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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 20th Oct 2008, 06:23
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Sun Article - US Pilot Arrested for being over alcohol limit

'Drunk' pilot is arrested on jet | The Sun |News

There's very little real factual information in that article, but a friend sent it to me so I thought I'd post it. I'm wondering whether the person referred to as "the officer" is meant to be "the first officer"

Bailed until January?! That's a hell of a long wait.

Last edited by The African Dude; 20th Oct 2008 at 12:47.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 06:35
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AA - That will teach you not to rely on that rag for any information.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 07:02
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BBC News are also reporting the story.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 07:03
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??????????????????????????
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 07:22
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I guess someone got mixed up with "an American airline" and "American Airlines". Still beats me why in these times an airline pilot will risk a drink (or two) on the eve of a flight. I bet this guy was in no way drunk and most probably totally fit to fly - but technically failed by being over a very strict limit. Why risk it?
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 07:31
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...although before anyone jumps to conclusions, I seem to recall the last heavily publicised case of a "drunk pilot" turned out to be a poor sod with a medical condition that gave him a smell on the breath and a slightly raised blood alcohol reading even when he hadn't drunk a thing.

The resolution, of course, didn't get nearly the publicity that the original arrest did.

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Old 20th Oct 2008, 07:36
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BBC news says it is a 44 year old male, works for United.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 07:37
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skynews also reporting the story...

If it's true he should be fired..

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Old 20th Oct 2008, 08:36
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Words "court" and "kangaroo" mean anything to those already calling for his neck...

Let's give the poor sod a chance of a fair hearing etc before we shout about firing him...

I understood a rinse of listerine can put you over....
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 08:46
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Why give him/her a chance? Isn't it a forum tradition to pre-judge?
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 09:18
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Another drunk pilot....

Isn't it amazing how quickly some feel the need to pronounce on an issue containing only the smallest collection of facts.

A pilot has been arrested on suspicion of being over the alcohol limit. That's all we know.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 09:27
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Bailed until January because it takes 6 weeks for the blood samples to be analyzed. The breath sample machines at the police stations are not accurate enough to provide a reliable reading at the very low values that represent the limit for flying.

The breathalyzer used on the flightdeck is the same as is used at the roadside for car drivers. It is very basic and inaccurate for lower value readings.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 09:47
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Avman:
"most probably totally fit to fly - but technically failed by being over a very strict limit."

Well I find that a scary comment. "Totally fit to fly" would imply to me not being over said limit. Does this imply that flying over the limit is ok, it is just one of those ridiculous technical details that are there to be ignored.

Any other rules you think need skipping around Avman? I hope the last thing we hear on your Voice Recorder is not
"Sure this sucker will lift off without flaps, hold my beer and watch this..."
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 09:54
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Another red-top headline today:
Journo suspended for turning up to work sober and in possession of all the facts !
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 10:16
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paull:

From your profile you are a statistician, you would have made a better impression saying something related to your field instead of making a comment of zero value and that is not even funny.

Truth is, each person has different reactions to alcohol and when the values are very low, there is no measurable difference in reaction times, vision, concentration, etc.

Obviously the law doesn't consider this fact.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 10:19
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Typical pathetic headlines on Yahoo....'Drunk Pilot' sending visions of Rab C Nesbitt lolling round the terminal......when probably someone perfectly legal to drive and in all probability to fly....lets await some facts to get the real story here.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 10:46
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Minimum Alcohol Level Anyone?

el #:
As you said "the law", my point is that It is not a "technicality" it is the law, and I was attempting to highlight that if everyone could just choose to ignore the ones that they though were not really useful then we have anarchy.

Unlike mine, your profile is empty so I cannot make any suitably pithy remarks about that, but let me try to add something of non-zero value, and perhaps you will find it witty.

According to an old guy involved in the initial research in the UK to set the drink-driving limits. They increased the alcohol, did the tests, increased again, etc.,. The only problem was that the results got better not worse!
The original limit was proposed at the level at which the performance started to fall instead of improve. At that limit it was still above Normal performance at zero alcohol! Why? Well, the tests were not blind, the subjects knew they had had a drink and they tried harder and that did work at levels way above your limit.

I would be more concerned about fatigue than alcohol at the levels we are discussing, but my point remains. It is no good saying "Technically I did not get enough sleep, but I'm wide awake and capable to fly." Rules are rules.
If you did not get enought sleep your are not FIT to fly.

I d
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 11:03
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Are you now suggesting that we be tested on our levels of fatigue? This would be a good idea, if some way of accurately measuring performance was available.
If a pilot turns up for work when he is fatigued, something I guess we all have done, would he get 6 months jail (seems to be the going rate for flying over alchohol limit)?
I think it is about time that some sensible research was done into both fatigue and achohol and how they actually affecr the performance of pilots, rather than just say achohol is bad so pilots shouldn't drink at all and should have no other interests outside flying so they can rest the whole time when not at work.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 11:14
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Forget... I hope this sheds light on the story...



Incident: United Airlines B744 at London on Oct 19th 2008, delay after pilot fails breath test
By Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Oct 20th 2008 08:50Z, last updated Monday, Oct 20th 2008 08:57Z
An United Airlines Boeing 747-400, registration N107UA performing flight UA955 from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to San Francisco,CA (USA), after the first officer of the flight failed a breath test before departure to San Francisco. As a result, the flight departed with a three hour delay until a replacement first officer arrived and had to divert to New York JFK,NY (USA) because of crew duty time limitations.

The flight reached San Francisco with an overall delay of 7 hours.

Scotland Yard said: "The crew member was arrested on suspicion of being aviation staff performing an aviation function whilst exceeding the prescribed alcohol limit." The pilot has been released on bail until January 16th 2009.

United Airlines said: "The pilot has been removed from service while we are co-operating with the authorities and conducting a full investigation."

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Old 20th Oct 2008, 11:24
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Forget... I hope this sheds light on the story...
Not in the least.


LONDON (Reuters) - Sat Apr 7, 2007. An airline pilot arrested just before take-off on suspicion of being over the alcohol limit was not drunk and the diet he was on may have been to blame for the confusion, airline Virgin Atlantic said on Saturday.

Police arrested the 47-year-old pilot of a New York-bound Virgin Atlantic plane at Heathrow airport last Saturday after being tipped off by security staff who thought the pilot had been drinking.

While an initial breath test showed the pilot to be over the alcohol limit, police told the pilot on Saturday that a blood test was negative, Virgin Atlantic spokesman Paul Charles said.

"The result showed the amount of alcohol in the blood was consistent with that of a non-drinker," he said.

No charges will be brought against the British pilot, whose name was not released. The pilot, suspended after the incident, will be able to resume his duties immediately, the airline said.
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