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VS A340 pilot breathalysed at LHR: WRONGLY ACCUSED

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VS A340 pilot breathalysed at LHR: WRONGLY ACCUSED

Old 2nd Apr 2007, 08:02
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B757-200.......

.......and how can you expect a captain or f/o to handle an Airbus A340-600 in an emergency by himself???

Pardon...WTF are you on about? What would happen if the Captain became incapacitated by illness etc during the flight???? Think you will find an F/O could land an A340-600 or any other aeroplane by him/herself if he/she had to.......
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 08:14
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Non emo

Being objective rather than emotional, if this person is found guilty of the alleged offence I agree that he should recieve help with his problem , but I would question if he is the made of the "right stuff" to be returned to a position of such responsibilty. I would think this difficult to argue against
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 08:22
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Best of luck being rehabbed too. I just hope he's found not guilty.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 08:32
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VS have always proved to be very caring and supportive employers in the past, there's no reason why they should change in the future. They have a robust drugs and alcohol policy in place. So does BALPA.

However, what the witterers on this thread are forgetting is that IF the facts as reported by the press are correct, and IF this pilot is charged and convicted, then he/she has committed a criminal offence. In most companies that is a sackable offence. In addition, he/she will fail the CRC check and will have their airside pass withdrawn by the BAA - and that is a sackable offence.

For their sake I hope it's all a mistake.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 08:33
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Hi there all,

I was Cabin Crew for 2 years with Virgin and all the flight crew i flew with in this time, were highly professional and this story has come as a complete shock to me.

Too many people here are judging too quickly... YES i agree it was a foolish and iresponsible thing to do... but none of us know the reasons behind this, it could be deeper than we think.... i'm not defending anyone.

I'd like to add, that Virgin Atlantic are a tremendous support network to their staff and i know that the individual in question, will recieve the help he needs... I KNOW that VS won't treat this matter lightly for a minute and will do what is right....

Let them decide..

Sweetmissy x
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 08:40
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I hope this has been a mistake and that the crew member involved is innocent.
If not proper support should be given but punishment should also be equal to the offence.
Difficult to ignore by ground staff if the crew member was obviously intoxicated and turning a blind eye is simply not an option.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 08:50
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Talking Here we go again!

This guy should be ok no matter how drunk he was. He can always use the "I was reporting sick on the radio" defence or the "I was going to report sick before V1" defence. Should not be a problem.

Thank god for the Security staff!
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:09
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Yes, thank God for those poorly educated, numbnuts, Police Academy reject, rent-a-cops-with-attitude who when not gleefully relieving you of your nail-clippers, now, along with the hotel check-out girl, seem to have a mandate to assess the fitness of the airline crews.

Especilly if you've spoken back to them...

"Thank god for the Security staff!"
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:15
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YoDawg - the Security staff do seem to be very competent at assessing the fitness of crews to fly though don't they? Shame the crews aren't!
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:24
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They certainly do, especially as they seem capable of boarding the aircraft in-flight...

"At 8.59am yesterday morning, March 31, officers at Heathrow Airport arrested a 47-year-old male pilot onboard a Virgin Atlantic flight en route to JFK."
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:28
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Blimey - did not realise they were that good though!
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:38
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As I understand it many more accidents/incidents are related to fatigue and stress, than too alcohol. Will the nice security chaps be tipping off police next time we look tired?

I asked a speaker from the AAIB if he could tell me of any that had occured due to alcohol, he was not sure if there had been any in the UK. Does anyone know of any?
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:42
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Nine microgrammes of alcohol in breath, compared with 35 microgrammes for motorists is rather low when you consider the body produces it naturally too. I'm no scientist but surely mouthwash, cough jollop or a good triffle could fuse to put someone over this limit if they're not thinking about time spans very carefully? My concern however is that lack of sleep and management stress are arguabley more of a risk to flight safety yet this goes uncommented in the press because it's not as exciting to readers as the idea of a pissed up pilot.

VFE.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:45
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We should all remember that there are always 2 sides to every story and if that doesn't do the trick for you then you then how about the 'innocent until proved guilty' notion. Just imagine how this guy is feeling today no matter how he came to find himself in this position.

