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Delta pilot suspected of drinking arrested at MSP

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Delta pilot suspected of drinking arrested at MSP

Old 31st Jul 2019, 03:05
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Delta pilot suspected of drinking arrested at MSP

“A Delta Air Lines pilot was arrested after officers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport smelled alcohol on his breath before his California-bound flight Tuesday morning.

The pilot was going through the Known Crewmember entrance and tried to leave the line when he saw additional screening, according to a report from airport police.

The pilot was later found to be in possession of an "alcoholic container" and was suspected to be impaired, the report said.“

Delta pilot suspected of drinking arrested at MSP Airport - StarTribune.com
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Old 31st Jul 2019, 11:14
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Alcoholic container

Send the container to rehab?
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Old 31st Jul 2019, 21:41
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He was released about three hours later, the report said, pending a formal complaint. The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects who have not been charged.
Curious. Would an initial positive breath-test not be enough to charge the individual? Or is the policy to wait for the full blood-work result?
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 14:58
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Under Minnesota law:

Aviation limit is 0.04
Refusal to submit to testing is a criminal offense
Attempting to operate an aircraft within 8 hrs of consuming any alcohol is a criminal offense
PIC allowing known violator to operate an aircraft is a criminal offense

Generally preliminary breath tests are not admissible. As for delay in charging, assume local DA is waiting for results of blood test.
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Old 7th Aug 2019, 03:03
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More details in a later news report:

Schroeder was arrested on July 30, 2019 a little after 11 a.m. on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol after an investigation was conducted by airport police.

Patrick Hogan, the airport spokesman told CNN that before Schroeder got on the plane he was seen leaving a TSA screening line for crew members when he noticed there was additional screening being conducted. Hogan added that Schroeder left the line which drew suspicion. He later went back into the screening line and boarded the plane.

He had initially walked up to a random screening detail at the Known Crew Member entrance around 10:30 a.m. and then stopped abruptly. According to the report, the pilot “began looking around the screening area and appeared confused.” He then went up to a TSA screener and asked if he had to be screened. The TSA screener told Schroeder he did, and Schroeder stated he “wasn’t ready” and left the area.

According to the report he was seen on CCTV entering a men’s restroom for a brief time before exiting and returning to the screening area. The report continues to say that a 1.75 liter of Phillips Vodka was found shortly later in a trash can in the same restroom. When Schroeder returned, he stated he had forgotten his iPad in the Delta crew room. According to the report, he was “visibly shaking and appeared extremely nervous.”

The report alleges that a detective followed him into the aircraft. He was located in the cockpit, seated in the first officer’s chair. The detective said Schroeder was “operating the console on the aircraft by touching various buttons.”
After he agreed to speak to the detective he alleged that he had not drunk since “last Saturday.” The detective stated in the report as he was speaking with the pilot, he noticed he was shaking, sweating, and could smell “a light odor of a consumed alcoholic beverage” from his breath. Schroeder told the detective he did not know why his breath smelled like that. Originally stating he did not go to the restroom and instead insisting he went to the Delta crew room, he then stated after further questioning that he “might have” gone to the restroom but denied discarding a bottle of alcohol in the trash.

After a preliminary breath test, Schroeder recorded a .065 blood alcohol level. It’s illegal for pilots to fly with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 or higher, and Federal Aviation Administration rules prohibit pilots from drinking within eight hours of a flight. He was booked and later released.

After his arrest, the plane for Delta Flight 1728 was fully boarded but had not yet left the gate. The passengers were told to leave the plane and return to the terminal. The flight, scheduled to depart at 11:20, ended up leaving an hour late.

Delta spokeswoman Kate Modolo released a statement to CNN confirming the airline was working with local authorities; “Delta’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation. Delta is cooperating with local authorities in their investigation.”



https://globintel.com/usa/gabriel-ly...er-pilot-wiki/
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 00:18
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Possibly related, there have been some recent changes to Known Crewmember (KCM) screening after this guy ducked the initial enhanced inspection.

Pilot Charged With Trying To Fly Drunk

Jake Judd | Aug 30, 2019 AT 5:17 pm
(AP) - A Delta Air Lines pilot has been charged with operating an aircraft under the influence of alcohol.

The criminal complaint against Gabriel Schroeder, of Rosemount, Minnesota, says tests determined the 37-year-old had a blood alcohol level between 0.04% and 0.08% when detectives arrested him on a plane at the Minneapolis airport, just as it started boarding for San Diego July 20. The limit set by the Federal Aviation Administration is 0.04%, which is half the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.

Schroder was charged Friday. His first court date is Nov. 27. Court records don't list an attorney who could comment for him.

The complaint says Schroeder told detectives that he'd had one beer and three vodka drinks the night before. He also admitted discarding an unopened vodka bottle investigators found in an airport bathroom after he saw that security screening for crews had been stepped up.



