Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Jail and 10-year ban for Thomson pilot!

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Jail and 10-year ban for Thomson pilot!

Old 30th Mar 2009, 09:06
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Mycenae
Posts: 406
I read it as his licence had been suspended, the CAA plays no part in the issue of restricted zone passes, as far as I know it is the responsibility of the relevan airport authority.
StudentInDebt is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 09:18
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: France
Posts: 239
Granted one is a pilot and one is a flight attendant, should there be a difference in the punishment just becasue the roles are different but governemd by the same limit ?
Most people perceive the risks as being significantly different. In the CC case there would be a risk to pax only in the very unlikely event of an evacuation while the role of pilots is critical in all flights.
deltayankee is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 09:26
  #63 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Jose
Posts: 726
Granted one is a pilot and one is a flight attendant, should there be a difference in the punishment just becasue the roles are different but governemd by the same limit ?
That's when you need a good lawyer to challenge the airside pass restriction as unfair and inconsistent. Something along the lines of restraint of trade and put the onus on the government to show that there's a security risk and all that. He shouldn't even need to have a job for that, given that the restriction is directly contributing to people not wanting to give him a job.
llondel is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 11:55
  #64 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Leicester UK
Posts: 68
Tarisio wrote:

"In Jan 08 a ship's master was fined 500 at Southampton magistrates' court for being three times the 80mg maritime limit as the vessel was about to sail."

As an ex-maritime navigation officer myself, I'm sorry to say that these types of offences rarely get to court, and certainly don't get punished to the extent above (whether or not you feel that 500 is adequate). The problem of alcoholism is quite widespread in the maritime industry, though I do feel that counselling and "therapy", for want of a better word, is more appropriate than fines and / or jail time.

Wiggly Bob is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 17:09
  #65 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Malta
Posts: 178
In the (recent) past, has alcohol consumption by a pilot ever been blamed for an accident or even incident?
Jetset320 is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 17:16
  #66 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: FUBAR
Posts: 3,351
There was a recent 737 accident in Russia where the toxilogical examination gave cause to suspect the Capt "may" have had some juice in the system (if you can believe a Russian investigation )
Apart from that, commercial aviation. . . . . nope, not to my knowledge.
Private flying is another ball game, and involvement of alcohol or other drugs in the conclusions of accident reports is not unknown.
captplaystation is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 18:42
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: London
Posts: 198
Roger Sofarover said:

Heli Cal
After you have finished being so happy that this man is languishing in jail,
I wonder if you could please start a thread titled 'How to be Perfect', we would all benefit so much from your advice, and I for one would be an eager reader. Thanks
I am not "so happy that the convicted man is languishing in jail", nor have I ever claimed to be able to advise others 'How to be Perfect'.

Having knowingly betrayed the trust of his employer, colleagues and passengers, breached the terms his contract of employment, and attempted to fly a full passenger aircraft whilst under the influence of alcohol, why should the employer stand by him?

He didn't apply for counseling or support through normal channels, he was prevented from taking off whilst under the influence of alcohol!

Your moaning and sarcasm, like the statements of captplaystation really are pathetic!
heli-cal is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 19:49
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 914
Chesty Morgon.

Are you sure 24hrs Mmme Try 5 years and then have a pint of freshly squeezed orange juice or the like. Give it a few hours then take an Alchol test. Some people will be over the 20mg Limit.

These levels are stupid and you could end up in prison for a drink of fruit juice.

Oh and try and prove that it was only fruit juice.

Before you jump down my throat I am not saying that you should drink and fly.
IcePack is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 20:41
  #69 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: UK
Age: 66
Posts: 267
Orange Juice

Ice Pack

It is possible to fool a BREATHALYZER (eg if you are a diabetic and hypoglycemic / in ketoacidosis). And I have heard it said that certain drinks can have the same effect: that is because certain types of breath test respond to more than ethyl alcohol (eg acetone breath). Its just a screening test.

But you won't fool a BLOOD test which you must ALWAYS insist be done asap. As far as I know, and Pom (post 55) seemed to confirm this, a breathalyzer cannot be used to convict (I stand to be corrected).


Last edited by Pinkman; 30th Mar 2009 at 21:07.
Pinkman is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 21:23
  #70 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by Pinkman
As far as I know, and Pom (post 55) seemed to confirm this, a breathalyzer cannot be used to convict (I stand to be corrected).
"Preliminary breath testing is used for screening purposes and allows police officers to make a decision based on the result of the breath test as to whether or not a driver suspected of drink driving is arrested. The screening test is not intended to give a precise measure of a suspects alcohol levels, it is used to indicate whether the level is likely to exceed the prescribed drink drive limit. Preliminary breath test readings are not used as admissable evidence for the basis of a prosecution in a court of law.................If a driver is arrested for suspected drink driving he will then be required to undertake an evidential breath test. Evidential breath testing machine readings ARE used as admissable evidence for the basis of a prosecution in a court of law."

(My emphasis).

From here Drink Driving | Alcohol Breathalysers
Old 30th Mar 2009, 21:31
  #71 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: UK
Age: 66
Posts: 267
Hmmm. Compare your internet reference with this internet reference from the US. Hard to say who I would believe on the accuracy of breathalysers

Diabetes and Effect on Breathalyzer Test for DUI/DWI - Avvo.com[/quote]

I would still insist on calling a doctor to do a blood test. In aviation, is it within your rights to do so?

