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BA pilot sacked for snorting coke from, err, well...and then trying to fly home.

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BA pilot sacked for snorting coke from, err, well...and then trying to fly home.

Old 29th Sep 2023, 18:14
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Scruffy looking beggar……
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 22:55
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Originally Posted by Uplinker

Is seems very odd to me that someone clever enough to pass an ATPL course and the British Airways pilot assessment process
I don't know about the BA assessment process, but an ATPL is a fairly middling achievement - below the standard required of, for example, a nurse, paramedic or physiotherapist and about level with an osteopath.
​​
If you look at the census statistics that puts an ATPL holder somewhere in the bottom 50%-65% of the over-16 English population, i.e. just above average.

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Old 30th Sep 2023, 00:26
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This isn’t the 1970s anymore, higher standards are expected and we are under much greater scrutiny than before. With social media, any in flight antics can be all over the internet before you land at your destination.

Crew behaviour down route can leave a lot to be desired. Noisy, drunken room parties disturbing other hotel guests, even incidents of letting off fire extinguishers in corridors have come to light.

Imagine the reaction if a South African Airways pilot was found to have consumed illegal drugs before operating a flight departing from London and the airline had paxed him home before the authorities could get involved. AFAIK taking class A drugs is an offence in SA, and BA could find themselves in trouble if local laws weren’t followed when dealing with a case like this.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 10:31
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Originally Posted by Abrahn
I don't know about the BA assessment process, but an ATPL is a fairly middling achievement - below the standard required of, for example, a nurse, paramedic or physiotherapist and about level with an osteopath.
​​
If you look at the census statistics that puts an ATPL holder somewhere in the bottom 50%-65% of the over-16 English population, i.e. just above average.
I agree with you there.

When I attended a 10 week course for the UK ATPL theory, in the 1970's it was different. I don't consider myself that smart. I had 14 subjects to pass. It was written answers then. Now I believe it's knowing a question and answer bank of all possible questions and answers.

What you do need, is the drive and tenacity to succeed. I've seen university graduates drop out of these courses. It's a calling if you like.

Taking in knowledge and coughing it up, on demand is not proof of intelligence IMHO. Innovators? Yes they are smart.

I consider a London Taxi driver for example as being way smarter than I. Try doing the London knowledge.
We are all not all wired the same.

Last edited by RichardJones; 30th Sep 2023 at 13:50.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 12:50
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What a way to completely ruin your life
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 13:22
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Originally Posted by Abrahn
I don't know about the BA assessment process, but an ATPL is a fairly middling achievement - below the standard required of, for example, a nurse, paramedic or physiotherapist and about level with an osteopath.
​​
If you look at the census statistics that puts an ATPL holder somewhere in the bottom 50%-65% of the over-16 English population, i.e. just above average.
when it was around the ATPL was equivalent to an NVQ Level 4, which is first year degree level.

so a bit more than just above average.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 14:16
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Originally Posted by Jonty
when it was around the ATPL was equivalent to an NVQ Level 4, which is first year degree level.

so a bit more than just above average.
Originally Posted by JustStartingPPL
What a way to completely ruin your life
Yes. Drugs ruin peoples lives, in more ways than one.
Some Asian countries have a tough approach to this problem. Singapore for example, Anyone caught with more than 10grams, it's a mandatory death sentence.
The down side is, if someone doesn't like you, you maybe become an unsuspecting maul.
Watch your backs. Not to mention bags.

Last edited by RichardJones; 30th Sep 2023 at 14:30.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 15:53
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While airline piolts dont seem to be Skygods any more-if they ever were , and its still some thing that not everyone can do. Itis a huge fiancial challnge for a start, some peopel just dont have the right inate abilities to judge height sna speeds which si kind of imprtant for landing and I think youare overlookign that fact that many jobs have become easier or more accessible in the last 25 years
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 16:34
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I think what is more interesting to observe is that he felt comfortable detailing his behaviour in a written/recorded format to a fellow crew member within the same time frame as the trip/return leg. To me; that says a lot more about the company culture surrounding such behaviour.