Pilot Charged With Trying To Fly Drunk
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 11:10
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How I hate the ridiculous use of the term "drunk" in these headlines. He was in breach of being over a very strict limit, but a long way from being "drunk"!
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 12:14
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
How I hate the ridiculous use of the term "drunk" in these headlines. He was in breach of being over a very strict limit, but a long way from being "drunk"!

sells news stories..like "racist" naming race when police shootings happen...the media have no scruples, whatever attracts an audience
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 12:52
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What a stupid way to ruin a flying career at Delta.
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 15:59
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango How I hate the ridiculous use of the term "drunk" in these headlines. He was in breach of being over a very strict limit, but a long way from being "drunk"!
Originally Posted by ironbutt57 View Post
sells news stories..like "racist" naming race when police shootings happen...the media have no scruples, whatever attracts an audience
There's nothing at all ridiculous about it. Drunkeness is a matter of degree and impairment that could easily affect piloting performance may occur at BAC levels below the Minnesota .04% legal limit. The FAA 8-hour rule and various companies' 12-hour rules are not merely arbitrary.

Here's the handy CDC chart showing likely effects on motor vehicle operation: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/bac-a.pdf

Would you,as SLF, be comfortable riding with a pilot who had "only a drink or two" before boarding? What if you knew s/he had also brought along a bottle of vodka in the carry-on -- or even tried to?


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Old 31st Aug 2019, 17:13
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Well I was expecting someone like OldnGrounded to pop out of the woodwork and react the way he did. Nowhere in my post did I imply that said pilot should have been allowed to fly! I just mentioned my dislike for the term "drunk" at 0.08%. He was over an imposed minimum limit and the correct and appropriate action was taken. "Drunk" he was not. If he was deemed drunk at 0.08% then he would certainly not have been sober at 0.03% for example!
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 18:09
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
Well I was expecting someone like OldnGrounded to pop out of the woodwork and react the way he did. Nowhere in my post did I imply that said pilot should have been allowed to fly! I just mentioned my dislike for the term "drunk" at 0.08%. He was over an imposed minimum limit and the correct and appropriate action was taken. "Drunk" he was not. If he was deemed drunk at 0.08% then he would certainly not have been sober at 0.03% for example!
You didn't "just mention your dislike" of the term, you said it is ridiculous. Here's the Cambridge Dictionary's definition of the word:

drunk adjective (TOO MUCH ALCOHOL)

unable to behave correctly or as usual because of drinking too much alcohol
Are you really willing to argue that "drunk" is a "ridiculous" term when used to describe an ATP whose BAC tested at .065% after arriving for a flight?
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 20:14
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This thread has got my attention and so I looked up this BAC business. I'm still confused though. From what I'm reading you can still at a certain average weight be deemed as having your skills impaired at 0.03% So why is that set as the limit for pilots? Shouldn't it be even lower? I also note that the table indicates that no matter your weight one is only considered "legally intoxicated" from 0.08 at the very minimum if you weigh 160 pounds.
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 21:54
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Originally Posted by BRUpax View Post
This thread has got my attention and so I looked up this BAC business. I'm still confused though. From what I'm reading you can still at a certain average weight be deemed as having your skills impaired at 0.03% So why is that set as the limit for pilots? Shouldn't it be even lower? I also note that the table indicates that no matter your weight one is only considered "legally intoxicated" from 0.08 at the very minimum if you weigh 160 pounds.
The .08% number is the one now generally used for motor vehicle operation (the limit for young drivers is often lower). The FAA limits under 14 CFR Part 121 start with mandating "temporary" removal from duty when breath BAC measures .02% on a required test. The 8-hour rule, under 14 CFR Part 91.17, is considered a minimum. The relevant FAA brochure, summarizing the rules, is here.

Individual states often have their own laws covering alcohol consumption and flying. That's where the .04% reference (Minnesota's law) in the story about the Delta pilot comes from.
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Old 31st Aug 2019, 22:15
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Ok, and thank you for the link.
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 14:58
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This was put out by our union a while back.




Legal Ramifications of the Misuse of Alcohol


Suppose you are out on a trip. You have a 16-hour layover in Phoenix. You get to the hotel and go out to dinner with your crew and have a few drinks. You decide to go out to a bar to watch a ballgame on TV and there you have several more drinks. You stop drinking exactly 8 hours before the next day's scheduled departure at 9 am. You stay out a bit longer to see the end of the game, and then back at the hotel you can't get to sleep. You toss and turn and finally fall asleep around 1:30 in the morning. The next morning you are feeling tired and doze off after the alarm and wake-up call. You wake up with a start and have five minutes before show time for the van ride. You don't have time to shower – you just throw on your uniform, and race down to the lobby. You are five minutes late for the van, and the hotel was just starting to call up to your room.



At the airport you pass through security and go to the gate to stow your bags on the aircraft. The CSR checks you in, and you go on down to Station Ops. Twenty minutes later as you are getting ready to head back up to the gate the Station Manger arrives and asks to talk to you. You have what seems to be an innocuous conversation, but then she tells you that you will need to take a breathalyzer test. The CSR smelled alcohol on your breath, and so does the Station Manager.

