; ok, well that makes sense, we are after all responsible for a lot of lives and our jobs demands that we are ready to deal with the worst possible scenario any day. I realize now that others would probably take this as a token of mistrust and violation of their personal integrity.

We, of different opinion, will probably not understand each other without getting to know one and other on a deeper level. To me giving a breath test is nothing; it's like walking through the metal detector on my way to the airplane or having my bag screened. I don't see it as a violation of my civil liberty; I see it as a safety measure in an environment demanding just that - safety.

There have been some posts suggesting that passengers should be tested as well. I agree that a drunken violent passenger is a safety issue but I don't think that you can or should have the same standards for people just riding along vs. the ones responsible for their safety.

Hand Solo - I don't lay awake at night worrying about what the public thinks of us but I'm concerned about the recent trend in public view on pilots under influence, frankly I think we all should be. You say that concern about the public view is not to regard when representing or running a certain industry - well all I can say is that I disagree. They pay for the tickets, in other words your salary, remember?

Danny - Personally I think you are being a bit narrow minded with your demands of evidence and reluctance to admit anything. But hey, maybe It's just me? Sure we can go on with the system we have now and have these kind of stories putting a bad stamp on the industry popping up every now and then. I guess the important thing is that you won't have to back down and give a 1 min breath test every day.

Well then, its Friday night! Now I'm off to get pissed with my friends and chasing chicks. I wish you all a joyful weekend.

no sig
14th Jan 2005, 20:18
Much has been made of the 'system' which prevents pilots flying over the limit. I suggest that should be qualified as a 'self-regulating' system based on an individuals judgment of his/her alcohol/drugs intake (and fitness to fly) and the time limits imposed in his/her ops manual. The question might reasonably be asked, is that appropriate in todays aviation? Accident statistics won't give us the near miss or record impaired operations which, in the end, landed safely.

Do any of us really know the extent of 'over the limit' flying in Europe? Is the data in the US a valid indicator in an environment (UK) where a pilot will come to work not expecting to be breathalysed, opposed to one that includes the possibility? As with drink driving, is it possible for an individual to judge what their blood alcohol level is?

Our industry is as safe as it is because we have indeed regulated requirements and procedures and perhaps it would be no bad thing if a study were conducted into this matter, not so much for public consumption, but in the spirit of taking one further step toward flight safety.

What to do?
14th Jan 2005, 20:48
Excuse my ignorance on the subject, but what is the legal limit, and what does that actually mean to the average person (as far as precautions are concerned)?

Cheers

Heliport
14th Jan 2005, 20:59
UK limit
= 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood
= a quarter of the road limit
= effectively zero in ordinary language.


Precautions?
No quick answer to that one.
Read this thread - click here (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=136060&highlight=Railways)

CrossBars
15th Jan 2005, 10:33
On an other note, I'm amazed of the lack of knowledge concerning alcohol and its effect on the body. In this post the value of 1.6 promille has gone from; being unable to stand up straight to laying in your own vomit to having no problem at all to act sober. Well obviously this matter needs to be straitened out and a crash course on the subject seems well needed.

If dealing with this through education will have a positive effect, I'm all for it. But I was under the impression that there was no doubt about when you have 0 promille or above 0 promille. If you are uncertain dont fly or take a test. One standard alcohol unit (approx. 1 glass of wine or one bottle of beer 33cl) will put you at the limit, depending on your weight and other factors. So no drinking when flying, simple as that.

The Swedish CAA have the following rules regarding "bottle to throttle": during a 24 h period before flying you should exercise a careful alcohol intake, meaning that you can have a beer or a glass of wine with your meals. 8 h before flying you have to be able to drive a car under Swedish law. In other words you have to pass below 0.2 promille (or 20 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood), the limit for flying 8 h before actually getting into the plane. From 8 h before and to your flight you can't consume any alcohol. If you follow this there will be absolutely no doubt about your soberness when flying.

If you feel that all this is cryptic, I suggest that you get yourselves a simple testing device and use it 8 h before flying.

Some facts about alcohol: one bottle of wine will put a male at around 1.2 promille (or 120 mg per 100 ml of blood), a woman at around 1.5. Your body discharge of approx. 0.15 promille per hour. Mind this is very individual and women need to be extra careful because their bodies discharge alcohol at a slower rate. So one bottle of wine takes about 9 hours for your body to get rid of. To be on the safe side you can count on a 2 cl discharge per hour. Meaning, your body will discharge one standard drink in 2-3 hours. A standard drink is often referred to as one bottle of beer (33 cl) or one small glass of wine.

PS. Flying lawyer, if you feel offended or attacked in any way by any of my posts, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intention. I guess when you don't have your body language to clarify your message, people might misinterpret you.

