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BA F/O faces Jail for reporting to work drunk

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BA F/O faces Jail for reporting to work drunk

Old 6th Jun 2018, 21:09
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BA F/O faces Jail for reporting to work drunk

There was an original thread on this story which was eventually locked but today a BA 777 First Officer was told he faces jail for reporting for a flight whilst over the legal drink-fly limit. Details are here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-44380667

What surprises me is not the 86mg reading, (which was over the 80mg drink-drive limit never mind the 20mg aviation one) but that the individual concerned claimed he had only had a single vodka and coke 8 hours before.

I cannot for a minute believe this to be true as this would have surely exited the system in entirety around 2 hours later? It is incomprehensible that he would still be so far over the limit 8 hours later. I would be interested in any views on this particular point.

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Old 6th Jun 2018, 22:31
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Originally Posted by Doors to Automatic View Post


What surprises me is not the 86mg reading, (which was over the 80mg drink-drive limit never mind the 20mg aviation one) but that the individual concerned claimed he had only had a single (bottle) vodka and coke 8 hours before.



fixed that for you
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Old 6th Jun 2018, 22:40
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Originally Posted by Doors to Automatic View Post
There was an original thread on this story which was eventually locked but today a BA 777 First Officer was told he faces jail for reporting for a flight whilst over the legal drink-fly limit. Details are here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-44380667

What surprises me is not the 86mg reading, (which was over the 80mg drink-drive limit never mind the 20mg aviation one) but that the individual concerned claimed he had only had a single vodka and coke 8 hours before.

I cannot for a minute believe this to be true as this would have surely exited the system in entirety around 2 hours later? It is incomprehensible that he would still be so far over the limit 8 hours later. I would be interested in any views on this particular point.

Before I moved into IT I was a biochemist and looked at the rate of alcohol metabolism. The following is from a paper published in 2012.

"Although rates vary widely, the “average” metabolic capacity to remove alcohol is about 170 to 240 g per day for a person with a body weight of 70 kg. This would be equivalent to an average metabolic rate of about 7 g/hr which translates to about one drink per hr.."

It must be said that the same paper goes on to say that there is a 3~4 fold variability in the rate of ethanol elimination but, even then, the sums, in my opinion, don't add up for one drink.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3484320/
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Old 6th Jun 2018, 23:21
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We never learn..
Really boys and girls, on a short night stop have a cup,of tea and a light meal, sleep good and go to work next day knowing you are bullet proof.
Been there, done that and finally learned.
As far as flight safety, (for the peanut gallery, the finger pointers and the SLF) look at fatigue: A much more serious problem than some pilot showing up for work with 0.03 from a few glasses of wine with dinner the night before.
Quite a few of us can’t sleep due to time zones, bad hotels, or just having flown long-haul too many years.
Not only that but the FAA had not limit on Duty Time for international supplemental carries until recently:
Yes, you can go 40 hours with no rest and keep on flying as long as you don’t exceed 12 hours in the seat.
Many moons ago as a junior FO, I did it, not much choice shutting down the operation due to “fatigue”.
Later as a Captain I would indeed shut it down, set the parking brake and ask the company to arrange for transport to the hotel. Some guys would get fired for doing that: Pressure is on: Fly until you drop, perfectly legal, all 3 seats in the cockpit filled by zombies. Legal as can be, but hang the guy who is fresh and rested, but has 0.03 % alcohol in the blood.
The irony..


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Old 7th Jun 2018, 00:17
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Really boys and girls, on a short night stop have a cup,of tea and a light meal, sleep good and go to work next day knowing you are bullet proof.
Never had any time for puritans, have a light meal with one beer which is much more enjoyable and still be bullet proof.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 00:21
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what about a small meal and a LIGHT beer....
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 00:34
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His solicitor made the argument that he wouldn't have taken control of the aircraft until three and a half hours into the flight, which was rejected. He could have had to take control earlier in the event of crew incapacitation and duties such a flight planning and carrying out a preflight check on the aircraft require a pilot to be sober.

Career down the drain at 50 and passengers will be looking at the rest of us, wondering if we've been drinking as well. Nice one.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 09:07
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I flew more than once with Julian Monaghan as my co-pilot around 10 years ago. He was a thoroughly decent regular guy and a very competent pilot. He did not drink excessively during our layovers, or rather I didn't observe or suspect him of drinking heavily.

He is certainly far from stupid and he is paying and will continue to pay a heavy price for what has happened. I would hazard a guess that he might have developed an alcohol problem for whatever reasons in his life.

I do not excuse his behaviour but I suspect it was not a reckless disregard for the rules or common sense but something far deeper.

I hope he gets the help he needs and it saddens me to see someone lose their career in this way.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 09:18
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There is UK precedent for this and I believe the person jalled some years ago got his licence back and is still flying commercially.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 10:54
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Quote 'Mighty Mouse'

"I would hazard a guess that he might have developed an alcohol problem for whatever reasons in his life.

I do not excuse his behaviour but I suspect it was not a reckless disregard for the rules or common sense but something far deeper."

No sh*t Sherlock! I think you may be right. As a pilot you should know that pilots have a certain responsibility to act sensibly. This man did not. He suffers accordingly, and yes, I hope he is given appropriate help. I trust that your 'sympathies' for him would also extend to those car passengers he might have killed or injured driving to work while drunk, or those passengers and crew he likewise might have endangered as a crew member.

