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

America West crew arrested @ MIA (Update - Sentences)

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

America West crew arrested @ MIA (Update - Sentences)

Old 9th Jun 2005, 10:02
  #141 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 2,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sammypilot
16 blades referred specifically to commercial aviation.
You say: "It is true that most of these (FAA) accidents involved smaller aircraft but the evidence is there."
What evidence do you say 'is there'?
What evidence do you say there is of alcohol consumption by professional pilots either causing or contributing to accidents in commercial aviation?

__________________________

(For info)

American law is stricter than UK law in this area:

FAR 91.17 Alcohol or Drugs
No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft -
(1) within eight 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;
(4) while having 0.04 percent by weight or more alcohol in the blood.

Any one of those alternatives is sufficient to prove a violation.
eg If someone acts or attempts to act as a crew member within eight hours after consuming alcohol, even if not under the influence of alcohol, and even if their blood alcohol level is zero, at the time.



FL
Flying Lawyer is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 11:45
  #142 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 209
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FLYING LAWYER:

The FAA records show that between 1996 and 2001 there were 33 accidents, mostly fatal, which could be attributed to Alcohol consumption. Principally those accidents heavily involved risk taking or errors of judgement. Most were fatal.

I acknowledge that all the aircraft involved were small. The statistics didn't indicate how many of the people involved were "off duty" airline pilots.

I suggest people should read the paper by Ken Ibold on AVweb particulary the figures in relation which show that AIRLINE pilots who were involved in 13 pilot-error accidents had DWI convictions.

Because you a professional might reduce your chances of having an accident but would you apply the same logic to Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers?
sammypilot is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 12:51
  #143 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 2,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sammypilot

"33 .....which could be attributed to Alcohol consumption."
That's ambiguous. Does it mean they were actually attributed to alcohol consumption, or that the pilots had traces of alcohol in their bloodstreams so there was a possibility alcohol consumption was a factor?
33 out of how many accidents in that five year period?

"I acknowledge that all the aircraft involved were small."
I thought that might be the case.

"The statistics didn't indicate how many of the people involved were "off duty" airline pilots."
Even if some of them were, it doesn't detract from the distinction between private pilots in GA and professional pilots in commercial aviation.

"AIRLINE pilots who were involved in 13 pilot-error accidents had DWI convictions."
But no suggestion they had alcohol in their bodies at the time of they made the error.
I'm not convinced DWI convictions are relevant, but assuming for the sake of argument that they are -
13 out of how many pilot-error accidents?

"Because you a professional might reduce your chances of having an accident ....... "
I didn't suggest it would.

What I (as someone outside the industry and merely working closely with it) find rather frustrating, and many professional pilots understandably find irritating, is the sweeping, highly emotive and wholly inaccurate comments made whenever the stupid (and illegal) behaviour of a pilot in a case such as this hits the press.

I'm not suggesting you went as far as that, but you did challenge 16 blades' assertion, which related specifically to commercial aviation, and you appear to be rather light on evidence to show he's wrong.

I guard against claiming there is no evidence of an accident in commercial aviation which has been found to have been caused. or contributed to, by alcohol consumption by professional pilots. However, people who suggest there is such evidence never seem to be able to come up with it. I'm only aware of one - and I've forgotten now which that was.

The fault ultimately lies with those pilots who generate adverse press coverage for the industry but we shouldn't forget that there is no evidence that the overwhelming majority of hundreds of thousands of airline pilots who fly millions of miles safely every year would even dream of drinking and flying.
Members of the public read this forum and IMHO, and with great respect, there's a real danger your comments might give them an entirely misleading impression about airline pilots and airline safety - especially if they click on your 'Profile'.

FL
Flying Lawyer is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 14:05
  #144 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: London
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's an example:

http://www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR78-07.pdf
Spread Eagle is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 14:26
  #145 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 2,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks SE. That's the one I had in mind.

__________________


The evidence that the Captain was under the influence of alcohol was overwhelming, from toxicology reports and descriptions of his behaviour immediately before flying.

That accident was in January 1977 - more than 28 years ago.
Any advance?
Remember we're talking about commercial aviation which, to most members of the public, means airlines.
Flying Lawyer is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 15:22
  #146 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rockytop, Tennessee, USA
Posts: 5,899
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Here's a link to a video of the verdict announcement, the prosecutors' remarks and the inevitable perp walk in handcuffs:

http://wfor.dayport.com/launcher/646...deo_player.tpl

You may have to temporarily enable pop-ups to view this on Windows XP SP2.
Airbubba is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 16:49
  #147 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 209
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Flying Lawyer:

Thanks for reading my profile. You will recognise thereby that I have fairly extensive experience of those who have imbibed freely plus some knowledge of aviation. I also undertook the CAA Crashed Aircraft Course because if it happened at Liverpool Airport it was going to be my problem.

