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BA Pilot arrested in ARN ???

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BA Pilot arrested in ARN ???

Old 26th Jan 2003, 10:08
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Readers of this thread might like to be reminded that what JAR-OPS 1 Subpart B prescribes is as follows:

JAR-OPS 1.085 (e) A crew member shall not:

(1) Consume alcohol less than 8 hours prior to the specified reporting time for flight duty or the commencement of standby;

(2) Commence a flight duty period with a blood alcohol level in excess of 0.2 promille;

(3) Consume alcohol during the flight period or whilst on standby.

Of course, any pilot must comply with whatever is in his employer's operations manual, which may also specify that the pilot must comply with local regulations (if lower limitations are prescribed). However, it is is extremely unlikely that a UK air operator that holds an AOC based upon JAR-OPS 1 would specify anything less than 0.2 promille.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 10:16
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HI All!

Lets get real. A 0.02 % alcohol blood level has nothing to do with beeing Drunk! The 0.00% is a level the politicians in scandinavia have made up so as to make the masses think that they are doing something about drunk driving accidents. It´s all BS. The guys that drove their car drunk (0.1% or greater) will still do it wheather the limit is 0.04 or 0.00%. The drunk guys are the ones causing the accidents not the 0.02% guys. There has acually been done research showing that the bloodalcohol level needs to be more than 0.08% to impare the individuals ability to operate complex machinery. The pilot has made a mistake not adhering to the strick although ludicris, swedish rules. But as far as beeing unsafe, come on get a grip! Hope he is not fired. He is probably a good guy. Never trust anyone who doesn´t take a drink!
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 10:19
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Nugget 0.2 promille is an extremely low level very near to negligible are you really confident that you might not one day be falsely accused??.We are on the edge of detectable levels here nothing like drunkeness or impairment.The potential for miscarriage of justice is enormous.Even a teetotaller is at risk of false accusation.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 10:25
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Hard as it seems, the half bottle nine hours before T/O is only legal with the 8 hours rule. In other countries a 12 hour rule exists. Some companies insist on a more restrictive rule. "Bottle to throttle" becomes "bottle to check-in" etc. Then it gets subjective - "how much alcohol?"

All that comes to naught, however when a blood alcohol level test is made - which happens more and more these days. There are police data showing how much level to expect so many hours after drinking but the test is the nitty gritty.

Alcohol is excreted via the lungs at a rate dependent upon individual factors. If you can smell the alcohol on the breath of someone, this process is for sure still in progress. If you can't, it still might be.

The only safe advice is to drink no alcohol the night before a flight. This is an enormous change in life style for lots of us. So was learning not to drive home from an evening out on the town but times are changing.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 11:19
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So that’s all right then.

I don’t mind complying with any rule they dream up regarding bottle to throttle. I do however, insist on as near normal a social life as one can reasonably expect in this business. If they demand I don’t drink anything for 12 hours or whatever figure they dream up, no problem…but I expect my normal days off followed by the requisite time to comply with the rules before the next duty.

The way things are heading, we’ll need at least blocks of 4 days off to comply. I wonder if they’ll agree to that?

Last edited by max_cont; 26th Jan 2003 at 11:39.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 11:34
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could this level of alcohol be a result from drinking the night before or must it have been from the same day of the flight?
I know of a fatal where the postmortem revealed the pilot's blood/alcohol level was still over 0.05 though witnesses confirmed he ceased drinking 10 hours before the accident.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 12:00
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Surely for me to comply with the law I have to be able to measure it. Can I buy a machine to measure my blood alcohol level in the morning ; or should I just go "sick" if I had a drink the night before just to make sure that I am legal because that is what will happen?
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 12:33
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At the moment the JAR-OPS 0.O2 promille limit is largely unenforceable in the UK. The current requirement in the Air Navigation Order is simply that a member of crew shall not "be under the influence of drink or a drug to such an extent as to impair his capacity so to act". There is no limit set in legislation and there are no powers to require to require crew to provide samples of breath etc for testing.

