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LHR Inebriated DL Pilot Sentenced to Six Months

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LHR Inebriated DL Pilot Sentenced to Six Months

Old 25th Jan 2011, 15:05
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LHR Inebriated DL Pilot Sentenced to Six Months

Drunk pilot didn't know where he was meant to be flying his plane

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 9:00 AM on 24th January 2011

A pilot who turned up so drunk at Heathrow that he didnít know where he was supposed to fly his transatlantic passenger plane has been jailed for six months...
Drunk pilot who didn't know where he was flying to jailed for 6 months | Mail Online

Similar cases of U.S. pilots arrested at UK airports have usually resulted in acquittal or suspended sentences as I recall.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 16:39
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His blood alcohol was 0.089 %, i.e. slightly above what used to be the legal limit for driving in Germany (it now is 0.05). On top of that, he was found to be an alcoholic. Amazing that he could not recall his destination at that level.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 16:42
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A shame. I hope the guy's given support to beat his illness and turn his life around when he gets out. I doubt he could return to flying due to the conviction (I'd be pleasantly surprised if this weren't the case).
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 16:53
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Before another lengthy thread gets started, I'd advise reading this one from the past. Pay particular attention to the postings of LProuse, starting on the third page.

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/2...sm-pilots.html
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 17:59
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A U.S. pilot showing up at the airport in the UK with alcohol on his or her breath is certainly nothing new but the six month sentence seems to mark a change in fortune for the accused.

See:

American pilot who drank whiskey in his sleep is cleared - Times Online

Drunk United Airlines pilot avoids jail sentence - NYPOST.com

Heathrow pilot was caught drunk at 9am about to fly to America | Mail Online
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 18:54
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SmilingKnifed:

A shame. I hope the guy's given support to beat his illness and turn his life around when he gets out. I doubt he could return to flying due to the conviction (I'd be pleasantly surprised if this weren't the case).
Showing up for the flight in that condition is the end of his career far more than the conviction.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 18:58
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This guy needed helped not incarceration. Again our loopy laws are exposed for the complete joke they are.

And how exactly is this punishment supposed to a) Deter? and b) Rehabilitate?

My sympathies are with him and his family. I am not condoning his behaviour but believe this could have been dealt with in a way that didn't destroy his life whilst acting as a deterrent - a hefty fine, suspended sentence and an order to undertake rehabilitation come to mind.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 19:07
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a) The jail time will be MUCH more of a "wakeup call" than a fine. First, he will be forced to stop drinking for at least 6 months, where with a fine he could (and likely would) continue to drink. Second...

b) There is a very high probability (depending on the jail, of course) that at least the beginnings of rehab, in the form of Alcoholics Anonymous, are READILY available to him. Also, there will be few distractions that might serve to keep him away from the meetings. After he gets out, he can seek formal inpatient or outpatient treatment if he seriously wants to stop drinking.

He "destroyed" his own life, and came VERY close to a situation where he could have destroyed many more. As aterpster noted, his airline career is over already. Maybe he'll decide to work to rebuild the rest of his life.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 19:18
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There is a very high probability (depending on the jail, of course) that at least the beginnings of rehab, in the form of Alcoholics Anonymous, are READILY available to him. Also, there will be few distractions that might serve to keep him away from the meetings. After he gets out, he can seek formal inpatient or outpatient treatment if he seriously wants to stop drinking.
Jail is the last place to beat any addiction. If only your rose tinted view was correct.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 19:18
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I can't understand how the Captain and the other FO did not detect the alcohol on this fellow's breath whilst checking out of the hotel and sharing crew transport. They would have spent longer in his presence than the security personnel.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 20:13
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Alcoholism is an addiction and deserves a great deal of help and assistance.
Not quite. It is a type of addictive disease. A disease is not something that can be turned on or off. You might as well say, "I understand you have cancer, but don't you dare bring it to work with you".

Showing up for work intoxicated cannot be tolerated but any approach that ignores the medical facts of addictive disease is an approach that only treats the "convenient" symptoms.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 20:35
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L. Prouse is correct.

Alcoholism is symptomatic as are so many addictions not frowned upon (coffee, chocolate, McOops as long as you don't get FAT).

We're all governed by psychology and use, according to influences at different stages of early life, different methods to ameliorate that which we are unaware of, lurking in our psyche.

Whichever way you want to look at it, everyone is addicted to something. A matter of degree ? Many have no clue of their addiction as it is not frowned upon by society.

Women need how many pairs of shoes ?
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 20:51
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J.O.:

Not quite. It is a type of addictive disease. A disease is not something that can be turned on or off. You might as well say, "I understand you have cancer, but don't you dare bring it to work with you".
Most, if not all, U.S. carriers have an intervention and treatment program, which is approved by the FAA. DAL is certainly a participant.

But, it requires that the alcoholic pilot either turn himself in off duty, or friends or family trigger an intervention. My experience as a union rep was that it was almost always an intervention that worked (well, worked at least to get the pilot into in-patient care paid for by the company).

When those two opportunities are missed and it goes to an on-duty situation, it's all over but the shouting.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 21:12
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aterpster, it would seem not. I for one would be glad if it wasn't.

Having read LProse's account in the link J.O kindly provided, it seems there can be redemption. It'll be a difficult road, but I can only wish this individual every success.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 21:34
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A lot of sympathy being shown towards an individual who, knowingly, went to his work fully aware that he was endangering all around him.

Would such sympathy be shown towards him were he tea total yet he had an addiction, a disease, towards nicotine?

Just making a point!
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 21:49
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As an outside observer I'm curious, what would have been the disciplinary implications for the fella had he called the airline and said "I'm really sorry, had a few too many last night and I believe I'm ok but over the limit to fly so I can't come to work"?
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 21:52
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Hi Fogg

Maybe I was unclear.

The effect of the addictive substance is what counts.

Best.

Mike

p.s. My support rests with this pilot wholeheartedly.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 22:25
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A lot of sympathy being shown towards an individual who, knowingly, went to his work fully aware that he was endangering all around him.
Does anybody have any data on the relative risk of such levels of alcohol compared to flying significantly but not unusually fatigued?
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 22:49
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I'm sorry, but I profoundly disagree with some of what's been posted here.

This pilot has not been jailed because he is an alcoholic but because he was a danger to the passengers who should have been able to trust him. A pilot who doesn't know where he is flying to hardly inspires confidence.

And if we assume there are other pilots who may be tempted to drink before flying - whether alcoholic or plain stupid - this sentence may make them think twice. If so, a serious accident may have been avoided.

Think of it the other way round. If you are tempted to drink and fly the knowledge that, if caught, you will get off with a counseling session is hardly a serious consideration. Losing your liberty most certainly is.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 23:06
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SmilingKnifed:

aterpster, it would seem not. I for one would be glad if it wasn't.

Having read LProse's account in the link J.O kindly provided, it seems there can be redemption. It'll be a difficult road, but I can only wish this individual every success.
Captain Prose was the singular exception that proved the rule. He was well liked and had friends in high places. Also, he had the determination to work his butt off to work back up from a private certificate on through to his ATP. And, all certificate revocations in the U.S. are afforded that opportunity to re-earn their certificates and ratings; usually after a one year wait. But, they also have the difficult issue of getting their medical certificate back in view of their alcoholism. Plus, with the exception of Captain Prose, their airline job is long gone.
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