During the course of all this I had fairly frequent contact with the Senior RAF Pathologist at that time. Interesting to reflect his view that the old RAF maxim of 8 hours from Bottle to Throttle was wrong. In his view it should be 24 hours. There was a man who had greater experience than any of us when dealing with these matters.
sammypilot is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 17:34
  #148 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 2,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sammypilot

I don't doubt that a previous occupation must have provided you with "fairly extensive experience of those who have imbibed freely" but I don't see where that experience assists on the topic being discussed: Accidents in commercial aviation caused, or contributed to, by a pilot having consumed alcohol.
Nor do I see how the other experience you mention assists.
Either there's evidence to support your assertion, or there isn't. If there is, what is it?

I don't doubt that the Senior RAF Pathologist was very experienced, but pathologists aren't experts in the effects of alcohol. That's a toxicologist's sphere of expertise.
That aside, did he suggest the RAF had a problem with their pilots crashing because of the effects of alcohol?

I agree, without any medical expertise, that the old '8 hour' maxim is both unreliable and risky. It depends upon so many factors, not least the quantity consumed before that period. It may well have been a reasonable guideline for most people under the old UK law, but it isn't under the new offence introduced in the UK last year.

This is all very interesting, and has been discussed at length in previous 'alcohol' threads here, but how does it help support your assertion? Where's the evidence of accidents in commercial aviation being caused, or contributed to, by professional pilots having consumed alcohol?
So far, we've come up with just one example - 28+ years ago.

Will you join me in reassuring any members of the public or journos who read this thread that. despite the headline hitting high profile prosecutions, the statistics show they have no reason to be frightened that their airliner might crash because the pilot(s) is/are under the influence of alcohol?
Flying Lawyer is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 18:05
  #149 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Downeast
Age: 75
Posts: 18,248
Received 451 Likes on 179 Posts
Sammy Pilot,

One of the things the FAA tried to do was require Alcohol testing along with Drug testing for pilots and others in safety related functions. The interesting thing to note is it was to be done routinely as part of the aviation medical exam and not on a random basis at the airport immediately before work activities were begun.

My view is it takes a real Nimrod to show up for a flight physical reeking of drink....although that did happen in one sunny clime I worked in a few years ago. The crucial test for all of these measures is whether it is a bureaucratical burden or does in fact effectively work towards improving safety.

I submit drug and alcohol testing at flight physical time is not the time to be doing it but rather on the ramp prior to touching the aircraft is the time.
SASless is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 18:52
  #150 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Monrovia / Liberia
Age: 62
Posts: 757
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sammypilot, I have several mates who are UK Traffic Cops and, to man (& woman), they have regularly had to 'call in sick' the morning after a 'heavy session’.... indeed it was only a few days ago that one of these very close friends breathalysed himself (at 4am, in his bathroom, in uniform) prior to going on duty, wherein (fortunately for all of us) he thought better of it and made the call – and, as he told me later, he wasn't just a little bit over the limit ( read ‘loads’) !

Now maybe it’s just the company I keep, but most coppers I know ‘like drink’ ( it seems to go with the job,…. sound familiar ?! ) and it’s usually several bloody great big ones, or two, or even three or more… ( and the same to goes for few Judges I know too ) !

So, Sammypilot, with all due respect, you’re coming across as sanctimonious!

Ps. FWIW, work have called me (whilst I’ve been typing this) to ask if I could help them out with a rescue sub-charter ( Nb. this is 35 minutes after I’ve just completed a 6 hour standby duty). However (and unfortunately) I had, by that moment in time, imbibed a single rather fine glass of Chardonnay (seeing that as I was no longer on duty and sitting in my sunny garden with a wireless enabled laptop)…. and accordingly whilst I’d love to have helped them out I’ve had to decline ( veritably, sh!t happens, doesn’t it ?! … just feel sorry for the stranded pax ).

Ah well, I must go now and wrap myself in some cotton wool lest I catch a cold or some’at......
Old King Coal is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 20:29
  #151 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 209
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FLYING LAWYER:

I am, of course, happy to endorse what you say. All my friends within the flying community, both commercial and private pilots are commendably responsible. Noticeably more so in recent years because they recognise that times have changed.

I think Old King Cole should point this out to his friends still serving Her Majesty.

Now watch some clown prove us all wrong............
sammypilot is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 20:59
  #152 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New York City
Posts: 820
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sammy

Quit dodging.
It ain't about your friends, it's about independant facts

Look again at what 16B said and what you responded.

Somebody's come up with only one airline accident through drink and that was near 30 years ago.
Even if there was a crash tomorrow through drink it ain't gonna make a difference to the facts except by about 0.000000000001%

Hows about admitting 16B was 99.9999999% right and you got it wrong?

