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-   -   Happy Drunk - Ornery Drunk - Fighting Drunk - Dead Drunk (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/566524-happy-drunk-ornery-drunk-fighting-drunk-dead-drunk.html)

probes 22nd Aug 2015 09:26

Happy Drunk - Ornery Drunk - Fighting Drunk - Dead Drunk
got the classification from 'up there' (and hope to be forgiven by Old-not-bold):


Which is interesting, as I happened to watch the "Flight" last week (ok, ok, I know everybody else have long ago) and got curious of how much real life there might be and read this Real Pilots Laugh At ?Flight? - The Daily Beast (the comments to the story are interesting, too)
and was surprised that anybody could think real pilots could be 'dead drunk' and flying. For me the profession was something to stress Whip's stakes were very high, compared to any other job (dunno, maybe doctors would lose their licences as well?).

Anyway. Drink and drive. Not only heavenly spaces. I personally believe there has to be zero limit, even though I've driven (a car, of course) slightly drunk - but one has to know it's not ok and no hope for any slight limit.
Even though I agree that fatique is as risky, or even more (no scale to measure it either).

Stanwell 22nd Aug 2015 10:31

You're quite right about fatigue, probes.
Down my way, it's now the greatest killer on the roads - given the distances. (aside from stupidity, of course)
The pressure on commercial pilots to perform according to the accountants' aspirations is now a real worry.

Shaggy Sheep Driver 22nd Aug 2015 10:41

Talking to now-retired airline pilots, and reading books written by a few (have a look at Arthur Whitlock's wonderful 'Behind the Cockpit Door' for instance), drink featured strongly. Getting plastered the night before a flight was common. One captain known to a friend of mine was an ocean-going alchoholic. He didn't eat - just drank, and drank.

He seemed OK doing his job as long as he was tanked up. Only if he were suffering lack of drink did he become a shaking wreck. On those days, the rest of the crew covered for him.

But, were there any airline accidents caused by drunken crew? My retired airline captain mates can't remember any.

I'm not condoning drinking and flying, and have never done that myself (nor, apart from a few occasions back in me yoof when it was more socially 'acceptable' and I knew no better, have I drunk and driven). But in a multi-crew environment, has drinking been known to be a factor in any airliner accident? Is there a case for tougher anti-drink rules or not?

Stanwell 22nd Aug 2015 10:59

There was a thread running on that subject not so long ago - I can't recall the title of it, though.
Perhaps your search skills might be better than mine.

Loose rivets 22nd Aug 2015 15:31

Why not? The rest of us wouldn’t tolerate such a dangerous colleague in our midst . . .


In other words, a real-life Whitaker wouldn’t survive two minutes at an airline, and all commercial pilots—including, if not especially, those who’ve dealt with drug or alcohol addiction—should feel slandered by his ugly caricature.

A subject close to my heart. Of course, my nemeses were men that flew at the end of, if not in, the war. When finally I'd had enough I stormed out of the best job I'd had - well, in pay anyway.

For the first time I recently wrote a bit of it up in R&N, and to my astonishment, it was allowed to remain - for a while at least. I've always intended writing the whole horrifying 18 months up on PPRuNe, but despite being willing to battle in court, it was years too late. Back then, some of the people that failed to do the right thing had become friends. Two of them close friends. I was torn then but now I'm concerned as it doesn't seem fair to attack folk that are no longer able to defend themselves. Perhaps what I'd do is leave out the names and airline as I did on R&N. Perhaps.

Gordomac 22nd Aug 2015 17:01

SSD. Lovely post. I flew with Arthur on the NE Tripot 1e and it was HE who got me drinkin ! We were never drunk on duty, drink was never an issue, drink never featured in incidents. Good grief. Burt (as we say in the north) thanks to Art, I stumbled out of the vanners, couldn't get the door key to engage on my yellow (Gahd I L O V E D Northeast) Spitfire Mk1V & this silly little cop said, "Excuse me, you are not going to drive are you ?" ...........I shed, " Well of course I'm goin to drive, ..........I'm too pished to walk !"........................Drove home to Oxford for hell's sake. No-one hurt and sobred up en route . Demolished a bag of Maltesers & toffee eclaires. Still got all me teeth now & never had a drink/drive/fly related incident. Burt, from an anorexic 8stone three , I balloooned to 15st. Now, THERE's a discussion item !

