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Drunk pilot arrested at Schiphol. Delta?

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Drunk pilot arrested at Schiphol. Delta?

Old 27th Jan 2019, 11:11
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Drunk pilot arrested at Schiphol. Delta?

Dutch media reporting that a First Officer was arrested this morning at Schiphol. 51 years old and having a blood alcohol level of 0.63 (max is 0.2).
Flight cancelled and looking at the cancellations this morning there is only one candidate: Delta 47 to JFK. He paid a €3400 fine on the spot.
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Old 28th Jan 2019, 13:48
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He paid a €3400 fine on the spot.
Really????
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Old 28th Jan 2019, 17:11
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Jep. Multiple new outlets are reporting that point. No idea if there is a judicial follow up after that.
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Old 28th Jan 2019, 17:52
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https://nltimes.nl/2019/01/28/flight...drunk-co-pilot
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Old 29th Jan 2019, 01:20
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Nothing new, last time it was the captain who paid the fine (which seems to be adjusted for inflation or perhaps BAC level):

Drunk Delta Pilot Arrested in Cockpit: Dutch Police

  • By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
  • MATT HOSFORD
Sept. 14, 2010

A
Delta pilot has been arrested and fined for allegedly being drunk as he was preparing to fly from Amsterdam to Newark Liberty International Airport, outside New York City.

The Dutch National Police Corps has not identified the pilot but says he is a 52-year-old captain from Woodbury, N.J., according to the Associated Press. Delta issued a statement about Flight 35, saying that it was "cancelled out of concern that a crew member appeared to be unfit for duty." Local Amsterdam authorities have met with the crew member to begin their investigation and we are cooperating fully, while simultaneously launching our own internal investigation,"
Delta said in a statement. "The crew member has been suspended pending the outcome of these investigations. Impacted passengers have been reaccomodated on other flights."

Delta pilot policy specifically tells pilots not to report for duty with the presence of any amount of alcohol in their system.

"Our policy is among one of the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violations," Delta spokesman Anthony Black. Police say they arrested the man in the cockpit of his plane after an anonymous tip. The AP reported that a breath test found he had a blood alcohol content of 0.023 percent - a hair above the legal limit in the Netherlands.

The pilot was fined about $900 and released, according to a statement from police.


https://abcnews.go.com/Travel/drunk-...ry?id=11637035
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Old 29th Jan 2019, 02:29
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Interesting ‘paid a fine and was released’


Is that the end of the matter for the Dutch authorities then ?


That reading is so low It doesn’t exceed the FAA limits, DAL policy is something else but I wonder how they will handle this
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Old 29th Jan 2019, 02:56
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blood alcohol level of 0.63 (max is 0.2).
Are you sure it's not .063 and .02?
.63 Seems rather high.
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Old 29th Jan 2019, 03:30
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Originally Posted by Lantern10 View Post
blood alcohol level of 0.63 (max is 0.2).
Are you sure it's not .063 and .02?
.63 Seems rather high.
Blood alcohol levels in Europe are often measured in promille or "per thousand" 0.2 is then 0.02 percent. So 0.63 promille is 0.063 percent.
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Old 29th Jan 2019, 19:50
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Thanks for the explanation.
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Old 30th Jan 2019, 01:58
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Originally Posted by stilton View Post


Interesting ‘paid a fine and was released’


Is that the end of the matter for the Dutch authorities then ?


That reading is so low It doesn’t exceed the FAA limits, DAL policy is something else but I wonder how they will handle this
FAA Limits mean nothing in AMS. You are governed by the country you are operating in for alcohol limits. Any US carrier that doesn’t know this should stay stateside.
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Old 30th Jan 2019, 02:25
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Originally Posted by lambourne View Post


FAA Limits mean nothing in AMS. You are governed by the country you are operating in for alcohol limits. Any US carrier that doesn’t know this should stay stateside.


This is not correct, FAA limits are still governing and effective for all US carriers operating anywhere in the world


It is true that local laws, by the governing aviation authority and civilian authorities also apply, you can’t ignore either of them



My point is, if the infraction for the pilot in question is considered so ‘minor’ by these local authorities that he could just pay a fine
and he was apparently under the FAA limit then I’m very curious as to how the airline will deal with it
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Old 30th Jan 2019, 05:34
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Here’s most of FAR 91.17:

Ҥ 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 an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater in a blood or breath specimen. Alcohol concentration means grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

(b) Except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a personwho appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs (except a medical patient under proper care) to be carried in that aircraft.

(c) A crewmember shall do the following:

(1) On request of a law enforcement officer, submit to a test to indicate the alcohol concentration in the blood or breath, when -

(i) The law enforcement officer is authorized under State or local law to conduct the test or to have the test conducted; and

(ii) The law enforcement officer is requesting submission to the test to investigate a suspected violation of State or local law governing the same or substantially similar conduct prohibited by paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(4) of this section.

(2) Whenever the FAA has a reasonable basis to believe that a personmay have violated paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(4) of this section, on request of the FAA, that person must furnish to the FAA the results, or authorize any clinic, hospital, or doctor, or other person to release to the FAA, the results of each test taken within 4 hours after acting or attempting to act as a crewmember that indicates an alcohol concentration in the blood or breath specimen.”

When they say local law enforcement, wouldn’t that entail foreign local law? Not clearly defined. Just like minimum safe altitude is a bit vague. And 0.04 is fine but “while under the influence” would, and has always seemed to me, like the way to catch people who manage to get themselves into the newspapers. Let alone company policy.
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Old 30th Jan 2019, 15:09
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Under U.S. rules a .02 or higher BAC reading requires removal from duty for 8 hours or until retested below .02. Many, but not all, U.S. carriers have alcohol rules in the Ops manual that are more stringent than FAA or Department of Transportation requirements.

