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Breathalyser

Old 12th May 2007, 13:05
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Breathalyser

I am a retired airline pilot. I received AAIB Bulletin 5/2007 in which is a report of a collision between an A320 and a pushback tractor which says amongst other things, that when the aircraft returned to a stand the police entered the flight deck and breathalysed both operating flight deck crew. No mention of them breathalysing the groundcrew involved is made. Does anyone know if that in fact happened? Is it a normal procedure?

I retired sixten years ago having enjoyed my aviation career but am very glad that I no longer have to put up with the daily agravation begining with the commute to the airport, then from "security", and seemingly the police too, which the current crews face. And in my day most flight managers were reasonable guys!
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Old 12th May 2007, 13:14
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StandupfortheUlstermen
 
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Mike - I can't speak of the incident to which you refer, but I have been told by a serving officer with Hampshire Constabulary that regardless of what would be considered normal procedure in the aviation world, the Police have the power to breathalyse who they wish under the terms of the R&TS Act 2003 if they feel it is necessary to do so. It's possible they got information on the flight crew only.

As for why they didn't breathalyse the ground crew (or this was not reported) is anyone's guess, but they should have. I can't remember off the top of my head sitting here on a Saturday afternoon, whether the R&TS Act covers airside ground crew other than engineers, but it ought to cover any staff working airside.
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Old 12th May 2007, 15:44
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I guess there is an issue there that if they did breathalyse on the flightdeck this is contrary to the advice issued when the "act" was introduced that all tests should be done remote from the aircraft, for a whole host of reasons.
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Old 12th May 2007, 21:23
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Daysleeper
Standard Noises answer is missleading.
Police now have the power to breath test anyone who falls under the R&TSA, that is ATCO, Pilot, Cabin Crew and Licenced Engineer, if they are invloved in an accident. (there are other reasons, which are covered to death on other threads)
Assuming that the driver of the tug was not a Licienced engineer, irrepsective any any desire to breath test him, they can't, there is no power to. Assuming that there will now be a triade of 'Well, there should be',, I agree.
Daysleeper
There is NO issue as regards to breath testing on a flight deck, if that did indeed happen. The advice you mention is an agreement between ACPO and the CAA. It's exisitance is not a defence, nor is it enforcable in any way, save possibly as a discipline charge against the an officer, and that would be stretching it. It also does not say that a breath test shouldn't be required and undertaken on a flight deck. It advises that any test should be conducted out of view of the public.
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Old 13th May 2007, 04:48
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I believe in the US it is standard procedure to receive a blood test after an aircraft accident.
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Old 13th May 2007, 05:38
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bjcc, the tug driver was in control of a vehicle that was involved in an accident. Therefore he should have been breathalysed whether he was air side or not.
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Old 13th May 2007, 06:39
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I'm sure this has been covered elsewhere but I'm surprised that breathalisers are hardened against the levels of EM radiation likely to be present on flightdecks... on the basis that clicking the transmit switch on the old police radios used to send the brethaliser straight to red....
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Old 13th May 2007, 06:54
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HotDog

The Road Traffic Act does not apply airside. If, the driver was not a licienced Engineer, and tug drivers at LHR are not he cannot be breath tested under either that or the R&TSA.

The BAA and other airports have by laws and when I left LHR they were trying to have a power to breath test drivers airside incorperated in in them, but there were problems with it.
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Old 13th May 2007, 07:39
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> The Road Traffic Act does not apply airside.

How so? Not a "public place"?

What about the Transport and works act 1992?...

http://www.cps.org.uk/cpsfile.asp?id=693

"Police officer may enter any premises where
person believed to be found who works on public
transport, to administer breath test after accident
in which injury believed to have occurred; may
also enter to arrest on suspicion of being over
alcohol limit, or for failure to provide a sample"
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Old 13th May 2007, 07:49
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cwatters
Airside is not a road or other public place, It can be for some offences inside the terminal, but by no stretch of the imagination are the aprons, stands, taxiways etc....
As regards to your quote from the Transport & Works Act. Can i suggest you read the act? Unless I have got it seriously wrong, it applies too, according to S26:
(a) a railway;
(b) a tramway;
(c) a system which uses another mode of guided transport and is specified for the purposes of this Chapter by an order made by the Secretary of State.
None of the above is gives powers airside at an airport.
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Old 13th May 2007, 08:02
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I well remember at LGW many moons ago, about to climb the steps of a 737 when I noticed a 727 pushing back off a stand without any lights at all or obvious marshallers, along comes a catering truck and knocks out the centre engine.

Please explain this, the driver of the catering truck was sacked, his company's insurers paid the bill, it was strongly rumoured that the tug crew had had a few beers before going to collect the aircraft off the stand for either night parking or maintenance.

To me it still stinks.
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