Pinkman is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 21:37
  #72 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Any sane person would want a blood test.

I'm basing my information on answers given to me by three serving police officers. Convictions are routinely secured in the UK on the basis of evidential breathalyser tests.

If you look at the sentencing guidelines Drink Driving | Magistrates Court | Sentences you'll see that those guidelines recommend sentences based upon blood or breath analysis. I'd say these sources might be a bit more relevant to the case under discussion. A US site won't have any bearing on a UK case.
Old 30th Mar 2009, 22:22
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oop North
Posts: 25
IF arrested

You are entitled to provide a blood sample for analysis, but the police are not obliged to offer it.

There is a subtle difference there!
George Zipper is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2009, 23:23
  #74 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester
Age: 41
Posts: 596
You would have to be insane not to opt for a blood test. That test specifically for Ethanol in blood.

The common breathalyzer is an IR Spec machine which will pick up any -OH group and is not a great analytic instrument.

I'm saying this as someone who has used IR on a frequent basis and it is a horribly inaccurate way of working out alcohol levels.
Ex Cargo Clown is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2009, 13:18
  #75 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The Deep South (Sussex)
Posts: 776
"HIMS is an occupational substance abuse treatment program, specific to commercial pilots, that coordinates the identification, treatment and return to the cockpit of impaired aviators.

It is an industry-wide effort in which companies, pilot unions, and FAA work together to preserve careers and further air safety.

HIMS - A Substance Abuse Treatment Program For Commercial Pilots"

I have just seen this on another thread. It throws much light on the way in which the United Pilot was treated, supported by his company and his suspended sentence awarded.

With the British case: I hear that the CAA have done their best for Patrick in giving him his licence back following his full admission, paying for his own "drying out" and earning medical reports in his favour.

I have no doubt that the 10 year suspension "on security grounds" will be lifted after due consideration.

That only leaves TUI's positive contribution to this jail sentence where their motives in not offering any support will contrast with the US model and the CAA humane consideration of the medical facts.

It will leave many of us wondering whether there are side issues that TUI pilot management haven't mentioned such as the need to reduce pilot numbers in this economic depression.

TUI pilots must be left with a less than warm feeling when they have any problems.
Lou Scannon is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2009, 13:35
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Snellville, GA, USA
Age: 26
Posts: 10
I think that's way too harsh of a sentence!! His license should have been pulled for a year or two, not ten years!
nascargeek21 is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2009, 16:21
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: london/UK
Posts: 499
In terms of drivers. You are not entitled to a blood test. The Road traffic act allows Police to require a breath sample, and doesn't place any obligation on Police to offer, nor option by the arrested person to to demand, a blood or urine test

The evidence of an evidential breath testing machine is suffiecent, if the sample you give is over the prescribed limit.

If you give a sample over the limit, but close to it, you will be given the option of a blood test. Everyone of those I've seen has given a result more than the breath tes reading, except one, where it took the doctor over an hour to arrive, and that one was only just less than the Breath reading when analysed.

However, those results are all from Road Traffic Act requirements, and in general those are taken not long after the arrested person has stopped drinking.

As for the aviation side of it, the legislation says the test can be blood, urine or breath, and it is the Police's decision. However, there is an agreement with the CAA that blood will be used. That is an agreement, not law though.

On the plus side, it means that time between screening test, and blood test being taken can be up to an hour and half, ( an evidential breath test would be taken in less than 30 mins) in that time the BAC will continue to drop (assuming that the arrested person hasn't just stopped drinking). So an 'avarage' person will loose about 1 unit, or twice the limit imposed by the act, before the blood sample gets taken. That weeds out those who are just over the limit at time of screening.

There are a lot of old wives tales about breath tests, one of them being about the levels of BAC that can be detected by breath machines, it is from zero upwards, and can easily identify the limits imposed by this act. I would be treat those tales with a great deal of caution, most if not all, are rubbish, and most have been tried as a defence, and been dismissed as not having any validity, after evidence of expert witnesses.

As for the sentence in this case, it seems very harsh, I agree, especially in comparison to the US pilot. But then in neither case was all the mitigation reported, so it's difficult to see why there's vast difference.
bjcc is offline  
Old 1st Apr 2009, 19:45
  #78 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: uk
Posts: 1,865
A simple answer to some of the sanctimonious waffle on this sad case.

'Let he that is without sin cast the first stone.....'
beamer is offline  
Old 1st Apr 2009, 20:32
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: UK
Age: 66
Posts: 267

Good post! Clears up one or two questions I had, but I am still confused by

about 1 unit, or twice the limit imposed by the act
When you say "1 unit" do you mean the classic "UK unit = 120ml wine/half pint of beer"?

I hope not because what you would be implying is that there is a standard relationship between what you throw down your neck and what is evidenced in breath or blood. And there isnt - and it could mislead a lot of people, especially women, oriental races, etc. (see earlier posts).

Apologies if I have misconstrued what you have said.

Pinkman is offline  
Old 1st Apr 2009, 22:15
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Devon, England
Posts: 249
On another thread a UA pilot received a lenient sentence. Whereas the Thomson pilot was hammered maybe because of no company support?

What we should be discussing is how we can improve sentencing for all aircrew who become invloved in such cases.
manrow is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.