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Sun Article - US Pilot Arrested for being over alcohol limit

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Sun Article - US Pilot Arrested for being over alcohol limit

Old 24th Oct 2008, 19:44
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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ribt4t

Think you'll find that while that was an issue with the first electronic breath test machines, it has long since been resolved, and it is no longer an issue.
However, so far as this legislation is concerned and in the Uk, the final reading is the result of blood test, not breath testing. Although a breath or urine sample can be required, by vertue of an agreement with the CAA, blood is used.

Obviously, if the result of the initial breath test is close to the prescribed limit, by the time the blood test is given at a Police station (usually between 30 mins and 1.5 hours later) the BAC will have gone below the limit. In that sense there are going to be people who were over the limit at time of arrest, who are below or indeed completly clear by the time of blood test. While that does not make them guilty, or mean they 'got off', it does not make the initial breath test wrong.

For those who persist with the theory that Breath Testing cannot detect lower levels of alcohol, there are many Countries that have a zero BAC for drivers, who manage to detect anything above that by way of breath test, both in initial screening and in evidential testing.
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Old 24th Oct 2008, 21:07
  #102 (permalink)  
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Obviously, if the result of the initial breath test is close to the prescribed limit, by the time the blood test is given at a Police station (usually between 30 mins and 1.5 hours later) the BAC will have gone below the limit.

Unless of course they had ingested a quantity of booze before they were breathalysed (20 minute rule acknowledged). In that case the continued digestion of alcohol would see an increase in the level of alcohol in their blood.
 
Old 24th Oct 2008, 22:45
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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It worries me that so many people spend so much time trying to justify the consumption of ethanol before flying. Which is more important, the drug or the job? It surprises me that there are pilots who drink any alcohol at all, given how extremely unwise it is to take drugs and fly.

Is it also okay to take a sleeping pill or two, or amphetamine, or a bit of opium? For that matter, is it okay to take in nicotine from cigarettes? Why is it so hard to just skip the drugs entirely? Why do people feel that they MUST drink? Why is not drinking such an intolerable sacrifice in exchange for a career as a pilot? What are the real priorities?
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Old 24th Oct 2008, 23:00
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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It is not because we choose a career in the cockpit that we can't indulge in some of lifes forbidden little pleasures.
It is finally just a job, and nowadays that is the reality ,rather than whatever halcyon days you may still be living in.
As long as you control your behaviour to remain legal when obliged, that is enough , Non ?
Or you think being a pilot is akin to becoming a Monk, Oh sure pass the vows of celibacy/sobriety or whatever I'll sign them right now. Phaw
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 11:23
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BelArgUSA

sorry to hear of your loss, but good to hear some reasonable reply along with captplaystation--(i know who you are! Ha)

some are control freaks, some are lacking in self control. there is a very wide range in between those two stops and hopefully most of us fit somewhere in the middle most of the time, but on occasion, do hit either end, and again, hopefully, bounce back to the middle. some live and die on either end.

there are some who love to tell others what to do, there are some who need to be told what to do, and there are some who can figure most things out on their own. we flow between those landmarks in various times and areas of life and work.

i have seen some who were total abstainers and in truth were, some who said they were and really weren't, and some who actually could not function without some level of alcohol in their system, but were still head and shoulders above the rest of us mere mortals.

there is something to be said for freedom and something to be said for a policing of that freedom.

Last edited by stator vane; 25th Oct 2008 at 11:38.
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 21:37
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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I remember reading an article ( relating to driving but the results are just as relevant) which identified the loss of ability suffered whilst driving with a heavy head cold to be worse than that suffered at quite a bit over the limit (for driving, so much more than the flying limit)
Many companies take a dim view of pilot's pulling sickies for mere head colds. Again, like fatigue, no-one makes a big deal out of someone coming to work (infecting all his colleagues BTW) with a cold. I have had the misfortune of flying with younger colleagues, either too new/young/intimidated/ inexperienced to know to stay home, and have seen some woefully inadequate performances from otherwise very competent individuals.
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 22:48
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Stator Vane.

Absolutely. Well said. Can't we end it there ?

Oh to live in a Perfect World.

( but then everyone would be a clone of me, and it would be SO borin' )
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Old 26th Oct 2008, 20:06
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Drink

It is ok to drink ethonal as put further up, I work the other side of the door and have reguarly seen flight crew drunk the night before, not 1 or 2 drinks but "DRUNK" and it's not 1 or 2 people

It's not just flight crew but CC also, it is very worrying that crew get worried when flying with such people and I am sure there are a few in every airline. Some choose to turn a blind eye, at what risk do we do this, fatigue is mentioned, so what do you think alcohol is going to do to that individual when they are drunk.