If this was an outlier in terms of actions/bahviour then wouldn't they know well enough to keep it to themselves and not broadcast it in a format that can be recorded? The contents of the texts appear to me as if it is the bragging report of some regular antics down-route.

*I'm leaving in the spelling error because it made me laugh
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 17:03
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Originally Posted by Boeingdriver999
I think what is more interesting to observe is that he felt comfortable detailing his behaviour in a written/recorded format to a fellow crew member within the same time frame as the trip/return leg. To me; that says a lot more about the company culture surrounding such behaviour.
Thought the same. Odd that a pilot (and a married man with a child) would be at ease detailing this type of behavior to a fellow crew member.

Throughout this topic, there’s been a discussion about the evils of alcohol/drug addiction. I’ve not seen any information establishing this pilot had an addiction to either. You can abuse drugs and alcohol without being an addict.

Does BA specifically and the airlines in general conduct random drug testing? If so, how many times can a crew member expect random testing during a year? During my time in the military, I was tested at least a couple times a year and some times as much as twice per month.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 17:05
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I question people's common sense when they not only do stupid things, but then feel they have to tell the world they've done it.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 17:57
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Originally Posted by BFSGrad
Thought the same. Odd that a pilot (and a married man with a child) would be at ease detailing this type of behavior to a fellow crew member.

Throughout this topic, there’s been a discussion about the evils of alcohol/drug addiction. I’ve not seen any information establishing this pilot had an addiction to either. You can abuse drugs and alcohol without being an addict.
Most alcoholics become quite good at hiding their addiction (I've known a few - including my oldest sister (it ultimately killed her due to cirrhosis of the liver). In my sister's case she'd fallen off the wagon for at least a month before even her husband noticed - and he was watching for it.
Which suggests that this fellow - while it may not have been a one-off - wasn't experienced at this sort of behavior.

Last edited by tdracer; 30th Sep 2023 at 19:11.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 18:38
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Originally Posted by Abrahn
I don't know about the BA assessment process, but an ATPL is a fairly middling achievement - below the standard required of, for example, a nurse, paramedic or physiotherapist and about level with an osteopath.
​​
If you look at the census statistics that puts an ATPL holder somewhere in the bottom 50%-65% of the over-16 English population, i.e. just above average.
I hold an engineering degree from a respected UK ( London) university and an ATPL issued in the 60,,s . I think you are referring to only the written part of this license ? There is rather more to it than that , and where do these “ statistics” come from ? Nurse , paramedic , laudable jobs but surely no comparison ..
nonetheless times change and academically the license itself ( written part) has become far less rigorous as have most school exams . I knocked out the US ATPL exam after about a week of study . None of this is the point, the written part of the license opens a door, not all are able to pass through the door to achieve their dreams.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 18:44
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Originally Posted by Jack D
I hold an engineering degree from a respected UK ( London) university and an ATPL issued in the 60,,s . I think you are referring to only the written part of this license ? There is rather more to it than that , and where do these “ statistics” come from ? Nurse , paramedic , laudable jobs but surely no comparison ..
nonetheless times change and academically the license itself ( written part) has become far less rigorous as have most school exams . I knocked out the US ATPL exam after about a week of study . None of this is the point, the written part of the license opens a door, not all are able to pass through the door to achieve their dreams.
Fair comment.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 19:26
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Apologies RJ , I should have directed my response to Abrahn ; so you see I still have finger trouble despite all those licenses etc .
Agree with what you say , many have fallen by the wayside despite their academic prowess . In the US generally speaking a bachelors degree is needed to join a major airline or officers, military training . perhaps this is a recognition that a certain work ethic is required as evidence that you may pass the training . You alluded to tenacity and a will to succeed , quite right in my opinion !
One of the very best operators I ever flew with was trained as a carpenter and went to night school to attain A levels so that he might be “ selectable “ .. and he could put up shelves !
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 20:31
  #96 (permalink)  
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Drug taking is no respecter of background or education. I would also add that drug misuse is different from alcohol misuse due to the fact that most pilots drink alcohol. That is widely accepted as ‘normal’, but we as a community are expected to operate within the limitations laid down legally and by our employers (10 hours bottle to throttle etc). Drug taking for recreational purposes, however, is banned - that’s it. Everyone knows the deal and there is a zero tolerance policy in force at any airline in the world that I have ever heard of. Taking drugs is the third rail of aviation behaviour - touch it and you are dead.