This will be changed by the Railways and Transport Safety Bill introduced in the House of Commons earlier this month. Part 5 contains clauses which establish an alcohol limit of 0.02 promille for flight and cabin crew and ATCOs and provid the police with the power to require samples (breath, blood or urine) from anyone suspected committing an offence.


My understanding is that the 0.02 promille limit is higher than than the level of alcohol that can be natuarally produced by the body in most circumstances.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 12:51
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I am not advocating getting drunk before you go and fly but any rule that means you cannot enjoy a glass of wine or a pint with your dinner at 19:00 in the evening and not be legal to fly at 6:30-07:00 the next morning is bloody pathetic and has no pathological basis at all.

If you are operating in a country where that is the law then you clearly have no choice but to comply. I can just imagine the sort of self-righteous, Boss suit and thin slitty black rimmed glasses wearing jobsworths who came up with these sorts of rules. Ughh, it makes me wretch, I'm off for a lunchtime pint. (No flying till Wednesday so I think that should be OK!)
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 12:53
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For what it's worth, I still think the 8hr "bottle to throttle" rule should be extended to at least 12hrs. I do understand that it's sociable and relaxing to have a beer after a flight, we've all done it, but I think lessons need to be learned from the recent events at BA and in the US. More importantly, how would you feel if you had been breathalised and found to be over the limit? People's lives are at stake. Anyway, that's my opinion - cheers
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 12:59
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Thumbs up Real dangers to airsafety.

We all agree that nobody should fly a plane under the influence of alcohol.This applies to any other profession which involves the safety of the general public.

However in the case of airline pilots there are many more factors that can reduce performance other than alcohol and to label a pilot unfit to fly just because he had a drink the night before, is more of a danger than any misleading alcohol test.

Hidden factors such as tiredeness, depression, stress, mood swings,etc can compromise safety just as much if not more than alcohol, but these are not measurable using technology and are nevertheless very real factors.

If a pilot doesn't drink any alcohol but stays up all night, surely he is more dangerous to the airline and the public, but because this is not measurable noone is penalised for it.

Safety rules are a fundamental part of our societies, and your industry in particular, but common sense should also prevail.

If this specific BA pilot had only a drink (still to be proven) the night before the flight, it would be a crime to label him a drunk, as the media has done, as this could potentially ruin his career without any "real" foundation for disciplinary action.
It is only the extremities of the Swedish law that have bought this situation to the public attention and laws are made by falable human beings.

I am not a pilot, but I feel this is a case of following the letter of the law too severely, in this particular case a law that is almost impossible to implement because of its extreme severity.
Asking people to drive at 5mph normally doesn't result in them doing so because it is almost technically impossible to do so without stalling. In the same way this rule goes beyond the limits of common sense and doesn't contribute to better safety at all.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 13:59
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Sunday Express has a banner splash reading "Arrested In The Cockpit - Drunken BA pilot dragged from controls by police". So it's good to see that Britain's no. 1 pornographer-owned newspaper is keeping things in perspective! PS, pro mille means parts per thousand, no? So certainly not double the same number of percentage points! In fact it's that divided by 10.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 14:37
  #33 (permalink)  
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The Capt involved posned LHR-ARN the day before and was met by ground staff who reported that he was drunk then and crews at the crew hotel saw him continuing drinking thru the evening. There was no way he would be sober for the early morning departure and thought that the crew should report sick and delay the departure. The authorities at ARN were pre warned and fully aware of his condition.
A very sad situation and he SHOULD know better.
Old 26th Jan 2003, 15:28
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You might like this.

It is from the UK ACPO Manual of Guidance on the Police Use of Firearms


11.1 The consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs in medical treatment or otherwisemay reduce the alertness and performance of an officer. Officers carrying firearms
should not consume, or be unfit whilst under the influence of, alcohol. Any officer who is receiving a course of drug treatment should seek the advice of their own doctor or Occupational Health Unit concerning the possible side effects. Any other concerns, or medical advice given to an officer should be brought to the attention of their immediate supervisor, who should take appropriate action.

There used to be a 24 hour before rule. Now, however, an officer's fitness to carry, given regard to all circumstances, is considered by the individual and their supervisor.

