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America West crew arrested @ MIA (Update - Sentences)

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America West crew arrested @ MIA (Update - Sentences)

Old 2nd Jul 2002, 07:50
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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ww1,

Yes things like that can provide a false positive - as can many other foods and freshners. As far as I know you're entitled to wait a certain amount of time, and be retested. I think on the roads downunder, you get tested when you're pulled over, can wait 5 or 10 minutes (or something) and have another test, and then you go to the station for a final test. I think it's the final test that gets used in court, but bear in mind I haven't had any of this as a real experience!

It's a shame to see professionals abuse trust like this, but unfortunately there are many types of people who fly. Is 'pulling over' a 737 taking the whole event to an extreme though? I would have thought someone could have tried to prevent them from putting themselves in that position... Then again, we don't have all the facts!

Lancer
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Old 2nd Jul 2002, 08:15
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Didnt BA try this a few years ago ex LHR and gave up embarrassingly after catching a few in the morning.
If this is a new trend , how many flights would be grounded in a day??
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Old 2nd Jul 2002, 14:03
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AFAIK, the final test, which is used in court, is a BAC test taken directly from a blood sample. This level is then extrapolated back to the time of arrest, assuming a standard rate of metabolism. So, while you can claim that you recently took cold medicine or gargled with listerine or even had a shot of brandy, the truth will out in the end.

To give you an example of just how drunk BAC levels this high make you, check out this web site:

Specific Effects Related to BAC

This table puts these pilots very firmly in the "Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. Euphoria. Judgement and self- control are reduced, and caution, reason and memory are impaired" category and bordering on the "Significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of good judgement. Speech may be slurred; balance, vision, reaction time and hearing will be impaired. Euphoria. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle at this level of intoxication"

Obviously parameters vary between different people, but the BAC registered equates to about 3 or 4 shots drunk in the space of less than an hour immediately prior to the test.
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Old 2nd Jul 2002, 15:50
  #24 (permalink)  
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It was an A-319, not a 737.

And I agree re: where were the F/A's during this, especially the lead during the briefing.

I would think that after the cockpit was
'busted" that the cabin would have been also...assuming they had the same layover and sometimes crews do "dine" together...

Leadership by example..."let's all follow the skipper's lead!!!".
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Old 2nd Jul 2002, 18:09
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Who is the one that wanted a gun now?

It only takes one to ruin it for the rest and with an issue as explosive as firearms, stuff like this sets the talks back months.

I think I even mentioned this very thing. Understand I am not applying this as a widespreed issue and in no way am I implying anything towards pilots in general. (I also stated this same issues comes up with LEO, Military personal, etc...) So before the floodgates open, remember this issues requires the cooperation of all, and not the few who enjoy the sport of target shooting or are card carrying members of the NRA. (I carry one too, as well as a Life Member of VFW, to name a few)

Remember it is good to be hard, hard to be smart.

Lowlight
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Old 2nd Jul 2002, 22:44
  #26 (permalink)  
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Who is the one that wanted a gun now?

It only takes one to ruin it for the rest and with an issue as explosive as firearms, stuff like this sets the talks back months.
Wrong thread................
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Old 2nd Jul 2002, 23:11
  #27 (permalink)  
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A lot of normal intake includes a little bid of alcohol, orange juice, coca-cola - anything with sugar will ferment to produce alcohol.

That one or two percent of us who are bastards is always screwing things up for those of us who just want to play things fairly straight and enjoy our lives and jobs. Sexual harrassment, racial complaints, people going postal, are developed, and the less obvious like the cockpit gun debate get done tremendous damage by these cads.
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Old 2nd Jul 2002, 23:36
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That one or two percent of us who are bastards is always screwing things up for those of us who just want to play things fairly straight and enjoy our lives and jobs. Sexual harrassment, racial complaints, people going postal, are developed, and the less obvious like the cockpit gun debate get done tremendous damage by these cads.
Amen!
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 02:20
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Question of the Week

What if they adheared to the 8 hour bottle to throttle rule or even the more restrictive 12 hour america west bottle to throttle rule. In the eyes of the law does that make them guilty? Are breathalizers now gonna be part of the before start checklist?
What do you guys think?
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 02:33
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Portable breath analyzer sensors will detect molecules from a range of hydrocarbons without distinguishing - so don't gargle JP4.