We take the jobs knowing the rules so why blatantly break them and when caught we are up in arms, because it's easy not to take responsibility for our actions, to blame someone else and to tell the regulators there wrong.

Well I hope it was all a mistake, but if not the risks were known!!

Happy flying
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Old 26th Oct 2008, 20:42
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People react differently to alcohol.
Metabolism and body weight also are a tremendous factor to include.
A beer for a skinny guy like me (135 lbs/62 kg) has not same effect for a fat giant.
Three beers do not affect me, 3 glasses of wine make me sleepy. One whisky and I am drunk.
My wife got out of control with one half of these amounts, yet she was same weight.
And drinking with a meal has lesser effect, than with an empty stomach.
I have a few "drunk buddies". One is a happy drunk, another gets violent, the third falls asleep.
There are racial differences. Recall the effects of alcohol for the native American tribes.
xxx
So, to my opinion, it would be difficult to establish limits applying to everyone.
When I was around 20 of age and wild, I would go for 4, 5 even 6 beers. Then drive.
Never got an accident, never got a ticket (was the lenient 1960s, and I was stupid then).
And definitely would not do that anymore. Maturity changed me.
Now if invited for a "second beer", I say NO if I am driving.
xxx
Stay dry when you fly/drive. Do not overdo it - 8 or 12 hrs, as it applies to you.

Happy contrails
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Old 26th Oct 2008, 23:47
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I only know "first hand" of 1 case of a known alcoholic pilot that crashed in the jungle, probably under the influence. It was on a (very) small conmuter plane in rural south america. He perished in the accident, as did the passengers, some 15 years ago.

I do know that, some 20 years ago, it wasn't so uncommon to see pilots in parts of Europe (I have a close relative who is one) drink party-time the night before a flight. But, of course, they all tried to be responsably as sober and rested as possible around the flying time.

Just to light things up: YouTube - Foster Brooks as Drunk pilot on Dean Martin Show

Last edited by justme69; 27th Oct 2008 at 01:25.
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Old 26th Oct 2008, 23:49
  #111 (permalink)  

 
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Originally Posted by pink dolley
... I work the other side of the door and have reguarly seen flight crew drunk the night before ...
Pink Dolley, there is no polite way of saying this, so I won't try.
You are lying.

There is no Western European airline where flight crews are reguarly (sic) drunk the night before a flight.
(not including other regions because I lack first hand experience)

Their fellow pilots wouldn't condone it, their cabin crews would not fly with them, their station managers would cancel their flights and airport security staff delights in reporting the merest suspicion of flight crew under the influence of alcohol.
PinkD, pilots/FAs over the legal limit happen, but they are a very rare occurrence and you know it.

Unlike what Bubba appears to think of Europe and the way we do things, Europe has come a long way since the days when drinking and flying were thought to be a normal combination.
European rules require companies to have a preventive programme in place where Pilots and FAs are regularly taught about the effects of alcohol and other drugs, are encouraged to consult with company doctors about how to solve sleep/stress/marital/life problems by other means than drugs and are instructed to not stand by idly when they see a colleague in trouble. Flight crews know that they themselves breach the law if they suspect a colleague is over a limit and they fail to take appropriate action.
The climate of tolerance that once existed, exists no longer.

Most major European airlines, like those in the States, also have programmes to spot the rare alcoholic and help him/her overcome the addiction. Unlike addressing widespread endemic fatigue, addressing incidental alcoholism makes financial sense.

Prevention and treatment for drug/alcohol addiction have their place in modern civil aviation.
But writing here that flight crews are a bunch of irresponsible drunks shows an appalling ignorance of current practices in civil aviation.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 01:07
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Pink Dolley, there is no polite way of saying this, so I won't try.
You are lying.

There is no Western European airline where flight crews are reguarly (sic) drunk the night before a flight.
Sounds like that river in Egypt...
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 21:49
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Don't think so

Judd

As I have said there are those don't want to believe, and yes I have seen flight crew drunk as well as CC and you as flight crew cannot be that naive.

Does not happen you say, have we forgot the undercover work, drugs at BHX that were actualy security, BA drunk on take off after a night partying, Aliyah the singer killed through a pilot who had taken drugs. If you do not think this is happening you are in denial.