Shaggy Sheep Driver 22nd Aug 2015 19:00

Loose, where have your quotes come from? Not from a post on this thread it seems?

probes 22nd Aug 2015 19:35

the link to the article in the Daily Beast. The first link is to a thread in the R&N (I might have been more specific there).

old,not bold 22nd Aug 2015 20:08

Once upon a time ('70s), we hired a pilot to operate mainly between the UAE mainland and an island oil terminal, some 100 miles offshore. He flew as Captain on the F27, as well as flying the Skyvan single-crew. He was a quiet, friendly chap, if a little withdrawn.

All went well for many months, perhaps as long as a year. He was a model staff member, on-time, reliable, friendly, proficient. None of the F/Os who flew with him ever made any adverse comments, officially or otherwise.

The programme was arranged so that everyone got home in the evening; there were no scheduled nightstops away from base.

However one day, the F27 went tech at the island terminal on its last visit of the day, and the crew were invited to spend the night in the oil company's lavish facilities. Lavish, but totally dry, bringing alcohol was a sacking offence.

At about 2.00 am, our pilot was arrested, staggering about the mess, totally out of control, shouting and cursing and demanding a drink. He was restrained under medical care, and diagnosed as an alcoholic suffering severe withdrawal symptoms.

It transpired that with his wife's help, he kept the alcohol level in his blood at a level that would cause most people to pass out. From the day he had started, he had been in this condition every time he flew, as he was, of course at all other times as well. The unexpected lack of alcohol that night was the cause of his downfall.

We put him and his long-suffering, but guilty as hell, wife on the first flight to Europe, and that was the last we saw of him.

I later discovered that within a few weeks he was back flying helicopters (he was well-qualified) on the North Sea. No-one had asked us why he left; we would have told them if they had. I did take some action, not wishing to read that he had killed himself and his passengers and crew because I did nothing, but it was ignored, as far as I knew.

probes 23rd Aug 2015 07:42


- which brings us to the fact that mostly people like to, khm, use some poetic licence to make the stories a bit more colourful? :ouch:
Even though I've heard similar ones of superskilled spirited men on the ground as well.

(P.S thanks for forgiving me nicking the phrase for the thread title, Old, not bold!)

Krystal n chips 23rd Aug 2015 07:46

[I"]Drove home to Oxford for hell's sake. No-one hurt and sobred up en route . Demolished a bag of Maltesers & toffee eclaires. Still got all me teeth now & never had a drink/drive/fly related incident" [/I]

Assuming the above is factually correct, congratulations on being a first class irresponsible moron.

"Sobering up", as you quaintly state, whilst driving is, frankly, beyond comprehension. If you wish to porridge yourself, that's fine ( apart from the grief you may induce in your family, relatives and friends that is ), but putting an unquantifiable number of other road users at risk suggests a cavalier philosophy overall.

The fact you claim to have never had a drink / driving incident would appear to be down to pure luck....and nothing else.

There's only one safe limit......zero alcohol in your bloodstream irrespective of the context.

SOPS 23rd Aug 2015 08:48

If only they could measure fatigue the same way they can measure alcohol consumption. I think the results might shock a lot of people.

slowjet 23rd Aug 2015 10:50

Oh C'mon Crystal ! It was way back then. Should the poor guy have walked ? He already told the cop he was too pished for that ! I think it was all a bit tongue in cheek. Around Art's time, I was there too. We all had landing drinks & we all went on to the glorious "Vanners". Some claimed to have spent the night on the floor of the Vanners ! Probably, in those days, at spilling out time, there was no-one on the road to Oxford.

I agree with SOPS. Different measurement techniques, different afflictions and widely different results. Try, also, coming in to work whilst enduring a messy divorce.Massive influence on performance. Random Psyche testing perhaps. Crystal would love that !