ILS 119.5
15th Jan 2005, 11:06
I do not think that all flightdeck make an effort to get drunk whenever away in a hotel or the night before commencing duty. However, I do believe that due to the very low limit, people cannot gauge how much they can drink. Most of us like a drink, and whatever you say, it is part of the lifestyle we lead.
Some people are referring to pilots being drunk because they are over the legal limit. This is not the case. They are over the legal limit which is so low that they can be over by having a mouthful of wine. The legal limit was defined due to the natural production of alchohol within the body. Any person can produce up to the legal limit within its own body, hence any further alchohol consumption will take one over the limit.

The effect this new law is having on the industry is catastrophic. If mandatory testing is not introduced then we will be in a mess. I do not think mandatory testing should be a way of showing a widespread problem of alcoholics in the business, as due to the low limit then 90% of the world population would be alchoholics. It would be there to save money for the companies involved. As I said earlier, it is better to give a person a day off sick rather than to lose the person completely and to employ new staff. A company could also say that if a person was over the limit then no pay for that day, which I think would be fair.

As said earlier, on a different post, fatigue and stress is more worrying. Tenerife accident was due to stress and anxiety, the Staines crash also. More crashes are due to human factors and not alchohol.

Was the driver of the landrover which came off the motorway and then ended up on a rail track, colliding with a train and killing a lot of people drunk? No! Tired!
How many people have fallen to sleep at the wheel of a car and then crashed? Loads!
What about the controller in america who was high on drugs and caused an accident. No law about drug taking.

I would rather fly with a crew who might of had a few beers the night before but have had a good nights rest, feeling good the next day. They might be slightly over the legal limit but still very capable of doing the job.

Unfortunately the law, or limit, is wrong. I fully understand the reasoning but truly believe that if it is continually applied to our profession then other professions should be included. i.e. surgeons, lawyers, drivers, policemen etc.

The law was fine as it was before but because of the new limit dramatic changes have to be made NOW.

luoto
15th Jan 2005, 13:14
If a breathtest is a "civil liberties" issue what about getting paperwork from Disclosure Scotland or (both crew and passengers) going through security controls ? Both have their place to reduce certain risks...

ILS 119.5
15th Jan 2005, 16:01
What if, for example, an off duty 737 pilot was going on holiday on a 737. The flight deck become unable to fly the a/c due to say food poisening. The flight attendant has already served the pilot with a glass of wine and then informs the pilot of the incapacity of the crew. Does the pilot then elect to fly the plane knowing to be over the limit. Yes! Will the pilot then be in danger of prosecution, according to the law, Yes! What a dilemma, losing your job and going to prison after saving 130 people from death. Just again to prove that it is a a ridiculous limit to impose. If you got into a car and drove over the limit in an emergency situation and then blown over the limit you would be prosecuted

Final 3 Greens
15th Jan 2005, 16:32
119.5

Sorry, I don't follow the lgoic of your last post.

I have a PPL and am not rated on the 737.

In your scenario, if I landed the 737 and saved everyone (pretty unlikley, I know ;) ), then would I be prosecuted?

Of course not and neither would the off duty pilot for acting in an emergency.

luoto
15th Jan 2005, 16:48
ILS.. you have to hope that the pilot is not right at the back in Y and can get past the foodcart.. but I think you will find that even courts will overlook such a technical offence.. and unless the off duty pilot crashes the plane maybe they won't know he was over.. and of course he didn't finish the one glass of vino..

I think they should close the parliament bars down though... why should they get subsidised everything...

Seriously, but on a tangent, why do we NEED alcohol on a plane anyway. If you cannot survive a few hours without a drinkie perhaps you should be a .....

A and C
15th Jan 2005, 17:20
If you had been forced to sit between the morons that I had to endure returning from Florida last year you would know why they put gin on aircraft ! it is to dull the pain of the normal law abiding passenger.

Hand Solo
15th Jan 2005, 17:40
CrossBars post on the Swedish regulations is interesting as being a regular visitor to Sweden I've always thought their rules to be almost unworkable under UK law. One would have thought that to establish that one was over the 0.2 promille limit 8 hours before flight you would have to be tested. Were you over the limit you could then say that you had no intention of flying the next day and were about to call in sick when they busted you. I can't see how you could be charged with a crime you've yet to commit. Perhaps Flying Lawyer could give us an expert opinion? Has anyone ever been charged in Sweden with being over the limit 8 hours before but not at the time of flight?