Bronx is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2005, 21:58
  #153 (permalink)  

Short Blunt Shock
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 631
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Even that incident deserves some deeper scrutiny. I took the time to look through the report and discovered some interesting points.

- Alcohol intoxication wasn't the only major factor at play. It appears that the aircraft stalled at some 21kts+ higher than its expected stall speed for its calculated AUW, in prevalent airframe icing conditions, with tanks full of very cold fuel. It would appear that airframe icing may well have caused the situation to develop in the first place - the subsequent mishandling of the developing stall could be seen as an aggravating, rather than a causal factor (although the report does have this the other way round). What seems obvious is that the crew were not expecting the ac to stall at that speed - note the complete lack of action by the (stone cold sober) co-pilot - it normally takes an alert person some 2-3 seconds to recognise, acknowledge, and act upon an unexpected emergency situation. The aircraft impacted the ground only 1.2 seconds after the stall warning sounded, and only 3-4 seconds after the first evidence of airframe buffet were recorded on the CVR. Even the sober Co-pilot did not have time to intervene. It was also reported that the aircraft attained a higher-than-usual nose attitude after rotate, such that approx 15deg nose up was recorded at around V2. It was suggested that this is higher than normal for a DC-8 at that weight and in that config, but it hardly seems like an extreme attitude to me, nor gross mishandling - I have little knowledge of DC-8 ops so anybody who knows better, feel free to correct me.

- It also appears, both from (independent) witness statements and the toxicology analysis that this Captain wasn't merely 'over the limit' - he was utterly sh!tfaced. Quite why he was allowed, by either ground staff OR his crew, anywhere near his ac is beyond me. At the VERY VERY LEAST the words "Co-pilot - your leg!" should have been uttered. Use of the old 'hotel-induced food poisoning' excuse to cry off sick would have been better.

- This wasn't a passenger flight, it was cargo. So perhaps I shall modify my original comment to read:
I cannot recall a SINGLE RECORDED INCIDENT in the entire history of commercial passenger aviation where alcohol intoxication was cited as a factor.
...in order to address the 0.00000001% inaccuracy in that comment.

What is clear when all the facts are considered is that this was not a clear cut case of 'Pilot over the limit crashes 'plane' - it remains, to my and others knowledge, the SOLE incident of it's kind, and is a FAIRLY EXTREME one at that. When all this is considered, you may be able to understand how many experienced pilots make the comments they do on threads of this nature.

It is also worth noting that the UK drink-fly limits are almost 1 tenth of the drink-drive limits. So, driver over the limit, or pilot over the limit? I know which one I'd rather travel with.

16B

Edited to make clear: I do not condone flying whilst under the influence of alcohol - I'm sure virtually every proffesional pilot wouldn't. I CONDEMN the sensationalist press cover that such 'incidents' normally attract.
16 blades is offline  
Old 10th Jun 2005, 08:38
  #154 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 743
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A few more accidents where alcohol/drug intoxication may have been a contributing factor:

http://aviation-safety.net/database/....php?Event=FCA
cringe is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2005, 07:34
  #155 (permalink)  
jet_fumes_junkie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
2 former pilots convicted

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20...2530-3815r.htm

as forrest said: stupid is that stupid does.

thank you very much, gentlemen, for doing so much for our public image. hope you get to go to the kind of jail where bubba gets a backside ride anytime he feels like it
 
Old 12th Jun 2005, 08:45
  #156 (permalink)  

Keeping Danny in Sandwiches
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: UK
Age: 75
Posts: 1,295
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We seem to have arrived at a point where pilots can not only loose their jobs but also spend time "inside", while not having the means to assess their fitness to fly.

At the present time I could enjoy a shared bottle of wine with my wife in the evening then more than 8 hrs later find my self over the 0.004 limit.

Has the time now come for either pilots to become teetotal, or to carry a proper calibrated breathalyser as part of their equipment and test themselves prior to leaving home or hotel?
sky9 is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2005, 10:13
  #157 (permalink)  

Short Blunt Shock
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 631
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Almost all of the incidents described in the preceding links involve the use of illegal drugs - some of which were alleged to have been used IN FLIGHT!!!! 1 or 2 of them involve alcohol, in collusion with some other general stupidity or external factor. None of the 'reports' mentioned offer any evidence of how determnations were madde of blood alcohol / drugs content were measured. The word 'probably' is used an awful lot.

I put it to you that my (modified) statement still stands.