The next thing you know, you are on the phone with the FODM who tells you that the flight is being delayed and the tester is on the way to the airport. You call your Council Chairman, who manages to patch in an ALPA lawyer on the phone. The testing process is explained, including your obligation to comply with the breathalyzer test, as the Station Manager has observed you and determined that there is a "reasonable suspicion" that you may be presently under the influence of alcohol. The Station Manager received training on making these evaluations, and once the decision is made to summon the tester, there is no turning back. If you refuse the test, the FAA treats it as a positive.

Fifteen minutes later you take the initial "screening" breath test. It reads .046. Since this is over the limit of .04, you will have to take a confirmation test, the results of which will count towards determining if you are in violation of the FAR. These are the longest 15 minutes of your life. The second test reads .044. You are taken off the trip, and told to wait in Operations for further instructions. You call back the ALPA attorney, and have the first of what will be many conversations with them. Shortly after that your Flight Manager calls and says that they are arranging for you to deadhead back to the domicile, where he and other members of the local HIMS (Human Intervention Motivation Study) team will meet you.

In the coming days and weeks, the following will transpire: You are given the option to submit to a formal substance abuse evaluation to determine whether you have a diagnosable problem with drinking. As the ALPA attorney explained, the FAA's Federal Air Surgeon has found that a single incident of reporting for duty with a blood alcohol content above .04 is evidence enough for the FAA to invalidate your medical certificate. Your only route back to a First Class Medical Certificate is treatment through the HIMS Program. If you don't elect to be medically evaluated, you can expect to be fired. If you do seek treatment through HIMS, your discipline may be held in abeyance and you could keep your job. But it is a long road back to the cockpit, and your life as a drinker is over.

The results of the breath tests from the airport will be reported to the FAA, and they will open an investigation. Sometime after that the letter will come – probably via FedEx. The FAA is revoking all of your certificates. The Order of Revocation is effective immediately because the FAA Administrator has determined that an emergency exists, threatening air safety. The emergency threat is you.

The ALPA lawyer analyzes the case and explains that while you can appeal the FAA action, there is no practical hope of overturning the revocation of your certificates. With the breathalyzer test results in hand, and given the fact that you had already reported for duty at the aircraft, and conducted flight planning in Operations, the FAA's case is virtually air tight. The breathalyzer machines are maintained, tested, and re-calibrated regularly to meet federal standards, and there is very little chance that a judge will find the result to be unreliable. An appeal of an FAA action against your certificates is heard by an Administrative Law Judge of the NTSB. But under the law, the Administrative Judge cannot overturn the FAA's choice of penalty if it is within the range of penalties established by the FAA for the particular violation. So, if you are found to be in violation, even a sympathetic Judge cannot overturn the revocation.

The Chief Counsel's Office of the FAA in Washington has instructed all FAA field attorneys that they may not plea bargain down a pilot alcohol violation case to anything less than revocation of all certificates. Your licenses will be revoked for one year from the date of the letter, which will take a couple of months. This means that you won't be able to even begin the road back to flying for over a full year – and that is dependent on full compliance with the HIMS program and successful medical recertification.

During that one year before you can even try to regain your pilot certificates, you will be working to re-qualify for a medical certificate. As you are not medically fit to fly, you will be able to use sick leave, vacation and the Drug, Alcohol, Substance Abuse Treatment Benefit found in Section 24-H-13. The HIMS benefit provides for twelve (12) months of disability benefits under the LTD Plan. After exhausting these provisions there is no more income. Not until after the period of revocation will you will be allowed to re-take the written exams for private, instrument, multi-engine, commercial and ATP ratings, after which you will work with an FAA designated examiner to complete the flight checks. You have to rent an airplane, and since this is a reissuance this likely takes place in another state due to examiner expertise. And after all that you need to go to school for a week – not at DENFTC - and regain your ATP as well. All paid for out of your own pocket. Best case you could get back to work 18 months from that fateful morning in Phoenix, and that is if you have no setbacks in your recovery. Along the way you will almost certainly run out of income, and endure stress, shame and regret like almost nothing before in your life.

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". This is 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. 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. You are now an internet and cable news sensation, and your airline is getting drug through the mud right with you.

These scenarios are not descriptions of actual pilot cases, but are inspired by real life events. The best legal advice I can give is don't drink to excess on layover. Just don't do it. The consequences are too great. If you think you have a problem with drinking – or drugs – contact your local HIMS Committee volunteers. They can help. You can prevent this from happening to you. Please take heed and do not become my next "client."

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Old 1st Sep 2019, 15:11
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No pun intended, but that is pretty sobering!

Last edited by Spooky 2; 1st Sep 2019 at 18:27.
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 16:11
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Originally Posted by Spooky 2 View Post
No pun intended. but that is pretty sobering!
It's bloody terrifying!
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 16:53
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For some perspective on the DL pilot breathalyzer results: On average, metabolism of alcohol results in BAC being reduced by about .015% per hour (after you stop drinking, of course). That suggests that the Delta pilot was somewhere near .08 four or so hours before reporting. That, in turn, suggests that he was drinking well after the 8-hour period began or that he was pretty much slammed eight hours before showing up at MSP.
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 18:16
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Originally Posted by CaptainMongo View Post
This was put out by our union a while back.
Thanks for sharing this.
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