The figures CB quotes for a bottle of wine taking about 9 hours to clear are equally interesting. Working on the average bottle of wine being 750ml at 12.5% alcohol then I reckon 9 hours should also do you for about 4.5 pints of weak UK beer (3.7%) or 3.3 pints of continental angry juice (5%), which rather shoots down the argument of the people who say only 1 or 2 drinks are acceptable on a nightstop.

bjcc
15th Jan 2005, 17:46
119.5

About the drugs bit.. this act covers drugs too.

There is provision in the RTA for 'Special Circumstances' on driving while having had too much to drink. This act is based on the RTA therefore, it's logical to assume that the same thing would apply. However, it's not been tested, yet.

Tiredness is a point, but even a small amount of drink will have a more pronounced effect on a tired person. Therefore rather than prove the BAC limits are too low, you may be reinforcing the reasons for them being low.

Your list of other professions, I can't see how a lawyer will do anyone serious damage when having a BAC concentration as low as this act, maybe there is a case for some other professions to do so, some already have one. (eg train drivers).

Hand Solo
15th Jan 2005, 18:00
Yes like the Police. They have to drive cars at high speed and some of them have access to guns. They can have the same limits as us and if they fail they test they can go to jail too. After all, they could have run someone over or shot someone by mistake. What do you reckon the chances of that happening are?

bjcc
15th Jan 2005, 18:53
The chances? Slim. The Need, very real...Although you would have to apply it to the Fire and Ambulance service too, due to them using the same sort of driving.

Final 3 Greens
15th Jan 2005, 19:33
BJCCThere is provision in the RTA for 'Special Circumstances' on driving while having had too much to drink. This act is based on the RTA therefore, it's logical to assume that the same thing would apply. However, it's not been tested, yet. That's hardly the same thing.

On the ground, one has the choice whether to drive.

A jet rated pax (aka pilot on hols), enjoying a couple of bevvies, then called to take over has no other option - should he commit suicide and take 150 other people with him by refusing to take control? The laws of gravity will intervene if no one else does, when the gas runs out.

In fact, if both FD are incapacitated, wouldn't the chain of command then rest with the senior CC member, who would make the decision to invite the jet rated pax to have a go. In fact, could s/he lawfully command the pilot to fly, considering that the alternative is certain death?

Also the jet rated pax was hardly reporting for duty, when he checked in, so would the aviation act apply at all?

Anyway, it's not bl@@dy likely is it :}, well not on a 2 crew aircraft.

CrossBars
15th Jan 2005, 19:46
I guess the Swedish CAA trust people to follow the rules. Of course you can choose not to follow them as with any rule. But they give those who follow them the confidence that they will under no circumstances fail a test should they be asked to take one before flight.

The question about the 8 h and 0.2 limit is quite simple really. Since you are under the 24 h period you should not "build up" alcohol in you body. Meaning that you can't consume a bottle of wine but a glass to lunch and a beer or maybe two to dinner is ok. Knowing that, you just have to make sure you have that beer or two at the latest 2 h before the 8 h limit. I think common sense is the key here.

Well I guess technically you can drink a whole bottle of wine (UK law) say 10 h before your flight. So if you don't have an early departure or are an early drinker you might get away with it, but is it wise? Even though your blood alcohol level has passed below the 0.2 limit there are other things to consider. Someone wrote that he/she would rather have a co-pilot who had a beer too many the night before but got a good nights sleep, than someone who slept bad. The fact is that when you have alcohol in your body you don't get a good night sleep. Your liver is working overtime and even though you do actually sleep, it's of bad quality. So with drinking often comes fatigue.

Personally I think that the rule max 1 or 2 drinks on a night stop seems reasonable and safe. If anyone need to have more than that when working the next day maybe a look at its drinking habits would be a good idea.

Hand Solo
15th Jan 2005, 19:48
Certainly bral, I'd imagine they'd be exactly the same as your company. To summarise, no drinking during the eight hours prior to report (this is pick up time at the hotel down route, not departure time). No residual alcohol in the bloodstream when reporting for duty. To achieve the above light consumption of alcohol only during the 24 hours preceding such duties. In addition, crew members must comply with any local regs which may be more stringent than BAs (those are highlighted on our briefing sheets everywhere we nightstop).

I'm sure there's a point to your question other than the enlightenment of the non-BA community. Suffice to say I always comply with the wording and indeed the spirit of the more stringent of BA or local regs.

bjcc
15th Jan 2005, 20:26
Final 3 Greens

I think you have misunderstood.

Special circumstances are where although someone is over the drink drive limit, and drives. Having been caught, they have given a reason why, in the circumstances they had no option but to drive which is credible, such as a life and death matter.

Although they are guilty of the offence, 'technicaly'. The magistrate has more latitude in how he deals with it. ie disqualification is not compulsary.

