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One for the road?

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One for the road?

Old 20th Dec 2002, 17:24
  #21 (permalink)  
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london-flyer, you have only one option.
You have to report him. He shows all the signs of alcoholism and he needs help. By not reporting him you are just as guilty if he crashes and kills someone.
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 17:34
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Don't forget that BALPA have trained counsellors for this sort of thing. It would be nice to think that the right kind of expertise could salvage something from this sad affair, and who knows even give this guy a way back to respectability.
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 18:47
  #23 (permalink)  

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You can't reason with substance abusers when they're still using, because for all practical purposes they are not capable of it. If you report him and management are somewhere in the 21st century then he will be told to take a holiday and go into a recognised Rehab. program. When he comes out (4-8 weeks) he drives a desk for a couple of months & does 90 AA meetings in 90 days. Then he can start flying again with someone relatively senior in the other seat. He should expect random breath/blood/urine checks for quite a while. This is not a joke. One slip and he's out. Maybe he'll make it into stable recovery. Maybe he won't. That's up to him and his God.

Tough, but them's my rules in my outfit - worked so far.

If nobody does something firm before things become irretrievable then he'll end up disgraced and dismissed and quite possibly dead by his own hand (or screws up and take others with him).
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 18:52
  #24 (permalink)  
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London Flyer

I don't wish to be unkind, but to be honest, I don't think you have handled the situation in the best possible way. I admire your concern for the problem, your concern for your friend and what appears to be an honest desire to help the person concerned in a humane way.

I do not agree with a number of the other suggestions here, but hell, I don't hod the monopoly on wise or right decisions; like everyone else here, these are personal opinions and there will always be a difference of opinion.

My reasoning is as follows;

1. You do not work for the airline concerned and therefore as well-meaning as your intentions are to help your friend address the problem, it is not your direct responsibility. This is a dilemma she unfortunately has to resolve as she is a person of standing and trust in the airline and like it or not she has her own responsibilities to face. One could argue that you have a responsibility as a law abiding citizen to report any law breaker; i.e a burglar, drunk driver etc, however the primary responsibility to do something about this rests with those individuals that are directly involved in the situation. This encompasses those that fly with him and those that work in the same airline and are aware of the problem. As I said in my earlier post, if you know about it and do nothing then you are condoning the situation.

2. By calling the guy concerned you have put yourself in the firing line. I agree that there is no way he could influence your career with other airlines and if he could, those airlines would not be airlines you would want to work for and try and build a career with. As is becoming evident in this post, the guy concerned has a deep-seated problem. If what has been suggested is true, he has an almost defiant attitude about what he is doing, not to try and disguise the problem from other crew that will undoubtedly see him drinking and the bar staff at the regular hotel he stops at. This combined with his reaction to you trying to help him would probably indicate that his problem is out of control. Whilst there are agencies that can help such as AA, BALPA, CAA medical unit etc, these are really self-help kinds of assistance that rely on the individual first accepting he has a problem and recognising that he needs and more importantly wants help. When someone gets to that stage they are probably well on their way to recovery; this guy is far from that and yet continues to fly!

2. I fully agree with Flaps40; I know her and she is a very experienced and wise lady that has had the benefit of considerable cabin crew experience that allows her to stand up to even a hard-headed flight crew. She is however right, because this problem is clearly well-known in the airline and yet nobody has accepted their responsibility to do what they ought to do. Why should it fall upon her shoulders, just because she is concientious?

3. What does irk me is that this is widely known from what you say and everyone buries their head in the sand. Not acceptable. Especially not from a senior management pilot. Also, if everyone else knows, that means that every other captain in the airline and every other first officer that ever flew with the guy have spectacularly failed in their responsibility. End result is that the guy is still flying and should have been stopped a long time ago.

4. Attitudes like, 'if he won't go sick, I will' are not acceptable. You simply pass the buck to another F/O. 'Go sick and I will back you up, say you ate something', likewise pass the buck.

All those people here that read Pprune and work for the airline, probably know who it is and who LF is talking about. Time to wise up and if any one individual does't have the balls then do it collectively, and do it NOW! If this is true, then the guy concerned should be grounded right now. Not tomorrow, nor the next, but RIGHT NOW!

I hope you all have the courage to do what you should do. If you don't and something happens, then on your own individual consciences!
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 21:15
  #25 (permalink)  
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Look in your private message box.
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 23:33
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Firstly I would like to say thank-you for all the support, everyone has offered about this subject. I really has been eating us up for the last few days and you advice has really helped.