My thoughts and sympathies are with him and his family.

mcdhu
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:48
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Wait a minute.

Why is it now open season on the security personnel? If indeed they reported a suspicion then they are guilty of nothing more than doing what they are paid for. I've noticed amongst pilots that there is often the impression that what security do to us is done through spite. Wrong. Their rules are non-negotiable, as are many of our SOPs. Furthermore, many of their rules - regardless of how petty we may consider them - are utlimately more crucial and fundamental to flight safety than the reams of rules we have to live by.

Incidentally, whilst matters in this event are currently at the stage of rumour and hearsay - I also wonder why the mentions of a future rehabilitation. Is it not impossible that a person may be over the very low alcohol limit for reasons other than having an alcohol dependency? I think there are. Again, my opinion, I believe this rush to medicalise and treat is misplaced and inappropriate given what is known at this stage.

Best of luck to anyone involved.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 10:07
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the Security staff do seem to be very competent at assessing the fitness of crews to fly though don't they
Not at all! The only people they seem to identify are those who turn up stinking of booze, and even a retard could do that, not that the two groups are mutually exclusive.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 10:16
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Classic. And true.


"He argued with me, he must be under the influence. Wait til he actually gets on board the airplane, then we'll have him cold."


These rent-a-cops may have a mandate to "assess" the crew, they may not. Either way, I find them about as appealing as piles or a kick in the groin.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 10:32
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Just when I thought Sky news were worth a modicum of respect as a news agency, they let loose some punk haired idiot with an opinion about pilots earning 120000 pa and that we should all be breathalysed each time we go to work.

I have no problem with that, just as long as it applies to everyone else as well. Judging by his comments, he would be a good place to start...btw, who was that idiot?
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 11:08
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Personally, I would have hoped his crew would have taken him aside at Crew report.

Virgin is a tough job; no way out of major longhaul. How they keep a "normal" home life together is beyond me. Much support and though needed from the company. Airlines can only push their crews to the limit so often, beyond that these cracks start to appear across the whole crew.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 11:09
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Fatigue worse than "technical" alc level exceedance

I have seen many examples of fatigue being much more dangerous than what would be only infrequently termed real drunkeness. It was interesting that as I listened to the initial BBC broadcasts on the internet this morning the pilot was described as being drunk. Very quickly that was altered to allegedly in excess of the legal limit for a pilot. We all know there is some argument here as to what a drunk is and someone who is technically over a limit.

Look at it like this. What is the alcholic volume limit of a coach driver? I would assume the same as a car driver. However the coach driver has enormously strict limits on his/her rest. I have been positioning crew on coaches where the driver tells you that he MUST have a break. He doesn't seem to have any discretion. However following such positioning journeys (eg: LGW-MAN folowing a 10 hour plus duty through the previous night) we are considered as crew safe to drive home when sitting bolt upright in a coach seat has given us no rest whatsoever. That's acceptable is it?

I don't want anyone to think that I condone being "drunk" in charge of an aircraft but what I am trying to emphasise is that UK airline employers expect us to drive home in our cars at the end of a long and possibly stressful duty when so fatigued because we have used up so much mental energy just landing an aircraft on a runway with a 30 knot crosswind. The attitude is that we are just doing our job when perfoming a landing like that and shouldn't be considered that we have done anything special. But you know the most special thing is how we somehow then manage to safely carry out the drive home!

This attitude that we are somehow some sort of special people when we are flying and not just the same vulnerable human beings outside of our duties is the thing that annoys me most about this job. It is idiotic to expect us to be anything that we could not possibly be everyday of our difficult lives.

I will watch with enormous interest as to how this Virgin pilot was assessed as a risk by security staff. Maybe he was angry with them! Have you tried doing back to back early-ish starts and constant disruption and then being the life and soul of aviation? It's all a complete pain. The only peace you get is up above the clouds with the most wonderfully proffesional pewople I have ever been involved with (I've been in aviation 30 years).

That these reports do the pilot community a diservice is wrong and we should have more vocal support for pilots and their workforce than the BBC saying that another pilot was drunk. hOW DIID THEY KNOW THAT?
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