As I said, the legislation relating to aviation comes from the RTA. So it would be reasonable to assume that special reasons applies to that too. But as it has not come up yet, it has not been tried, and I am therefore assuming.

Yep, you are right in this rather unlighly senario, the pilot would have little or no option.

In any event, 119.5 says one glass of wine, which is ONE unit. That would be out of his system after an hour.

By the time anyone got round to thinking about a breath test (if anyone thought of doing it, or indeed wanted too, which is more unlightly than the senario) he would be well under the limit.

Even if he wasn't, I doubt the CPS would see it in the public interest to take him to court.

It may be unlightly, but you will have to ask 119.5 about it. I just tried to answered his question.

Flying Lawyer
15th Jan 2005, 20:40
The correct answer to the scenario/question posed by ILS 119.5 is the one given by Finals 3 Greens.
___________

bjcc
Your answers are wrong in several respects.

eg It's not logical to assume that because two Acts of Parliament contain similar provisions, specific provisions not present in one will apply to the other.
It's not a matter of "testing". If something is ambiguous or capable of being read in more than one way, the Court of Appeal may be asked to give its interpretation. If the provisions aren't there, there's nothing to interpret/test.
There are usually reasons for differences between similar Acts, and there's a very simple reason in this instance - see my final point below.

eg "Special circumstances"? I assume you mean either 'special reasons' or 'mitigating circumstances'. They are different things in law.

eg Neither of them fall to be considered until after conviction. The question was whether a pilot who flew in emergency circumstances would be prosecuted.

(Edited) eg It seems from your further post that you mean 'special reasons'. They are irrelevant to drink/fly offences. If a motorist is convicted of an offence involving obligatory disqualification (eg drink driving) the court must disqualify him for not less than twelve months unless there are "special reasons" to disqualify for a shorter period or not at all.
However, as there is no power to disqualify pilots from flying under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003, there's no need for 'special reasons' provisions - and nothing to "test."


Please don't take offence, but it would reduce the risk of people being misled if you prefaced posts in which you give your understanding of the law with "I think ......" or "As I understand it ......" That's what most non-lawyers on PPRuNe do. I do the same thing unless I know with certainty what I'm saying about the law is correct. If it's not my field and I'm trying to remember things I learned years ago, or making an educated guess, I say so as a 'Health Warning'.
It would certainly mean less work for me if you did that. ;) I sometimes let your misunderstandings of the law pass without comment, but there are times when I feel obliged to correct them in case others are misled by what you say.

cargo boy
15th Jan 2005, 22:18
We're getting into the realms of hollywood fantasy here. What if the two pilots are incapacitated and an off duty pilot who has had a few drinks takes over and saves everyone! Can't the mods get this thread back on to the core topic, if there's anything new, without the never ending and oft repeated points of law from the amateur lawyers brigade which poor old Flying Lawyer has to correct them on time after time after time?

Are we going to be subjected to the repeat of this when the eJ captains case goes to court? If I wanted to read about imaginary scenarios that some of the muppets on here keep dreaming up, I'd go out and buy a book on 'Chaos Theory' and sit in a corner worrying about what all those butterfly wings flapping about on the other side of the world are going to do to me. :rolleyes:

ILS 119.5
15th Jan 2005, 23:18
My perspective is put over from a pilots view. We all come from different backgrounds and different education. If our opinions were not considered then we would be in a dictatorship. I put my opinions forward as what I see, exactly the way I do to my management. All opinions and arguements have to be considered before a decision is made.
My personal opinion of the new law, is that the limit is too low. If it remains then mandatory testing should be brought in by all companies and the legislation should be broader, to include other responsible professions.
My view now, with only one month to go, is that the flight deck should check every passenger for drinking. If they have had a drink then not allowed to fly. End of story. Zero limit for everyone.
I might even start chucking them off as my decision is final. What would the company say?

Bronx
16th Jan 2005, 00:48
What would the company say?

I guess the same as everybody else and then a whole lot more ending with 'You're fired.'

The passengers aint flyin the darn airplane. :rolleyes:



(Hope you didn't drive home from your pub. ;) )

flt_lt_w_mitty
16th Jan 2005, 14:10
"and sit in a corner worrying about what all those butterfly wings flapping about on the other side of the world are going to do to me"
- yeah, young cargo lad, and just imagine if those butterflies have been in the bar all night..............

IcePack
16th Jan 2005, 17:56
Great!,

Asked to work a day off...

