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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 7th Apr 2007, 16:31
  #161 (permalink)  
 
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Looks to be a fairly good piece on it here - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6535517.stm
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 16:37
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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A pilot arrested on suspicion of being over the alcohol limit has been cleared after tests found heavy dieting had caused his breath to smell like drink.
Scientists say low-carbohydrate diets can produce acetone in the body, which may fool breath test equipment.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6535517.stm
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 16:54
  #163 (permalink)  
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That is some serious diet if his breath smelt of 'alcohol'. The fact that it was a prolonged low carb diet leads to the hope that it was being regularly monitored by a medical doctor. Acetone breath can also occur in diabetics, mainly Type 1, less so in maturity-onset (Type 2)
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 17:03
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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Atkins

People on the Atkins diet can smell very badly of Ketones which could be confused with the smell of alcohol.
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 17:09
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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ok that settles it then - we all go on the Atkins diet to confuse security!

Glad to hear he is in the clear and I hope he goes for any compensation he can get and max embarassment to those that dobbed him in.
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 17:35
  #166 (permalink)  
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To be fair to the security people it could have been a genuine error. If they thought they smelt alcohol then perhaps they were correct to report it. Note the words could and perhaps.

On the other points, I for one as an aviation professional am happy he has been proven not to be operating under the influence of alcohol - something I doubted from the first.

I wonder how many of the "string him up" club will come forward and apologise, maybe they might start a separate thread on here!
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 18:25
  #167 (permalink)  
 
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[email protected] should have problems travelling by air from here on in ..if natural justice exists.

A personal apology in the very same newspaper should be the minimum requirement to get the junior jet club badge back.
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 18:36
  #168 (permalink)  
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Replace the breathalyser with a lie detector - "Have you recently taken alcohol?"
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 19:32
  #169 (permalink)  

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So where are the apologies from B757-200 (aka the Airbus family from JB?) and pals?
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 19:32
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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Sounds like they need to find an alternative to breathalysers if such false positives can occur - if your instruments are unreliable then either get a better one or at least have a second-line test that can produce results real quick. Might also be an idea to assign Sun journalists to outside seats if they're planning on flying in the near future.

I hadn't read the Sun's article until the link was posted here today, down to their usual standards of accuracy and calm, unbiased reporting, I see (which is why I rarely look at it, my choice in comics is higher than that).
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 19:35
  #171 (permalink)  
 
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He should have an apology printed everywhere and rightly so,bloody airport rent-a-cops shouldn't have anything to do with aircrew anyway.
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 20:18
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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So if Airport Security or indeed any other person suspect a Flight Crew member is going on duty and they suspect he has consumed alcohol, are they supposed to ignore it? do nothing about it?. Personally I feel any responsible person would bring it to the attention of the Authorities. Would you want you wife, son, daughter,mum, dad or whatever in the care of an intoxicated person, be they Pilot, Doctor, Taxi Driver, Bus Driver, Surgeon !!!!!.

The Police are called to deal with it, Now the questions must start, what type of reading did they get, is there a printed record from their analysis machine. Bear in mind breath is the least accurate method of analysis. How they arrived at their decision to arrest and detain for further investigation may be open to question. But thank God for the blood specimen, this has proved innocence.

The real disgrace in this case lies in the reporting, the character assination. In fact I think its essential that those who provided info to the press, that printed grossly incorrect information face the full rigours of the law. Some Newspapers in the UK will print "ANYTHING". Truth does not seem to matter.

In future, where a pilot is tested for, or detained on suspicion of, such an offence. It should be done in privacy and as discretely as possible, NO OFFENCE, NO BREACH OF RULE OF LAW HAS BEEN COMMITTED, the information does not belong in the public domain. The rights of, identity of and career of the person must be protected.

Tomorrow, perhaps even tonight, it could be me, or you, blowing into that machine. But we should not face trial by media for the mere fact that we were required under law to provide a specimen.
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 21:19
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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Ref. Apology from B757-200

Lon More and everyone else that has asked for apologies and retraction of others statements before the facts, I doubt that we will ever see one from this little wanabee. It appears that as 'B757-200' from Southend (Essex) on Spectator Balcony (Spotters Corner) he wants bits and pieces of aircraft to put in his bedroom (WTF?). It gets better 'cos it appears that he also masquerades as BA767-300 claiming to be a 'friend' of B757-200 also asking for aircraft parts and in his profile listing him/herself as a student from Essex .