Just because you had a drink eight hours ago and there is residual alcohol in your system, doesn't necessarily make you unfit to carry out a task.

This all goes back to what is a safe level.

Having been fully trained as a custody suite breathalyser operator, you would be surprised how much you do have to drink to get it to provide a big reading. One of the main things is how much food you have eaten. Half a lager on anempty stomach is a recipie for disaster
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 15:54
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The Capt involved posned LHR-ARN the day before and was met by ground staff who reported that he was drunk
I don't quite get this.

I assume these 'gound staff' who met him were there to arrange his transport to the hotel.

If he was positioning, he was on duty, therefore should not have been drunk.

So who exactly did the ground staff report this to and when?
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 16:00
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I'm not quite sure where your're coming from?

<<If he was positioning, he was on duty>> Yes

<<therefore should not have been drunk>> Under the ANO - yes - nobody should be "drunk" on an aircraft.

However, "having a drink" while on duty (e.g. while positioning) is not against BA rules, or any others I know, provided out of uniform and obviously not operating afterwards i.e. a rest period first.

The worrying thing as you say is that this seems to have been noticed by a number of people over a period of time, and all that seems to have been done was lay the trap? If all the above is true, it does not condone the behaviour of the individual, but some direct intervention earlier might have saved the individual and BA a lot of hassle, whilst still getting the point across.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 16:02
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Sorry Flaps one, Why can't you have a drink whilst positioning. If You are not within a Flight Duty Period. The point is when are you going to actually operate an A/C thats when timing matters.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 16:09
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I'm a humble PPL and I like my pint (or three) but for me the 12 hour "bottle to throttle" rule is paramount - even here in Thailand where the rules might sometimes be a little less strict.

If the pilot's breath was bad enough to initiate a breath/blood check then (I'm sorry) I have no sympathy for the person involved and can only applaud the decision taken to remove them from the flight deck.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 16:23
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From the Indiana Prevention Resource Center website:

Conversion Factors for Alternative Measurements
The most common system for measuring and reporting Blood Alcohol Levels (BAL) is calculated using the weight of alcohol (milligrams) and the volume of blood (deciliter). This yields a Blood Alcohol Concentration that can be expressed as a percentage (ie. 0.10% alcohol by volume), or as a proportion (ie. 100 mg. per deciliter). This system is the one prescribed by almost every state, and is sometimes referred to as the "weight by volume" or "w/v" method.

A few states prescribe a "weight by weight" or "w/w" method (milligrams of alcohol in milligrams of blood). For forensic evidence purposes, the w/w can be calculated by dividing the w/v by a factor or 1.055 (the average specific gravity of blood).

Although most evidentiary rules specify that the proportion of alcohol in the whole blood be used to measure the level of intoxication, most hospitals routinely calculate the proportion of a drug in the plasma portion of the blood. While this measurement is the most useful one for medical purposes, it is not the appropriate one for most legal purposes. Since the addition of red and white blood cells would add to the blood volume that dilutes the alcohol, using only the plasma fraction would result in a percentage of alcohol that is higher than would be found in whole blood. Although there is some variation from person to person, depending upon the density of their bloods, the average adjustment factor is 1.16. In other words, to estimate the alcohol level in whole blood using the alcohol level in blood plasma, divide by 1.16. For example, a plasma alcohol level of 0.15% would convert to a blood alcohol level of 0.13%.

Comparison of Blood Alcohol Level Reporting Systems
Six different methods of reporting the same blood alcohol measurement.

Method of Stating the Measurement                              Result
Blood Alcohol Concentration (percent weight to volume)          0.10% 
Milligrams per milliliter                                       1.0 
Milligram percent (milligrams per 100 ml.)                      100 
parts per million                                               1000 
Percent by weight (weight by weight)                            0.09%
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 16:27
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A bit harsh there, don´t You think! Not so humble. The mans breathelizer test showed 0.02%!! This is NOT beeing drunk and is a leagel level in most countries! Lets get the blood test and give this guy the benefit of the doubt!
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