Sorry! be available in 24 Hrs as per CAA rec.
:cool:

hobie
16th Jan 2005, 18:03
I blame the guy who invented Alcohol :{

I wonder who he was :confused:

Airbus Girl
16th Jan 2005, 19:37
How come the public are always up in arms about a pilot having a couple of beers the night before a flight yet are more than happy for the EU to wave through new regulations on Flight Time Limitations that will create more fatigue than the current regulations.

It has been scientifically proven that a small degree of tiredness has the same effect as a small amount of alcohol.

Yet drinking is seen as a heinous crime .... but flying whilst knackered is seen as part of the job.

I reckon 100s more flights go out with tired or fatigued pilots every day than those that go out with one half of the flight deck crew having a small amount of alcohol in the bloodstream.

As for days off - days "free of all duties" except they are not, are they? As previously mentioned, 6 or 7 days on, 2 days off followed by an early start means the only day to relax and socialise with a drink is the middle night.

I am not condoning drinking but it needs to be put in perspective, particularly relative to the scientific evidence regarding the effects of fatigue, a much bigger problem.

Finally, why are doctors allowed to operate when a) knackered and b) having consumed alcohol (and judges can make a decision on whether a pilot was fit to operate whilst that judge may be drunk).

Astrodome
16th Jan 2005, 20:05
The 'public' of which I am one have been fed an ongoing diet about 'drink driving' since the late 1960s / early 1970's and unfortunately the perception that being over the limit and unsafe as in 'drunk' have rather become merged.

One can be 'over' an arbitrary limit but not 'drunk'.

AS for the changes in hours.

Well if it was not for coming on here I would never have known about it. As it is I still don't understand the implications.

You shouldn't blame the public, when YOU as the Industry have failed admirably to raise the matter into the public domain.

If there is such unhappiness about working time, there are several things that you can do as individuals:-

1 Write to your local MP
2 Write to your local MEP
3 Seek to raise the issue through your various Unions/Associations
4 Vote for an opposition party who are opposed to increasing Euro Regulation.

Bottom line is MAKE A PUBLIC FUSS!

Hand Solo
16th Jan 2005, 20:19
1. Lots did
2. Lots did
3. Already done at several levels.
4. There aren't any in Brussels.

I guess you must have missed the full page adverts BALPA placed in the national press a couple of months ago highlighting the problem?

Flying Lawyer
17th Jan 2005, 00:08
One of the most unpleasant aspects of all this is the behaviour of the Press.
It's understandable that they would report the incident. It's a good story from their point of view - hundreds of thousands of pilots all over the world going to work every day without a trace of alcohol in their system isn't.
However, the press hasn't stopped at just reporting the incident and waiting to see what proceedings may follow.

Reporters and photographers have been staking out her home since it happened, and were still there as recently as yesterday, even though she was arrested a week ago.

It so happens they're wasting their time because the lady has gone abroad and will remain out of the country until the matter has been concluded, and her husband is staying away from home for the time being - but how awful that they should be forced out of their home in this way.

Some members of the press haven't even stopped at that. They've been tracing members of the lady's family and her husband's family, and have gone to their homes asking them to comment.

How they can think that satisfying the idle curiosity of some of their readers justifies causing so much additional distress is beyond me. The lady and her family are understandably upset enough already, without the unwanted and unwarranted attentions of the newspapers.

The British Press is the finest in the world in many respects, but some sections of it do tarnish the reputation at times.

Doug the Head
17th Jan 2005, 09:01
Well said Airbus Girl!

Fully agree with your post, especially this part: "It has been scientifically proven that a small degree of tiredness has the same effect as a small amount of alcohol.

Yet drinking is seen as a heinous crime .... but flying whilst knackered is seen as part of the job."

I dont want to camouflage the actions of this one pilot, but its time people (especially airline managements and policymakers) start looking at the full picture of all factors leading to impaired pilot judgement.

five iron
17th Jan 2005, 12:18
I fully appreciate all sides of this debate. I can understand how pilots would feel that their integrity is being questioned should airlines elect to make breath tests prior to flights compulsory. But as someone mentioned earlier, do you not have to walk through a metal detector? Do you feel the same way because the airline doesn't trust you not to take a gun on board?

I am also a little disapointed with Danny, being a moderator. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion - this is very important. However, why do you insist on basing what should be a common sense decision on statistics that we all know would not produce a negative result?

We are all very quick to attack the free press, but wouldn't a quick breath before each flight stop such stories?

Just a thought.