A serious subject with serious repercussions requiring serious debate by the professionals this issue may affect, if more legislation is implemented within the industry, infiltrated by a snot nosed little sh1t who has no comprehension of what the actions taken against this pilot can have personally on this individual and industry wide if changes are deemed 'necessary'. Not got anything against the company but Boeings '757-200' and '767-300 'are on my avoid list from now on.
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 22:47
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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Just gonna be simple on this one. "Glad to have you back mate, albeit very short." K

Last edited by sign-it-to-your-room; 8th Apr 2007 at 10:09.
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Old 8th Apr 2007, 01:33
  #175 (permalink)  
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This could make me unpopular but if the guy's breath smelled of 'alcohol' and the original allegation was not malicious, why is compensation due?
The Police provided results of follow up tests (blood alc) which were reported in the media within 9 days. Virgin may like to write to all Pax on the affected flight who witnessed the arrest, explaining the exoneration, as a PR exercise.

I would like to know if the guy was breathalysed in the a/c or just sniffed
Whether the breathalyser, if used, was calibrated to 9 or 32 mg
Why he was allowed to board the a/c and not detained in the Privacy of the crew room ie complaint should be imm referred to Co as well as Police

In an aside, media report the current Mr Universe was detained in US for drunken behaviour after a complaint from a member of the public. Although the Police quickly established he was a diabetic having a hypoglycaemic event, he was still arrested for taking an 'aggressive stance' when challenged.

I once witnessed a swearing, agressive female in hospital. I was appalled until the Dr explained she was a diabetic having a 'hypo'

Innocent until proven guilty, so wait for the facts
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Old 8th Apr 2007, 08:25
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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Having been Plod before flying what you have to take into account is that a breath testing device used on an aircraft or at the roadside (Its the same one, you just press a different button to set the limit) is a screening device only. It gives a fairly accurate indication, that gives the required grounds needed for an arrest. It DOES NOT constitue evidence for prosecution. On arrest a person is taking to a Police Station where they are put on a calibrated breath test machine. If they then provide a positive sample then it is this that is used for a charge. If it is negative, as would appear in this case, and impairment is still suspected then a blood sample is taken, and analysed by a lab for a result.
I would say in my career about 30% of the people who provided positive breath tests at the roadside gave negative results at the station.
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Old 8th Apr 2007, 08:55
  #177 (permalink)  
 
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it doesn't matter wether malicious or not.
Deciding wether flight crew are fit for duty has **** all to do with the security people. Perhaps if the just did their own job well instead of trying to play billy-big-balls and do everyone elses then it would be a slightly better place to work.
If rent-a-cops want to to this then fine, send them on a course, give them a breathaliser and let them make these accusations to peoples faces. Otherwise they are just little pathetic men pretending to be big men because they can hide behind their own anonimity.
FWIW I'm always polite to the security people and often have a chat, especially if its at oh-my-god-o'clock in the morning, when we all need a bit of lively chat, and 95% of them are good people but even with this positive attitude I still come across the odd one who just has a chip on his shoulder and wants to be nasty regarldess of how nice anyone else is.
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Old 8th Apr 2007, 10:22
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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AlexL

You say that judging aircrew fitness has nothing to do with airport security, but that assumes that they have judged. There is nothing to say that is the case. They smell alcohol, they call Police, who have the equiptment to make a judement as to whether a person has a BAC above a prescribed limit. At no point in that chain, has anyone 'judged' fitness to act as crew.

Reporting people to Police is a common occurance in the UK, and probably in most other countries. Sometimes it is done with malicious intent, mostly however, not. To try to deter those who believe they are being public spirited would be to everyones disadvantage ultimatly.

avrodamo

In the case of people arrested under this act, there is an agreement between ACPO and the CAA that blood will be taken rather than the evidencial second breath test, a delay in results is of course the disadvanage in this agreement. I always found the screening device to be accurate with those I arrested for drink drive, occationaly, someone blew one or 2 points under the limit on the evidience test, but that would be accounted for by time difference between tests and the BAC going down. The same applies to when the Evidiencial screening test machine was not available and blood was taken as an alternative, if the result came back under it was by a margin that would be expected in the time between original test and the doctor arriving at the Station to take a blood sample.
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Old 8th Apr 2007, 11:48
  #179 (permalink)  
 
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What is interesting to note is how damning a misleading newspaper article can be. I have spoken to several people in my social circle in the last 24 hours and they have brought this case up, ie "Did you read about that Virgin pilot who was caught going to fly under the influence...etc?". I have then had to go into defensive mode and acquaint them with the facts but trouble is too many people believe what they read in the newspapers.
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Old 8th Apr 2007, 13:10
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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People on the Atkins diet can smell very badly of Ketones which could be confused with the smell of alcohol.
Received medical wisdom -- or at least it was when I went to med school -- is that it takes three days of complete carbohydrate starvation to start burning ketone bodies and therefore have your breath smell ketotic.

That is some diet! Good idea to fly when on that kind of extreme regime?

QDM
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