Like everyone else here I am simply aghast that the pilot in question would not have questioned the wisdom of texting one of his cabin crew to boast about taking cocaine. Most people would have recognised it as career suicide. It does make you wonder about the culture that may have prevailed - simply mind-blowing naivety, stupidity and overall lack of judgment.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 20:46
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Originally Posted by Jack D
I think you are referring to only the written part of this license ? There is rather more to it than that , and where do these “ statistics” come from ? Nurse , paramedic , laudable jobs but surely no comparison .
.
I was referring to both the exams and the practical requirements. The "statistics" come from the Office of National Statistics. It is interesting to see the dramatic change in national average academic performance between the 2011 and 2021 census.

Nurse and paramedic are both 3/4 year degree level qualifications with embedded work experience. ATPL is roughly 18 months, so substantially less
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 22:09
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Originally Posted by Chiefttp
While the drug use by this BA pilot is what concerns most people, there is a greater “crime” in my opinion. His utter lack of judgement is the egregious aspect of this incident. Think about this particular scenario, at a critical point in the evening, the Pilot had a choice to make between two options,

1. Destroy a career, that’s taken years of hard work and dedication to achieve. Destroy a Marriage, Destroy his family, Destroy any respect he had with Co-workers, friends and family, and finally face Possible criminal charges to include Prison.

OR

2. Snort a line of Cocaine off a strange women’s tit and enjoy a 20 minute HIGH……..

The fact that he chose option 2, speaks volumes about his judgement and is the real “crime” of this incident.
did you mean to phrase it this way?
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 22:27
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BA has had a serious issue with cabin crew using various opportunities to drop the flight deck right in the doo doo. Suspensions, internal reports, some ending up in court. They used to stay in separate hotels down route in my day.
Emirates runs on crew fear. Fact. Just don't get caught and reported.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 23:03
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In the days when one usually had a CPL some years before the ALTP exams, I sat next to an Oxbridge physics graduate at Cass College. He was stressed. "It's not that any one thing is very complicated, just that there is SO much of it."

The ALTP was a traditional Town Hall venue, with invigilators taking their jobs very seriously. I still hear them. "Pens down gentlemen please." Hah, I recall one glancing at my Met where I'd moved a low pressure area over a bit. "Sometimes the first ideas are the best." Aaaaaagh. I still passed.

My CPL had been weeks of crisis. I'd left a post war Secondary school at 14 with no exams passed whatsoever. There were so many add-ons. Lighthouses! A room full of chaps clicking stopwatches. RT licence. IR simulator, an upgraded D4 Link trainer in Shell Mex house. This had to be passed before one could turn up at CAFU Stansted. Law. I'd forgotten Law. Thank goodness I passed that as it was out of the way forever. Type rating. Performance A. 2 1/2 hours. I wonder what I've forgotten.

Some years later I needed an ATP for a 727 operation. 6 hours, finished in 1. I spent 30mins checking and writing a note saying their performance question, carrying 2 points, had no correct answer. I got 98 points. A bloke at Braniff said 'That's why no one ever gets 100% in the ATP."
I'd love to know if I was correct.

When Eagle went bust I was reading the Sunday Times, and spotted an ad with a lovely picture of a Trident. My heart sank as I realised I didn't come close to qualifying. It sank even further when I noticed the ad was for cleaners.


Last edited by Loose rivets; 1st Oct 2023 at 01:40.
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