Cheers all

ILS 119.5
17th Jan 2005, 17:09
A breath test would stop all stories, it would also save companies money. I would personally take one before every flight, but make sure I had not had any alchohol 24 hrs previous, but if positive then I would take a day off sick.
It is just like somebody walking out of a pub and heading towards their car when a policemen advises that they do not drive the car as they have had too much to drink.
Easy, stop the offence before it is committed.
All this reminds me of the Salem Witch Hunt, kill them before they have a chance.

easyprison
17th Jan 2005, 18:28
She had probably read our new 'rostering deal' and felt depressed like the rest of us :(

poorwanderingwun
18th Jan 2005, 06:07
Easyprisons comment may appear to be flippant but might not be too short of the mark....anyone who's experinced seemingly endless multi-leg days often ending in faceless hotel rooms, a hopelessly disrupted social life, the tedious repetion of short haul work can become mentally and physically fatigued resulting in depression which is only excaerbated by knowing one is trapped in the system until a way out can be found...not always easy in the aviation environment....

Alcohol can offer a temporary relief...as can drugs....fatigue will result in underperformance just as effectively as either and it's underperformance that is the real issue here.

I know of no recent accidents to aircraft that have been traced to alcohol or drugs (outside of private aviation) but more than a few can be traced directly or indirectly to fatigue....eg. The Halifax 747.

Lets have some media concern about the many hundreds of crew that are operating at below their best due to heavy rostering...
And please spare me the fatuous remarks about getting out of the kitchen etc....we live in the real world..

Ramrise
18th Jan 2005, 06:35
Good morning,

It is a given that any kind of abuse, alcohol or drugs, while involved in aviation is simply not allowed, accepted or legal. It is not and should not be tolerated. Period.

However, I agree with poorwandering1 completely. We cannot take our eyes of the abuse issue but we need to focus the brunt of our attention on Flight Time Limitations/rostering. Those of us involved in aviation probably agree, I hope, that 'predatory scheduling' is a much bigger problem than abuse. It has cost lives in the past and it will continue to do so unless practices are changed.

I can already hear/read the reply: "another spoiled pilot longing for the good old days". Not true. The real issue here of course is safety for the pax AND myself. And I will claim that fatigue is a bigger problem than abuse.

Any takers??

Regards,

Ramrise

ironbutt57
18th Jan 2005, 06:43
I would definately agree with you Ramrise...

ILS 119.5
18th Jan 2005, 07:57
The problem does not get solved by us all pontificating on this forum. We must find another way!

Stan Woolley
18th Jan 2005, 08:05
Having suffered easyjets rosters for a number of years, I agree totally with Ramrise and I believe easyprisons comment reflects the continuing deliberate failure to address the problem properly.

It is a disgrace.

poorwanderingwun
18th Jan 2005, 10:48
Just to clarify my earlier post...I would not tolerate anyone presenting themselves for duty under the influence of either alcohol or drugs....
I simply believe that the use of alcohol on stopovers and short duty breaks is the 'effect' and not the cause...
I don't blieve that we have a problem with hard-core alcoholics...statistics indicate quite the contrary...we must be some of the best disiplined professionals around...
Alcohol is being used by people who are probably only moderate drinkers needing an escape from the repetitive pressures forced on them in an increasingly demanding schedule...
Pilots are flying when they're mentally below par...that's not new...but where is the limit..?

Fatigue can't be measured by blowing into a machine or in blood samples... yet it is every bit as deadly and far more common than alcohol abuse...maybe just not as sexy for the tabloids...:(

ILS 119.5
18th Jan 2005, 15:27
Next thing we will reported by the responsible professionals at screeninig that they think we are too tired to work.

Or a law will be passed to prevent tiredness.
What a joke.
Ithink BALPA & GATCO should adress these issues pretty quick before an accident does happen. They say safety is expensive, wait till you have an accident.

Few Cloudy
19th Jan 2005, 08:18
Seems two me that there are two arguments (four parties) here:

A."Generally all is well" vs. B."We should take it a lot more seriously"
&
A."Company breathtesting is a liberty" vs B."Company breathtesting will solve it all".

As I read through, I have to say I tend to belong to the Bs - even though it may seem an extreme stand.

For a start we have company alcohol limits which are not the same as legal limits and we have habits in everyday life (lifestyle) which are not compatible with handling machinery and making good judgements.

Both of these anomolies need addressing. Companies have to toe the party (legal) line here. Crews, whether they like it or not,
have to accept that companies need to make sure that the laws are being followed. Aircrews have the last word in the air, represent their companies and generally take on a lot of responsibility. It isn't a "gentleman's fault" we are talking about here but a life and image threatening one.

And by the way, the British Press has been going downhill for years. When you are out of the country for a while and return to read what was a once reasonable news sheet to find it full of scandals, unknown "personalities" and bad taste, just no real news, then you realise it. The only way to deal with that is to give no cause for criticism, for they will cheerfully ruin anyone's career or position.