The good news, well sort of good news, is the Capt involved has been grounded, not sure about what happened to be completly honest, but my friend was told today he was grounded, and some people are saying that pprune has something to do with it. Thats how aware everyone is about the problem he has,everyone knew who it was, a couple of concerned pilots brought it to a managers attention, one being the guy we spoke to, and its gone from their. So who knows whats gonna happen, but the most important thing is that he is not behind the stick as such.

I just hope the airline involved learns a lesson from this. It really could of got ugly, or worse, killed people, and all because people are to frightened to speak up. It all goes to show how important good CRM is, as well as an open door policy, and correct reporting procudures.

Anyway, fingercrossed it is now over, and out of our hands, thanks again to you all. And have a great christmas and new year. I know I will now its all dead and burried, I just hope he will too.
Old 20th Dec 2002, 23:34
  #27 (permalink)  
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Senior management - NOW

London Flyer,

This is such a tough position for your friend to be in, but trust me having been in a VERY similar position, the longer you leave it the worse it gets.

You lose credibility if you leave it a long time before reporting it
"if you believe it to be such a serious problem why did it take you so long to come forward?"
Was one response I received
I was later accused of being racist as the person concerned was from another European country!

Can you think of any VALID reason for not reporting him?

Depending on the a/c he operates (eg 737) there could be over 600 reasons a day for stopping him flying

She needs to go straight to senior management, she will be supported - I was (eventually)

I wish her all the luck in the world but as the No 1 her crew have made an official complaint to her upon which it is her duty to act - it was similar circumstances for myself
- bite the bullet, it is the ONLY way

I was typing my post while you were posting the update
I am so pleased to hear this, you must all be very relieved and it can only have a positive effect on every other crew nightstopping

Here's to a very merry and safe Xmas and New Year
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Old 21st Dec 2002, 03:49
  #28 (permalink)  
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We can only be thankful that he was grounded before having an accident -- next time may not be as fortunate.

All crew need a published procedure that tells them exactly who must be notified (CP, HR, Medical) in this sad situation so that it gets resolved without exposing passengers and crew to further danger.

If I was in management, I'd much rather get a phone call than hear of postings on PPRune that might be about my airline.
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Old 21st Dec 2002, 06:45
  #29 (permalink)  

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With a good rehabilitation program and quite a bit of tough work (and painful introspection) on his side he could be back in his seat in six months - a happier and wiser man.

One of my subjects is now one of the most valued and respected members of the team, doing superb work and inspiring others.

The other, never confronted alas and allowed to sink because no one knew what to do, eventually committed suicide leaving a young wife and two small kids. It is still awful to think about, but at the time none of us knew anything about the illness.

Thre is a reasonable chance that this will all end happily and a highly trained person will be restored to full function in society and his work. I'm sure that we all pray for this outcome.

Edited to add: It is my understanding that when people stop concealing and start using/abusing openly then they may well be desperately hoping that someone is going to stop them. If that was what was going on with your chap them I guess he got lucky.

Last edited by Mac the Knife; 21st Dec 2002 at 07:09.
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Old 21st Dec 2002, 20:09
  #30 (permalink)  
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Whilst I hope the advice here from various sources has been useful to you, and I suspect that the presence of the thread here on Pprune has made a big difference, you and your friend are brave women who faced down a difficult situation and deserve our respect.

Have a good christmas, and lets all hope that eventual outcome of this is happy for all affected.

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Old 22nd Dec 2002, 15:13
  #31 (permalink)  

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An interesting and sad situation that thankfully does not seem to occur quite as much these days. The general perceptions and increased awareness of crews to the problem has altered.

There was conflicting advice with regard to solving the problem but almost universal agreement that something should be done.

The problem has been tackled and action taken. A difficult and personal problem was shared and input sought, networked if you will. It seems that enough people visit the network for that approach to have produced results, and one that seemed to be what was called for. Now let us hope the individual concerned can recieve help with his problem.
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Old 22nd Dec 2002, 22:57
  #32 (permalink)  
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Remaining problems

Well done london-flyer - Good to hear the original problem is now being resolved.

It seems to me that two problems, in one man, still have to be addressed by the company concerned: the "very senior Capt" who "laughed it off, and said not to worry her pretty head about it."
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Old 27th Dec 2002, 10:45
  #33 (permalink)  
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It looks as if the reported problems may, happily, reach a proper conclusion.

A lot of people here were very concerned about the problem and showed proper regard for it, for you and for your friend. Would you be good enough to let us all know any outcome that there is, should you learn of it?

A Happy New Year to you.

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