Athletes, diabetics and weight-losers may have a lot of Ketones in their breath, which can make a dramatically high false reading.

Blood tests are more accurate, but lab people are not always up to par. If you ever are in a situation where you must involuntarily give a sample, politely demand that they run two blood samples, taken at the same time, in two different labs. Might save your bacon if you are not up to serious mischief.

BA is metabolically really a measure of the ratio of alcohol to water in the body. If you are dehydrated, that increases chances of a bad test (as well as a mal di testa). To rescue onesself from an error of judgement, drink water - and pass it - like a pump. Heavy breathing - lots of it - can lose quite a bit through the lungs.

(This info is 8-9 tenths reliable. Learned it as an investor in a BA instruments company a few years back.)

In vino veritas - unfortunately. Fly safe.
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 02:37
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Unhappy

Anyway you look at this incident, it is dumb and stupid. It gives us all a black eye.
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 03:37
  #32 (permalink)  

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Yup, a bad thing indeed.

It is big on the TV news stations here in the colonies.
The talk heads are all yakking about it.
Much more so than the mid-air collision over Germany.

Now all the security folks and others are going to want to smell our breath.
And all the jokes from the pax: Good morning cap, are ya sober yet, or should we come back later, ha ha...



Great, thanks to the 2 America West guys. Damn amateurs.
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 04:09
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As Jinx300 and TowerDog well know, and have commented upon, this story is "front page" news not only on all the news stations but also gets front page space on all of the Internet newspaper sites.

This is giving the American public a VERY FALSE image of the cockpit crews professionalism IMHO!!

edit - in case you can't tell, I SUPPORT the ATPL profession in this instance!!
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 15:57
  #34 (permalink)  
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Reel Marine,

In answer to your question: Yes, even if pilots are in compliance with the FAA 8-hour (or company required 12-hour) rule, they can still be guilty if their alcohol level is high and/or they are under any sort of alcohol influence.

Here is an extract of FAR 91.17 (from http://www.faa.gov):

Sec. 91.17

Alcohol or drugs.

(a) No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft--
(1) Within 8 hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage;
(2) While under the influence of alcohol;
(3) While using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety; or
(4) While having .04 percent by weight or more alcohol in the blood.


Therefore, even though someone might have technically complied with (1), they could possibly still be in violation of (2) or (4) if they had a skinful prior to that 8-hour (or 12-hour) cutoff. This is where good sense and judgment are required.

As an important side note, I feel very confident in asserting that over 99.999% of the time, airline pilots diligently exercise this good sense and judgment. We fully respect our position, our responsibilities, and the value of the lives we transport.

It is a shame about the (less than) .001% lapses in judgment. As Jinx300 and AA SLF state, an event like this incorrectly gives us all a black eye, and presents an extremely false image of our profession.

(edited for clarification)

Last edited by McD; 3rd Jul 2002 at 16:05.
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 16:22
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Arcniz

Does the breathalyzer detect hydrocarbons?

Alcohols aren't hydrocarbons as far as I know.
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 16:38
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Flash

You are correct.

"Hydrocarbon: Any of a class of organic compounds composed only of carbon and hydrogen."

Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is CH3CH2OH, which means that it is not a hydrocarbon. Arcniz probably meant to say "organic compounds".
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 17:10
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McD - I'm not sure if there is any further federal legislation that may
apply. I think that there is but I don't know where it is to be found. I
say that because FAR 91.17 doesn't address all the issues that the
Omnibus Testing Act was supposed to cover. That Act applies
to all common carriers. It was conceived as a response to a number
of deadly railroad and subway accidents during the 1980s in which
the operators tested positive for alcohol or controled substances.
I believe the only difference in its applicability to aviation is that a
4 hour rule was enacted for other modes of transportation. The stricter
8 hour rule for aviation was already in force prior to the Omnibus Act.
According to the legislation any common carrier operator is prohibited
from safety-sensitive functions with a BAC of 0.02. The level of 0.04
is the point at which criminal penalties apply (rather than just career and
licence penalties). I think 15 years prison and $250,000 fine are the maxes.

The NWA incident LZ refers to did not happen quite as described. In that
incident an FAA inspector who had been tipped off greeted the crew
before departure. The captain convinced him that they were ok on the
eight hour rule. That is why the flight was allowed to depart from Fargo - nothing
about differing state laws. All three members of the 727 flight crew tested over
the limit when they landed at MSP. I believe the captain was at 0.13. He was
sentenced to 16 months, the first and second officers to 12 months. It is
definitely possible to be ok on the 8 hour rule and still do time.

A bit off-topic but something that bugs me is that this particular captain's
problems have been used by two groups of people with axes to grind.
He never drank again. A couple of years after completing his sentence
he regained his license, was eventually reinstated (as a FO), made
skipper again, and retired at age 60 without any further blemishes. One finds
his situation referred to over and over again by those who want a repeal to
the Americans with Disabilities Act. In their version the captain claimed an
alcoholism disability and used the Act to gain reinstatement. It's not true
but you see it in essays so often that it has acquired the status of truth.

More recently he ran afoul of the indiscriminate Clinton-bashers. Among
the infamous last-minute pardons awarded by Clinton was was one to this
retired captain. If anybody wants to argue that he should not have received
a second chance from NWA then that is something that can be reasonably
discussed from both sides. But he was already given a second chance, he didn't
blow it, he retired from the profession without a second incident, so who would
begrudge him a pardon after that? Answer: lots of editorialists.
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 18:00
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Top 5 tips for those who've overrefreshed themselves the night before.

1. Go sick. Failing which
2. Smile a lot, say very little.
3. Breathe in through the nose and out through a corner of the mouth, sideways, when dealing with all other humanoids
4. Stay as far back from people's noses as possible
5. Don't mix it up with security over a cuppa.

Cheers.
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 19:59
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FLASH and Covenant - Thank you for correcting my misstatement re 'hydrocarbons'. The O in ethanol definitely helps to give it that special zing.

My thoughts were distracted in trying to find a general way to describe the behavior of the widely used metal-oxide alcohol sensors (tin oxides being most common) which can have selective sensitivities to a wide variety of hydrocarbons, other organics, and some elemental substances under varying conditions. They DO work, but are somewhat analogous to using a wet finger as a wind direction / velocity sensor.
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Old 3rd Jul 2002, 20:50
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Peterbuck - Earlier in this thread I listed a few ways that persons could more quickly clear their bodies of residual alcohol to avoid being unfairly accused of a violation when they were trying to do the right thing and aiming to strictly comply with alcohol-related rules and regs.

In my opinion, your posting carries a similar concept a step too far.

Other than step 1, which is the only legally appropriate out in your scenario, your suggestions seem to be directed at ways to cover up the external symptoms of actual intoxication.

This is a) really bad advice, and b) tends to amplify the erroneous impression encouraged by some in the press that pilots are inclined to engage in, tolerate or facilitate violations of the regs in regard to alcohol.

The aviation profession suffers greatly from comic-book stereotypes of hard-drinking 30's mail pilots and devil-may care wartime aviators drinking their courage.

From what I know - after roughly 40 years of command in aircraft - that is not the case. Commercial and civil pilots as a group are extremely conscious of the complex matrix of rules and regs surrounding aviation, and have little tolerance for individuals in the system who cannot or will not go along with the program.
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