Flight crew reguarly drink the night before, some are controlled some are not, it happens, so why do you think i am lying, it hasn't happend to you, what a saint of an airline you are in!!!

Personally you should re-think before calling people liars, I have seen and pretty sure there are a lot of people on here will have too.

Happy flying

PS I said the night before, but guess they were not under the legal limit when they flew.
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 06:13
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In the case of the Oslo Captain a failed Breath test was followed by a zero blood test - the Captain resigned because he felt a sacking was the likely outcome.
Huh? Doesn't BA have something like a union? I think this one doesn't pass the smell test. He quit to prove his innocence I suppose?

Is there some chance he will be made whole?
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 06:33
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In the meantime can we try and support this individual by not making further comment and letting the legal process take place.
Absolutely - see post #35.

You may not wish to 'support' - but is it your place to 'condemn', either ?

I hereby withdraw from this thread - not that I suppose anyone cares ? Tough.
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 11:27
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Originally Posted by Airbubba
Huh? Doesn't BA have something like a union? I think this one doesn't pass the smell test.
You might want to get your nose recalibrated as Exeng is correct on both counts.
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 15:11
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Did the union at BA leave these guys twisting in the wind? Or, was the evidence against them so overwhelming that they had no chance to stay employed?

Is there a possibilty that they will get their jobs back?

The implication in the earlier posting is that these pilots were terminated for an unjust accusation. Wouldn't the union go to bat and fight these cases? Mine sure would, that's why I pay dues.
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 15:26
  #118 (permalink)  
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Airbubba, it did indeed happen like that. Sad to say long careers destroyed with no actual guilt applied! No going back- that's how it is these days. It seems to have almost the same cachet as paedophilia nowadays, with guilt immediately being implied everywhere, even here. The frequent subsequent exoneration seems to barely get a mention and the original case is long forgotten by the time it happens. But in the meantime, there's some fine sounding off and preaching the 'perils of drink', not least, here! There really is a case for only reporting the news here, then banning discussion on it until a guilty verdict is reached, and if not guilty....what is there to actually discuss? Following a Not Guilty verdict, the whole thing is no damn business of anybody's here, and indeed, brings the profession into disrepute even for discussing it for no reason!

Whilst I barely drink, I know a lot of my colleagues enjoy it. How can anyone imply that merely to be a pilot means you should never have a drink? It is just a job, not a way of life, and increasingly a job very ordinarily paid. The pay is not enough to restrict life for people. We are getting too many incidences of people being disrupted because they dared to take mouthwash. And as for pilots flying drunk, it does not happen. Colleagues will not allow it. Once again there is some absolute garbage being spouted here.

This is really rather sad, isn't it?:
skynews also reporting the story...

If it's true he should be fired..

Last edited by Rainboe; 28th Oct 2008 at 15:45.
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Old 29th Oct 2008, 10:09
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Drunk pilots

All,

I am not blaming him, read my first post I hope it's a mistake, what I fail to see is..........that a lot of people do not think it go's on, I have worked many years inthe job and it does happen.

Whether you like it or not it happens, the matter of being caught or prosecuted or your friends / colleagues shopping you is a different argument one of which many people I have worked with have toiled over with the many lines like "do you know what would happen", "Your word against his" etc etc, It is more difficult than you think, forget the CRM unless they are blind drunk or an outsider (security, public) informs someone it is probably never going to happen.


If you fail a breath test as with a motoring offence you are right, you give a blood sample to be more accurate. However if you fail you are arrested under suspicion, nothing more nothing less. Hence why I said I hope it's wrong.

We work in an environment where it is unsocialble to drink, we are away for long periods etc so you are likely to join your peers in what they do, usually at the bar, not in all cases but it happens.

It is a sensitive subject and will always be. Keep an openmind though, to make a statement like it would never happen to a european carrier etc.

Anyway happy flying

PS Drunk or over the limit, again 2 differing things, but over the limit is the law.
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Old 29th Oct 2008, 15:17
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Whilst I barely drink, I know a lot of my colleagues enjoy it. How can anyone imply that merely to be a pilot means you should never have a drink? It is just a job, not a way of life, and increasingly a job very ordinarily paid. The pay is not enough to restrict life for people.
What about a bus driver or a taxi driver, they are also subject to the same rule, yes different limits but also different pay.
As SLF when I read such sentences I am start to worry.
As another poster said
Drunk or over the limit, again 2 differing things, but over the limit is the law.
Are we all supposed to abide to the law?
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