Crystal, rounding on chaps with such anger is worrying, actually. Touch of the green eye ? Always wanted a yellow Mk1V Spit ? Chill, or we might head even faster for the pure state you goody goody seeks. Not advocating drink/driving either, but you probably missed that. No humour, no Mk1V, zero tolerance......................, thought of N Korea ?

Shaggy Sheep Driver 23rd Aug 2015 12:01

That's K&C for you.

My Mk1V was French Blue. :ok:

Stanwell 23rd Aug 2015 14:28

I think we'd like to hear a bit more about that one - thread drift, pah!
C'mon, mate, tell.

Krystal n chips 23rd Aug 2015 14:49

" Crystal, rounding on chaps with such anger is worrying, actually. Touch of the green eye

Actually, it's Krystal.....with a K.

No matter. Different times I agree, but "rounding on chaps"....oh dear, therein my lie the answer.

"Good chaps" of course, are, as they like to think, immune from such trivia as the Road Traffic Act.

Hence not a trace of green eyed envy as you infer.....much more worrying however is your own disdain for the laws about drinking and driving.

"one for the road old chap ?"

Shaggy Sheep Driver 23rd Aug 2015 16:32

Stanwell - this isn't mine, but it's exactly the same as mine, even down to the boot rack:

Triumph Spitfire Mk. IV SOLD (1973) on Car And Classic UK [C05449]

Fantastic car for a young single guy as I was back then! Bought it new in 1972.

Stanwell 23rd Aug 2015 16:45

Very nice. Ta for that.

old,not bold 23rd Aug 2015 17:44

Even though I've heard similar ones of superskilled spirited men on the ground as well
Oh dear; I think my point must have been unclear. The story was not embellished, and neither is it a story about a "superskilled spirited man". It is a cautionary tale that real, 100%, total, alcoholics get very, very good at disguising their condition. Vodka is the weapon of choice, of course, as there is no smell on the breath.

There was a secondary point; he got another job very easily, because few if any effective checks were carried out. This can still happen in 2015, and something needs to be done about that.

BOING 24th Aug 2015 06:01

I remember the times when getting smashed with your buddies was considered a hoot but drinking alone was a very suspect activity. There is a certain logic to this.


slowjet 25th Aug 2015 09:14

Careful Boing, K&C with a K might call you a moron. I think I was. I only had an MGB, British racing green (of course). Chick's who stumbled out of the Vanners with us seemed to prefer you Spitfire boys.

BOING 26th Aug 2015 03:29

Spitfire car rebuild in progress right now. Somehow there was a mistake in my parts collection and it ended up with a BMW 4 cylinder up front. I just tell the lookers that the BMW stands for Birmingham Motor Works.

Thinking of painting it BRG.

K&C probably thinks I'm in my second childhood! Wrong, I haven't finished the first one yet. :ok::ok::ok:


Krystal n chips 26th Aug 2015 07:27

" K&C with a K might call you a moron"

Not at all. I have enjoyed plenty of nights socialising shall we say and people do.

You do, however, more than qualify for the term moron when you subsequently ignore your responsibility for your own, and others, lives by driving, operating machinery, flying, driving a train, to name but a few examples, when you have been drinking.

Dead simple you might say.

AtomKraft 26th Aug 2015 07:47

Things have changed.

My chum (he's about 70, still likes a gargle) told me of a time when he staggered out the pub in Largs one sunny afternoon.

He was on his umpteenth attempt at unlocking his car when the policeman approached him. "Have you been drinking, sir?"

"'Course I bloody have", said Hughie.

"Well, be very careful" said the officer.

And he was. Like I say, things have changed.

slowjet 26th Aug 2015 12:54

K&C : I guess 80% of flyboys in the 70's were morons then. I don't recall a single airline incident. I don't recall any of us morons being involved in alcohol related incidents.ANY ! Point everyone is making is that alcohol will influence in an individual manner. Zero tolerance is a bit harsh and the very low limits imposed these days are pretty well a zero tolerance. OK, if that's the deal, we sign up to it. In the 70's, it was not the deal and I know of no-one who got hurt or hurt others. Balance dear boy. You do seem to be struggling with good sense on this topic. Pity. Most of your other posts are sheer delight. In N Korea, you won't even have access to a laptop. Careful. Cripes, I think you might even like that !

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