Here's some guidance from United's ALPA folks on how a positive alcohol test might play out on an international layover:

Now let’s suppose that you were not laying over in Phoenix, but instead were in London. And it was not a CSR who smelled alcohol on your breath, but instead at security you dropped your bag while hoisting it up on the belt for the x-ray machine and it fell on your foot. The screener asked you if you are alright, and you exchange pleasantries. 20 minutes later it is the London police who find you in Operations to report that the screener smelled alcohol. The police have a breathalyzer with them. The FARs require that you submit to a breath test by a law enforcement agency, or again, the result will be presumed to be positive.

After the breath test, you are taken to the police station and a doctor is called to administer a blood test. You are then arrested and taken to jail. You are charged with a violation of the Transport Safety Act of 2003, in that you performed activities that are ancillary to aviation functions with an unlawfully high blood alcohol content. You are arrested because you had “reported for duty,” and, as Captain, you flight planned and signed for the aircraft. This could be considered to be preparing to serve as a pilot of an aircraft.

Yours might be a test case, as you were arrested down in Operations – not on board the aircraft as has occurred with a few other foreign pilots in London. But you are clearly over the legal limit, as in the UK the legal limit is .02. Now in addition to the FAA revocation, you are facing criminal prosecution in a foreign country, with the possibility of jail time. ALPA might be able to help you find a criminal defense attorney, but there is little we can do to keep you out of the news. British news outlets pay “stringers” to hang around the courts to pick up juicy stories for them. You get written up in the London tabloids, which in this internet era, means that the local TV station back home will soon find out and reporters will be camped out at your door.
http://ual.alpa.org/LinkClick.aspx?f...%3D&tabid=1159

Unfortunately, U.S. pilots have a lot of experience with alcohol cases in the Isleworth Crown Court.
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Old 30th Jan 2019, 17:46
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From the quote article:
Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
... [COLOR=left=#000000]at security you dropped your bag while hoisting it up on the belt for the x-ray machine and it fell on your foot. The screener asked you if you are alright, and you exchange pleasantries.[/COLOR].
Quite clearly, complete fiction. You'd be lucky to get more than a snarl or a grunt out of them!
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Old 30th Jan 2019, 18:46
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b) Except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a person who appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs (except a medical patient under proper care) to be carried in that aircraft
That means passengers, am I correct? Be interesting to see a work to rule on that!
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Old 30th Jan 2019, 21:36
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Originally Posted by standbykid View Post
That means passengers, am I correct? Be interesting to see a work to rule on that!
You are correct.
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 13:37
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Originally Posted by stilton View Post
This is not correct, FAA limits are still governing and effective for all US carriers operating anywhere in the world

It is true that local laws, by the governing aviation authority and civilian authorities also apply, you can’t ignore either of them

My point is, if the infraction for the pilot in question is considered so ‘minor’ by these local authorities that he could just pay a fine
and he was apparently under the FAA limit then I’m very curious as to how the airline will deal with it
If I may attempt to add a bit of perspective here, for a US license holder, operating a US registered aircraft from a Dutch airport, both local (Dutch) laws as well as several bits of US legislation apply (but you already mentioned that). Just to clarify, lets assume that the alcohol limits are the same on both sides of the Atlantic. If you step into this aircraft with the intent of aviating it towards home, you have:
  • breached local (Dutch) law, as you are above the alcohol limit as laid down in Dutch legislation for crewmembers operating an aircraft within Dutch airspace.
  • are in breach of your company's limits as laid down in the Operations Manual, which may incur corrective action by your employer. They may also have included a bit about always complying with local laws at all times. (Even though the pilot in this case may have been below the company/FAA limit, a condition that stipulates that you comply with local laws can still trigger some sort of reaction from your employer.)
  • you may not have breached FAA laws yet, as I'm pretty sure those only start to apply once a US registered aircraft on foreign soil has started moving under its own power with the intent to take off. But don't pin me down on that as definitions and interpretations vary and you can argue this point six ways from Sunday. The FAR as quoted below includes the statement 'attempt to act as a crewmember', which may apply, until you take into account that at the time of this infraction, the crewmember was not inside the US and a US court may not have had jurisdiction.
The fact that the infraction was covered by a fine may be due to the fact that there are limits on the sentences that a Dutch judge can apply to a foreign citizen. I would hazard a guess that it was actually worded as a 'settlement in lieu of a sentencing' or something similar. But someone more knowledgable will undoubtedly correct me if I got it wrong.

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Old 31st Jan 2019, 21:22
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Dutch law stipulates that you can be offered a hefty fine, which settles the case. You automatically will be considered accountable, since you admitted and agreed to pay up. An out-of-court settlement.
This is the usual way these cases are handled here if you are a non-resident.
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Old 4th Feb 2019, 09:11
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Originally Posted by fox niner View Post
Dutch law stipulates that you can be offered a hefty fine, which settles the case. You automatically will be considered accountable, since you admitted and agreed to pay up. An out-of-court settlement.
This is the usual way these cases are handled here if you are a non-resident.
Or as a resident alike. But you're free to not accept the settlement, in which case the DA has to prepare a case and take you to court. Good chance that takes a while (up to three years), and a judge will then be much more lenient due to the amount of time passed and possibly extenuating circumstances.
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Old 5th Feb 2019, 11:33
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Originally Posted by stilton View Post
My point is, if the infraction for the pilot in question is considered so ‘minor’ by these local authorities that he could just pay a fine and he was apparently under the FAA limit then I’m very curious as to how the airline will deal with it
Amsterdam’s policy here has been well known for years. I expect in front of his chief pilot he will be answerable for the effect of his infraction more than the actual infraction itself. I feel a P45 coming on.
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