16B
16 blades is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2005, 21:11
  #158 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rockytop, Tennessee, USA
Posts: 5,899
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
2 drunken pilots to remain jailed in Miami until next month's sentencing

By CATHERINE WILSON

Associated Press
Posted June 16 2005, 11:32 AM EDT


MIAMI -- Two fired America West pilots convicted of operating a jetliner while drunk will remain in jail until they are sentenced next month after they were denied bail Thursday.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge David Young had an edgy tone as he addressed pilot Thomas Cloyd, 47, and co-pilot Christopher Hughes, 44, and ordered them held at least another five weeks. They went to jail right after the verdicts were read last week after being free on bail for nearly three years while they contested the charges.

They were convicted of operating an aircraft while drunk after evidence showed they had spent the night in a bar drinking just hours before their scheduled July 2002 flight from Miami International Airport to Phoenix. It was stopped before it could takeoff after screeners noted alcohol on their breaths.

Hughes' wife Debbie told the judge Thursday that she had consulted a psychiatrist about how best to prepare their two children for the possibility of their father serving the maximum five-year prison term.

``I have to try and help them deal with this,'' she said, asking for her husband's release to have his help as well. ``Our children are our first priority.''

Prosecutor Deisy Rodriguez noted the pilots were convicted of ``a very serious and a very dangerous felony in which they put many lives at risk.'' Fellow prosecutor Hillah Katz argued that they posed an unusual risk of disappearing because they have the connections to get to planes and can fly them as well.

The judge called it ``horrible'' and ``sad'' that Hughes cared more about his time in the bar than he cared about his children and their future. Young, whose career on the bench exposed him to many drunken-driving cases, sternly added he didn't want to hear any more about the crime being a nonviolent offense.

Attorneys on both sides had no comment leaving court.

Earlier, Hughes' attorney James Rubin said he has visited his client in jail and ``he's not doing too well.''

Young said he would take half a day to hear sentencing arguments July 20 but does not plan to rule until the next day. The pilots can ask to be freed on bail again after sentencing based on their plans to appeal.

Both pilots surrendered their passports, were stripped of their commercial licenses and were barred from flying private planes while on bail...

...Cloyd of Peoria, Ariz., and Hughes of Leander, Texas, wore red jail jumpsuits to court for the first time to attend the hearing. They sat in a jury box with other jailed defendants long after their 15-minute hearing was over.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...home-headlines
Airbubba is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2005, 23:21
  #159 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: london/UK
Posts: 499
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
16 Blades

Quote:

"...this Captain wasn't merely 'over the limit' - he was utterly sh!tfaced. Quite why he was allowed, by either ground staff OR his crew, anywhere near his ac is beyond me."

Interesting, after the castigation given to anyone who dare suggest that any pilot concerned in any of the of the incidents leading to a conviction of drinking and flying, had had a drink!
It occurs to me that there is a wide difference of opinon here, from Police to lawyers to pilots. Police have to enforce the legislation it's the lawyers job to either convict or defend and the pilots natural reaction to defend come hell or high water.

The one thing missing is the medical evidence. ie What does the medical profession, or the experts from, for instance the RAF Aviation Medicine Centre think?

Ok, so one commercial aviation accident involving alcohol (possibly), that anyone can find. One is too many. There are only one of many types of air accident, because after the cause was identified things were done to try to prevent it happening again.

The legislation, in the UK probably is aimed more at GA pilots. But how do you apply law to one group of pilots and exempt another from it? It would be like saying that because a bus driver is a professional driver he shouldn't be subject to the same drink/drive law as everyone else who drives.

The same priciple applies to driving and drinking and accidents. Most people arrested for drink/drive have not had an accident, maybe committed a minor traffic offence or just come to the notice of police, usualy because it's late at night. They probably wouldn't have had an accident, are often referred to by the press as drunk when they are far from it. But no one bats an eyelid about that.



Old King Cole....Several holes in what you say...No police officer I know keeps his uniform at home. Nor does any any I know keep a breath test kit there either (most are too tight fisted to buy one) and in any event most of them are bright enough to know when they are close to the limit. Although, I don't doubt (ok, I know full well) that police officers go sick because they have had too much to drink. In exactly the same way as anyone sensible does in any organisation where drink may effect they way they carry out their job.

Last edited by bjcc; 16th Jun 2005 at 23:38.
bjcc is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2005, 23:43
  #160 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 5,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bjcc

If you read the report, you'll see there was lots of independent evidence that the Captain in that incident wasn't merely over the legal lmit but was indeed as described by 16B.

That doesn't apply to the other cases that have been discussed here.

I don't understand your 'castigation' point. As far as I recall, in only two cases discussed here was it said that the pilots hadn't been drinking.
In one case, the pilot who tested positive denied he'd been drinking and said his drink had been spiked following a dispute at the hotel.
In that Manchester nonsense where some PC saw fit to breath-test both pilots after a passenger complained about a 'hard landing', both pilots tested negative.
Heliport is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.