Whatever his problem, 'passed over' BA RHS queen, marital. financial or whatever, the public and his fellow crew have the right to expect that he would act sensibly. He did not. It was unforgiveable. I hope you are equally 'saddened' by his failure to exercise his responsibilites too? Your 'suspicion' that it was not a "reckless disregard for the rules or common sense" gives me and others in the aviation community great concern, in particular for your judgement as a BA Captain.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 10:58
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Originally Posted by TowerDog View Post
We never learn..
Really boys and girls, on a short night stop have a cup,of tea and a light meal, sleep good and go to work next day knowing you are bullet proof.
Been there, done that and finally learned.
As far as flight safety, (for the peanut gallery, the finger pointers and the SLF) look at fatigue: A much more serious problem than some pilot showing up for work with 0.03 from a few glasses of wine with dinner the night before.
Quite a few of us can’t sleep due to time zones, bad hotels, or just having flown long-haul too many years.
Not only that but the FAA had not limit on Duty Time for international supplemental carries until recently:
Yes, you can go 40 hours with no rest and keep on flying as long as you don’t exceed 12 hours in the seat.
Many moons ago as a junior FO, I did it, not much choice shutting down the operation due to “fatigue”.
Later as a Captain I would indeed shut it down, set the parking brake and ask the company to arrange for transport to the hotel. Some guys would get fired for doing that: Pressure is on: Fly until you drop, perfectly legal, all 3 seats in the cockpit filled by zombies. Legal as can be, but hang the guy who is fresh and rested, but has 0.03 % alcohol in the blood.
The irony..


If you show up over the limit, chances are you are not fresh and rested. Alcohol has a negative impact on your sleep quality.
Fatigue is bad. Mixing alcohol with fatigue is worse. There are few easy rosters out there, we all work hard.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 12:15
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Originally Posted by TowerDog View Post
We never learn..
... (quote snipped)

Many moons ago as a junior FO, I did it, not much choice shutting down the operation due to “fatigue”.
Later as a Captain I would indeed shut it down, set the parking brake and ask the company to arrange for transport to the hotel. Some guys would get fired for doing that: Pressure is on: Fly until you drop, perfectly legal, all 3 seats in the cockpit filled by zombies. Legal as can be, but hang the guy who is fresh and rested, but has 0.03 % alcohol in the blood.
The irony..
I couldn't agree more about fatigue.

I was driving us home late one night after an airshow we'd been working at (and had absolutely no alcohol whatsoever plus ate sensibly), the long hours suddenly kicked in. And I couldn't stay awake / felt myself nodding off at the wheel. I pulled off at the next exit and turned off the engine. Mate next to me apparantly then woke up and asked where we were but I didn't answer ... because I was already asleep!!

When you're flying an aircraft you simply don't have the 'luxury' of being able to pull over at the next exit and take some time out.

These are scary times when airlines push the limits on crew hours. And equally when struggling with fatigue, why some people still report for duty when they are over the alcohol limit.

CS
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 13:06
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Originally Posted by cargosales View Post
I couldn't agree more about fatigue.

I was driving us home late one night after an airshow we'd been working at (and had absolutely no alcohol whatsoever plus ate sensibly), the long hours suddenly kicked in. And I couldn't stay awake / felt myself nodding off at the wheel. I pulled off at the next exit and turned off the engine. Mate next to me apparantly then woke up and asked where we were but I didn't answer ... because I was already asleep!!

When you're flying an aircraft you simply don't have the 'luxury' of being able to pull over at the next exit and take some time out.

These are scary times when airlines push the limits on crew hours. And equally when struggling with fatigue, why some people still report for duty when they are over the alcohol limit.

CS
I expect many of us know pilots who have crashed - sometimes fatally - driving home due to sleep deprivation. There have been 2 studies that relate fatigue directly as a measure against alcohol level and current regs allow crews to operate perfectly legally with fatigue levels equivalent to alcohol levels that are illegal. It's in the "too difficult/expensive" box and neither authorities nor companies will deal with it.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 13:26
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It is also worth pointing out that this was not a morning flight, where a lively session the night before might have lead to a positive reading the following day.

To be reading 86mg at 8pm is very impressive if it is off a previous evening, and there is certainly no excuse for drinking anything during the day leading up to an evening departure. I suspect that there is more to this than meets the eye.

All that being said, I hope that the poor chap gets the help he obviously needs and is able to resume his career. I don't personally think anything would be served by sending him to prison (and I am no liberal when it comes to law and justice).
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 15:44
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Originally Posted by Timmy Tomkins View Post
I expect many of us know pilots who have crashed - sometimes fatally - driving home due to sleep deprivation. There have been 2 studies that relate fatigue directly as a measure against alcohol level and current regs allow crews to operate perfectly legally with fatigue levels equivalent to alcohol levels that are illegal. It's in the "too difficult/expensive" box and neither authorities nor companies will deal with it.
Timmy
Its a bit like the C word (commuting) many CAA/Companies or Crew deal with it either
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 16:17
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Originally Posted by gileraguy View Post
what about a small meal and a LIGHT beer....
Why should people feel the need to drink (alcohol) with a meal?

Is this something along the line of "cigarette after a meal enhances the taste".
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 16:51
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Yes, plonker, Grade 1. Do not pass go, etc. But for those concerned pax reading this, if you want to worry about something it's fatigue not alcohol that should be causing most concern.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 17:05
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I have never posted on rumours and news before being only an interested slf.However, I really cannot see what good a prison sentence would serve in this case.
This man has already lost his job and who knows what else.
I noted the magistrate stated as a pilot his actions were worse than driving a car in this condition, I would disagree.Surely in the cockpit his fellow crew members would have prevented him from killing everyone.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 17:23
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People make their choices, and they must live with the consequences.

I have little sympathy for people who put themselves in these situations, in any industry or job.
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Old 7th Jun 2018, 17:54
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The Times report on this indicates that Pilot's Solicitor reported his client had a Vodka and Coke at 10:30 in the morning.

Generally, few people drink hard liquor at breakfast, which seems to indicate an underlying drink problem that needs proper treatment.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...-fly-7nsrsn6cx
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