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Jail and 10-year ban for Thomson pilot!

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Jail and 10-year ban for Thomson pilot!

Old 28th Mar 2009, 04:33
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Jail and 10-year ban for Thomson pilot!

Thomson pilot sentenced to six months in prison and has licence pulled for 10 years after reporting for duty at BHX whilst over the alcohol limit. (Coventry Crown Court UK 26 03 2009). Am I alone in thinking these incidents are occurring too frequently? Cheers bm
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 07:44
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I suspect you are right BoeingMEL - unfortunately.

In many respects it seems this is positive as more people are prepared to report suspected incidents; the rate of allegations being sustained is another unknown issue.

Without wishing to re-open the debate on alcohol limits, it needs repeating that the original British government limits were set at the lowest measurable level. Does that still prevail today?
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 10:34
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Thomson pilot sentenced to six months in prison and has licence pulled for 10 years after reporting for duty at BHX whilst over the alcohol limit.
What are the details? - sounds a bit of a tough sentence to me, whilst not condoing being over the limit.

Are we talking about his driving licence or his flying licence?
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 10:50
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BBC NEWS | England | West Midlands | Pilot banned for excess alcohol
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 10:54
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A lot of ignorant people jump on the band wagon and shake their heads saying that pilots being over 0.02% is a safety issue,

…while pilots at the end of a legally allowable 14 hr day can be suffering from fatigue that causes them to act as if they were over 0.08% blood alcohol level. (current legal limit = 0.02%)

…and that is meant to be fine! We must respect the law, but we should still question it.

How about some consistency from anyone out there who wants to preach on this and wave the safety card?

Last edited by BL; 28th Mar 2009 at 11:56.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 11:17
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Originally Posted by fireflybob View Post
What are the details? - sounds a bit of a tough sentence to me, whilst not condoing being over the limit.

Are we talking about his driving licence or his flying licence?
Flying licence, and according to press reports he pleaded guilty.

BBC NEWS | UK | England | West Midlands | Pilot banned for excess alcohol
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 11:44
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is the limit legal or illegal????

have a look guys,am i missing something???



Zero tolerance

He pleaded guilty to a charge of being over the illegal alcohol limit for aviation workers.


i copied this from the bbc link provided,should it read that he was over the "legal" alcohol limit?????

what is an illegal alcohol limit????

poor chap i wish him and his all the best!!
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 12:45
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I am very saddened by this. I flew with this man on many occasions a few years ago when he was still a first officer, and always found him to be totally professional and a delight to share a flight deck with.

This is probably not the time to discuss whether the limits on alchohol are fair or realistic, they are the limits and that must be that. But I am reminded of the old saying..... there but for the grace of God...

If anyone has his address I would appreciate a PM.

Last edited by Lou Scannon; 28th Mar 2009 at 16:40.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 13:07
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Whilst not condoning his offence a six month jail term is inappropriate. As I understand it the ten year 'ban' is not because his licence has been suspended for that time but the fact he has now a criminal record and therefore would not be able to obtain an airport pass (although I thought they looked at convictions within five years). A totally unjustified situation in my view. I hope BALPA look into this.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 14:04
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now he is sitting very scared in his cell with Murderers and rapists waithing to give him a good slap in the showers
Well...such kind of sentences are usually suspended, I guess he is not in jail right now.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 15:01
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Talk about over the top!

But even if the sentence was suspended and put on probation with therapy, is there an airline hire this individual?
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 15:26
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Spongebob66

It is my understanding that the maximum penalty for this offence is 5 years.
For a first offence the penalty applied would be 10% of this, which would appear to be the situation here.
Hopefully there will be an appeal against a jail term that does seem harsh, considering other offences that carry a Community Service penalty as an alternative.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 15:33
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I don´t know about the UK, but in Germany you can´t be penalized for one offence more than once. As a pilot, you can and you are.

Not being able to go airside is the second penalty - this isn´t fair. If the guy would get another job after being convicted and having done his sentence and having had therapy is another question, but that he won´t stand a chance if he cant go airside is clear.
There a policemen with an alcohol problem, they caryy guns over here and they are not sacked immediately etc. Alcoholism IS AN ADDICTION aka illness.
I´m a teetotaler but I honestly think destroying this man completely before he can have treatment is really the wrong approach. If he has a second chance and flunks that, he should be gone for good.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 15:43
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If you drive a car being drunk, you get convicted and your driving licence suspended for a period of time. If you get your living from driving your car (i.e. taxi driver) it is exactly the same situation. Your example of a policeman is absolutely off topic

Last edited by FrequentSLF; 29th Mar 2009 at 17:01.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 16:35
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Let me make it clear I do NOT approve of aircrew operating whilst over the limits BUT I do think the ten year ban smacks of Police State - I cannot understand why he cannot have an airside pass because of an offence such as this! Who drew up these draconian rules?

Yes he commited an offence and some form of justice should prevail but when those that breach the security fence at Stansted just get community service - well, quite frankly, you couldn't make this stuff up!
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 18:12
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To put things in perspective, the UK driving limit is 80mg of alcohol in 100ml blood. The flying limit is 20mg. This pilot was 42mg, very roughly equivalent in effect to a pint of beer.

The Thomson rules are that a pilot must not drink alcohol within 8 hours of start of duty and must not exceed the limit. The trouble is that it's possible to comply with the former and fall foul of the latter. Perhaps there's a case for increasing the 8 hour rule.

Maintenance engineers are subject to the 80mg limit.

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.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 18:23
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Our company has a 10 hour limit, interestingly the German LBA states 12 hours I believe.

If this guy is sat in a cell tonight I dont see how that serves the public interest at all, when that cell has a waiting list for murderers and rapists! I know which I would prefer safely locked up!

I also note from another thread in an almost identical case a United Airlines pilot was let off almost scot free after the company stood up for the pilot. Seems a little unfair that a non British citizen is given a more leniant sentance than a UK national....hmmm wonder where else this happens in the UK
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 19:29
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I am not a current pilot nor am I a legal expert of any sort; however the prison sentence seems a harsh outcome to a guilty plea, particularly when you read of bade carrying chavs who get off with cautions.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 20:05
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Personally I always use the 12 hours bottle to throttle method and feel that whilst he needed punishing they have been very harsh on him, especially when you consider that people are given less for assault (if any prison time at all), etc.

Think it'd be interesting to hear what people feel he should have gotten as a repremand. I'd say having to see someone about drinking, fine (months wages) and a year ban (or until he is assessed as fit, which ever is longer).

P.S. fireflybob - you'll be pleased to know that the alcohol limits and alcohol removal are now part of the human performance PPL test.

Last edited by White Otter; 28th Mar 2009 at 20:22.
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Old 28th Mar 2009, 21:04
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Sad to hear this story. I remember the guy from years back. Nice straight character and well liked.

I am obviously glad that he was intercepted and di not get airborne. However, I would prefer that, as he pleaded guilty, he had a suspended sentence and was sent somewhere to dry out. I

Hope he sorts himself out.
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