Little Friend
20th Jan 2005, 10:49
Ramrise you are correct in terms of the industry and esp. in the easyJets case. All aberrations follow an auditable trail-the roster.

Few Cloudy-hows retirement from the eagle's nest-Whilst no sane pilot would disagree with the outcome your measures may deliver-the execution is a little 'rough'; low cost but a sticking plaster on a cut that won't heal.

This is an example of the industry finding is own level and the consequence of fashionable roster practises-its time to pay back.

Your point about the press is correct. So one individual can sink a ship; which is why statistical evidence of the part that alcohol plays is irrelevant from one perspective.

This is a very bright and clear signal that all is not well with the world of low cost who use CAP 371. CEOs and CAA take note.

The very best can become your nemisis in a very short space of time-MAKE easy follow a 5/3 pattern LIMIT changes-and if that does not suit the bussiness or the investors - we all know an airline that can.

Few Cloudy
20th Jan 2005, 14:35
Retirement is fine LF, thanks. Lots of bicycle and guitar. Not quite so much Pprune.

How is the nest?

By the way, I dont think it is only a low cost carrier problem.....

wingbar
20th Jan 2005, 20:29
Has the name of the Pilot been released yet?
I have one person in mind I really hope it's not her........

WB

Norman Stanley Fletcher
21st Jan 2005, 01:21
Little Friend - I am not being rude but I have just read your post several times and it is almost totally incomprehensible. It is like a riddle or something. What exactly are you trying to put forward? I have the feeling you actually do have something to say but I just cannot get it. Please re-transmit in a non-cryptic form so we can all understand. If English is not your first language then please excuse me.

Few Cloudy
21st Jan 2005, 18:29
Hi NSF

It isn't.

FC

fred peck
21st Jan 2005, 18:38
wingbar:

No, no name has been released, and nor should it at the moment.

And nobody in their right mind would post any names on this site.

wawkrk
21st Jan 2005, 18:50
I was in a hotel bar last night talking to a captain of a certain eastern european airline. He was completely drunk so I thought he had a few days leave. At midnight, he told me that he had to go to bed as he had to be at the airport at 5am. He staggered up to his room!
Not so unusual I think in some countries.

ILS 119.5
21st Jan 2005, 22:03
How the hell did a passenger smell alchohol on the pilot's breath. It is getting into a state of paranoia now. Anyone can accuse anybody under the new laws. It could even get to the situation now when somebody is being ejected from the plane for whatever reason makes an accusation. My view is that the level needs revising and also a re-education (as FL said) is required. Which must include the CAA (as the governing body), the aviation employers, the aviation employees (which includes all subject to the new law), BALPA, GATCO and associated Unions.

Rgds
ILS 119,5

osbo
22nd Jan 2005, 00:01
Condor,

you are a prick. I have archived your post in case those you slur wish to take issue with you once you've deleted it.

Get a life, don't post hearsay or malicious gossip without first-hand knowledge. Little of what you posted bears any resemblance to the facts of the matter. Certainly there was NO evidence of any wrongdoing.

CrossBars
22nd Jan 2005, 18:55
Washington AP

"There is a higher level of public awareness," said Greg Overman, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Union, which represents pilots at Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines. "The number of false accusations has risen, and even when there's a false accusation by a passenger or a security screener, it tends to make headlines."



... just a little note from "the other side of the pond".

HandspringGuy
23rd Jan 2005, 17:10
If I could just re-iterate the point made by the Squid earlier in this thread:

As these are anonymous forums the origins of the contributions may be opposite to what may be apparent. In fact the press may use it, or the unscrupulous, to elicit certain reactions.



This thread, more than likely, was started by a hack who was counting on a bit of Gossip and has got PLENTY.



Unplugged has not contributed anything to the discussion other than starting the thread and looking at his/her profile and seeing they can't even spell 'Captain' correctly has me thinking:

"WOOP WOOP....WARNING WARNING!"

HG :ok:

Omaha
24th Jan 2005, 12:33
wawkrk

I too told a similar story by a reliable lady who personally witnessed a similar instance only this was a certain airline eh from down under. Replace the hotel bar with a sailing club bar, replace going to a bed for a few hours with having to head directly to an airport to take control of a commercial jet. The scenario about being totally legless and hardly able to stand up would not need to be replaced.

It's funny how clever marketing can deceive the travelling public that certain airlines are squeaky clean with flight crews that you can depend on, it's disconcerting how much reality seems to be removed from the truth. How many incidents are occuring that we don't know about? P*ssed pilots & suicidal pilots at the controls are hardly the reality I expected. I know what airline I'll be avoiding when I'm travelling to Oz this year, question is am I unintentionally by choosing another airline just jumping unbeknowst to me from the frying pan into the fire.

P*ssed pilots who are drinking within the bottle to trottle time just aren't cute or smart or funny, the're downright dangerous, selfish & irresponsible. As Danny rightly stated on another thread one only has to look into many of the profiles of the self declared pilots on this site or speak to them to see them unashamed, openly admit that drinking is way top of the list of their pastimes if not their only one (some of you must lead very boring, empty lives :rolleyes: ). It almost seems a proud right of passage in a profession which demands responsibility & whose members may be responsible for 100's of lifes at a given minute.

At the risk of sounding 'too puritanical', some [email protected] suggested here that I stick to paxing in pilotless airplanes perhaps he & his type should have stuck to flying planes on Microsoft Simulator rather than putting lives at risks in their wink wink, hush hush, nudge nudge environments. :mad:

terryjoint
3rd Feb 2005, 21:43
I am told I know who this lady is. All I can say is she is one of the most proffessional people I have ever known. It must have been a real problem for her to get into this state.
I hope all works out for her

luoto
4th Feb 2005, 06:40
Just rereading this thread and marked on HandSpringGuy's latest submission and journalistic paranoia.. Of course, unless the posters are then lying about what they write (reference to Danny's "elicit certain responses" then in some ways what is the problem? They will hear the information somewhere sometime and get it corrupted in the editing process anyway, rather than some "secret cabal of pilots" whereby one day someone will break rank.

wiggy
5th Feb 2005, 12:15
To Condor

Either get your facts straight or don't bother posting.

Re: the Manchester Go-Arounds.

Firstly the passenger did not smell "alcohol on their (the pilots) breaths" - she didn't meet them, she in fact rang the police anonomously, after landing alledgeding that the crew sounded so relaxed on the PA they must be drunk........got that?

Secondly it was not an "alledgedly positive breath test" it was a negative test for both pilots......

Apart from that your post was perfectly accurate, yes it has all gone quiet - there is nothing further to report, and the only fingers being pointed are in the direction of the woman who made the telephone call.

The Real Slim Shady
7th Feb 2005, 17:39
There is a human side to this of course; as we all studied HF and CRM maybe certain aspects of the human response to the environment need to be considered.

Firstly, the regulations on the consumption of alcohol and use / misuse of substances are well known to all of us. Secondly, until a full investigation has been completed, and the incident has been adequately examined any opinion on the culpability of the pilot must be reserved.

However, the long term effect of stress and fatigue may well contribute to anyone reacting to a set of circumstances in an irrational manner or in a way which is completely out of character.

I took a few points from a CRM / HF book regarding the effect of fatigue on the body / mind:

More willing to accept poor performance
Show signs of poor judgment
Impaired thinking
Irritability and mood swings
Euphoria
Punchy
Decreased response time
Decreased motor skills



One could argue that a single, isolated incident could well be the result of acute or chronic fatigue: the addition of a "life crisis" could be the straw which breaks the camel's back. The pilot who has overindulged the night before duty could be displaying traits which the first 4 lines account for. Lines 5 and 6 would depend on how the person was generally disposed; do they laugh things off or become aggressive?


Stress is the body's response to the demands placed upon it. In aviation this could be any of these ( not exhaustive):

Medicals
Checkrides
Illness
Pay
Conflict
Fears related to flying
Time schedules
Passengers
Noise and vibration
Temperature and humidity
Diet
Dehydration
Altitude changes
Confined space
Poor visibility
Fatigue

The symptoms one might encounter:

Muscle tightness
Aches and pains
Upset stomach
Anxiety
Depression
Feelings of depletion
Emotional burnout
Emotional outbursts
Withdrawal
Conflict in relationships
Lack of energy

We experience most of the stressors each and every day and no doubt one or more of the symptoms.

We rely on a our time off and a good nights rest / sleep to recover; when that does not happen we may resort to having "just one more" to help sleep. Strange bed, disturbed Circadians etc.

When does that "just one more" reach the boundary, or cross it??

With the continuing drive for savings / increased productivity the hours crews have to work are increasing ( I'm talking Duty here as Flight time may be substantially less than Duty) and the standards they have forced on them are reducing ( cheaper hotels / noisier / poor food / poor facilities). In the end something has to give.

Without a commitment from the airlines to actually practice what they preach in CRM or someone invents a fatigue "breathalyser" things will get worse before they better.

Nardi Riviera
7th Feb 2005, 19:07
Very good post.

As managements prefer to overlook the facts about fatigue, it must be convenient to have media divert attention with cases like this.

Edited: On second thought content of post seemed more suitable for another related thread.


:yuk: :confused: :bored: