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BA Pilot arrested in ARN ???

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BA Pilot arrested in ARN ???

Old 27th Jan 2003, 21:32
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Its our responsibility to be able to cope with situations that can be quite demanding. Are we able to do that after a night out with remains of alcohol in the blood the morning after?
If it's 0.02% then yeah, I reckon I would be just fine and dandy.
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Old 27th Jan 2003, 22:24
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BA pilot arrested in ARN

It's generally recognised that 2 pints of beer drunk in the previous hour or two could put you over the UK breathalyser limit.
That would be the .08 quoted onthese threads. So if the reading
was .02 that would mean you have drunk a half pint of beer in the last hour or two. I doubt if this guy had been drinking a half pint at 0600 in the morning. Which means he had drunk more but earlier but the effect would have been the same as if he had had a half pint 2 hours before take off. Hand on heart everybody, would that amount at that distance impair anybody dangerously or at all? Keep your hand on your heart and tell me it couldn't never have been you ? Never been to a wedding the day before? Xmas? Your 30th, 40th or 50th birthday party and they called you in from standby the next day when they promised you're on last call? Not .02, surely not you!
If a limit of .02 applies to somebody who has available all the automatics in the world why should a limit of .08 apply to a lorry driver with 30 tons under his manual control in an environment where he is in uncontrolled (except subjectively) proximity to others similarily equipped? Not that that is really relevant, just an observation.
There is a deal of difference between drinking and dancing on the stage at 3am before an early report and this case.
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Old 27th Jan 2003, 22:42
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I'm really not sure what your point is but if you are saying it is ok to fly under the influence of alcohol (which means any) then I'm sorry to tell you you are in the wrong profession and probably the cab of a lorry is where you should be.
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Old 27th Jan 2003, 23:01
  #84 (permalink)  

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There is no doubt that the 'British soil' argument is bogus. The Dutch police can - and do - board aircraft at random and breathalyse pilots. I am sure this is the same in Sweden. We do not have Diplomatic Immunity ... and neither should we. If this was the case, would, say, a Belgian truck full of dying asylum seekers be 'off limits' to the UK police? I think not - and would we be happy if an overseas crew were immune from our own laws?

The two issues of alcohol limits and rights of boarding are seperate - we all expect, and have no problem with, a ramp check by the DGAC in Paris or Nice, and similarly we expect free access by our own inspectors to non- UK aircraft here.

The issue we should be addressing is not the actual limit, but how accurate its measurement is and how fair the forensic legal process is thereafter. I believe it differs hugely from country to country.

I fail to see how we as a professional group can argue against an alcohol limit, but we should address an industry wide standard of due process which is just and has no frontiers.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 00:31
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Reading all the comments, be it scientific to the Nth degree, or the various home spun philosophies, or the holier than thou brigade, I can see that a breathaliser should be part of any Piolts pre departure kit.

People quote the 12 hour rule and my earlier comment amount the amount 12 hours before was (perhaps!) an exageration but it is obvious from the comments that people have no idea whether 2 glasses of wine, 2 pints or 2 scotches 12 hour before will put them over the limit.
As has been pointed out we are not talking about someone falling over drunk but someone who is outside an arbitary limit ( and yes I know about all the scientific committees but it is still arbitary ! )
WE know we are exceeding the speed limit because we have a speedometer but in this case most of us have nothing to judge against.

YES I know the answer if for all pilots to be teetotal ! Perhaps it will soon be a requirement to get a CPL
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 01:11
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The great day will be when there's a fatigue meter you can check before the next sector to see if you will be up to the landing at the other end -- mind you if something fails it will get the adrenalin up and you will be temporarily unfatigued.

After my stint in undergraduate physics, I became thoroughly familiar with the statistical vagaries of various measuring devices, especially when it comes to declaring a reading to be zero -- t'ain't no such thing -- there's always a bit of something.

So what really is the Swedish 0,0 permille?
  • 0,0499999 or less perhaps.
  • I would not be surprised if 0,05 to 0,1499999 registers as 0,1
A conscientious designer of a forensic device would like to have an accuracy of at least two decimal points more than the display shows and to stand up against cross-examination in a court of law it would help if the reading is never a result of rounding up.

However many jurisdictions legislate/regulate/mandate that the reading shown by certain models by certain manufacturers is uncontraventable evidence
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 03:30
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There was an AA pilot detained today (01/27)for "having been smelled" alcohol but mostly mint on his breath. He checked out at .004 but was not allowed to fly the route (ST Louis).

Pax were waiting for about 3 hours while this farce was taking place.

BTW. Pilot was charged and is jailed.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 05:00
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Hotel Charlie

Before you rip my head off, may I ask you to put on your glasses, and read my post one more time? I'm not saying he was drunk, am I? He MAY be in violation of Swedish rules. You sound like you are happy to report for work at 0.2 promille. 0.4 is the Norwegian limit, but it doesn't give me the RIGHT to report for duty with 0.4 promille. At least, thats the way I see it.
Alcohol will increase your perfomance. Yeah, lets all have 1/2 a pint before work?

Last edited by Scando; 28th Jan 2003 at 06:09.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 07:47
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I may be wrong about my above posting, after reading the comments earlier. However, there is still one big misunderstanding regarding the differences between UK and Swedish law. 0.2 promille is the limit in both Sweden AND the UK. UK law states that a pilot will not have enough alcohol in his bloodstream to impair his ability to fly. JAR-OPS rules state that 0.2 promille is the limit above which would impair a pilot's ability to fly. As the UK CAA operates under JAR-OPS therefore 0.2 promille is the limit in the UK as well. The big difference between Scandanavia and the UK is Scandanavia's restriction on time limits between last drink and flying (with Scandanavia being much stricter). Nevertheless, 0.2 promille would land a pilot in trouble in the UK as well as Sweden. The difference is that the police cannot perform random blood tests in the UK.

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Old 28th Jan 2003, 08:35
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I´m not biting Your head off, but I do not understand that you defend a system that makes hard working citizens into criminals. The man showed up for work, not drunk but again marginally above the theoretical 0.00%. Now he is a criminal, throw him in jail and fire his a..! There is no evidence that the lowering from 0.05% to the 0.00% driving limit has resulted in less people being killed on the road. It has on the other hand produced more money for the goverment (from fines) and more criminals. And so the politicians happy (scumbags)!
In norway the limit is 0.02% now as well! And no I do not accept anyone showing up for flt duty drunk!!
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 09:07
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It never ceases to amaze me why contributors to this thread feel they are doing this industry a service by conducting these debates in the public forums. Having a look at some of the contributions , I get the impression that the very people your seem set on attacking , ie the media, probably have a look at every few hours to see if there's any paper-selling points emerging. Wait for the facts, then conducts your debates.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 09:33
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What this exposes more than anything is the hypocrisy of tin-pot management and sanctimonious politicians aided splendidly by a cynical media, who on the one hand will crucify an individual for being ‘under the influence of alcohol’ at 20mg, and yet conspire to increase flying hours for already tired flight crews.

In all my many years in this business, I have scarcely encountered anyone whose performance was impaired by alcohol. I have however seen countless incidences of fatigue, indeed have suffered myself. In an environment where ever more adventurous rostering departments have us flitting back and forth across the pond on two and three day rotations as if we were going to Brussels and back, fatigue and not beer will be the prime cause of performance impairment.

If this is a public debate, then so much the better. If the pilot is to be public enemy number one, and is to be cajoled into a life of abstinence, incarceration and celibacy, under what perverted rationale do they force him to fly till he drops through fatigue?
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 09:37
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Twisted engine starter.
Perhaps I can help you. Read my post again. Read the reasoned posts on this thread as opposed to the "holier than thou" or personal insults efforts like yours. Think. And remember that the pain in your forehead is your halo tightening as your head swells.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 09:44
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A quick scan with Google produced this site - there are others but what appears to be a decent product was $30 cheaper here than others.
The cost of a kit $69 or $129 for 2. It might become as much a part of our equipment as a crew bag and should also be tax deductible. The accuracy of all breathalysers that I have looked at are .01% so it would appear that the real limit is 0.015.
Should we consider a joint purchase?
Danny might like to think about a "pop up" at a special price for PPRuNer’s.
Of course the Law would require us to check ourselves every day before going to work and if in any doubt report "unfit to carry out our duty"
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 09:51
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It seems that the police can turn up at any time and 'try' to breathalise a pilot.
About 15 years ago while in the crew hotel at Saarbrucken in Germany, the German Police arrived to breathalise the British crew flying a UK registered aircraft involved in an airmiss with an American fighter near Ramstein while under a German radar service in uncontrolled lower airspace near Ramstein. The local police arrived at the hotel about 2 hours after the airmiss incident. The crew involved were having a post flight drink in my room when the police arrived. Fortunately the police eventually agreed with us that a breath test would be pointless, and they left after taking statements.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 10:04
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So the burning question is who is right then ? The International Olympic Committee, the CAA, the Swedes, Or the JAR OPs Committee ?
If the IOC except that alchohol is a perfomance enhancer then how much is it that neccessitates a ban? They obviously have scientific data to back up their claims/ban.

I think we can all agree that the limit set by the various authorities is an "Arbitary one" and no way could an individual be considered to be "Drunk"at that limit.

Hands up anyone who has NEVER broken the national speed limits of their Country ? You know you are breaking the limit and the laws of the land, as you have a speedo in front of you telling you so.
Such reckless and dangerous driving is surely intolerable but again you have a speedo in front of you; you know you are committing an offence and its your choice.

The problem is there is no practicle way anybody can measure accurately their alchohol limit at the moment.
the 8-12 hours bottle to throttle are good sensible guidelines but are just that, guidelines.

There is another problem that can arise aswell and goes like this:-

You have just finished an early duty/ Stby. You don't have to report for your next duty untill mid afternoon next day.
Its either your Birthday, New Year or what ever and you're booked into the local restaurant that evening.
You have either a bottle of wine or 3 or 4 beers, your last drink was say Midnight, so you will need at least 8 hours to get the alchohol out of your system, Agreed ?

You arrive home to find a message on your answer machine telling you now to do the early 6 am report, crewing are desperate as someone has gone sick and they have no one else on Stby.(isn't that always the case ?)
You are obviously not going to meet the JAR OPs limit so you phone and inform them of the dilema.
You are now told by crewing that you are refusing a duty and a report will be filed against you.

You have stood your ground, you report as per your roster, only to find that the guy you are taking the aircraft over from is the Chief Pilot and he is none too pleased, as he has had to operate "that early." He then makes your next few years HELL !!

I can see the day when you will not be allowed any alchohol what so ever during your 5-7 day duty period "just in case "....
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 10:30
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I´m afraid that´s the way it is in Sweden already! This is how sick the system is! You have to be legal to drive a car 8 hr before flt duty. The limit for driving a car in Sweden is theoreticaly 0.00%. Allowing for mesurement error 0.02%. Now this is 8 hrs before duty! Meening NO drink approx 4 hr before that . Now 12 hr before duty is usually the time you checkout from your previous duty! So there you are!

Last edited by Hotel Charlie; 28th Jan 2003 at 10:47.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 10:53
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Not that I understand how these breathalizers work, but I understand that false positives can occur if you have a lot of keytones on your breath from a low carbohydrate diet etc.
Also as a proffessional one's reputation is at stake. So if a disgruntled person decides to "get their own back" and report you for smelling of alchol, which proves by blood test to be untrue surely you will have legal grounds to sue for deformation of character libel etc., along with your company who no doubt had to replace you at the time at great expense.
There has to be some sort of come back for an inocent individual.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 10:58
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The difference is that the police cannot perform random blood tests in the UK.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 11:26
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I must congratulate many of you here for managing to divert the thread into a discussion of JAR OPS, the IOC, Swedish alchol limits and whether or not spot-checks of crews are legal. Marvellous, just marvellous.

In the mean time you completely forget to address the main point here, namely why crews time and time again get busted for "driving" under the influence. What exactly is it that drive crews to drink on lay-overs, and why is it that some crew seems to have a problem keeping their consumption to a reasonable level (= a landing beer)?

Few years ago several BA pilots were fired following a TV doc. We may not like the way it was done, or even argue the technicalities of how much exactly they had been drinking. However, for anyone who has ever shared a hotel with a BA crew, it should be obvious what sometimes goes on. Whilst hardly a scientific fact, from own and others personal experience there seems to be a trend. I have seen, on several occasions, BA crews doing all nighters at the bar, only to check out at 06 something ..... Not very fcuking smart.

Alcohol has no place in aviation when duty is drawing close, and anyone in this profession who feels the need to "wind down" by consuming alcohol in quanties that leaves him or her unfit for an early morning duty, is probably in the wrong business.

Time for a radical change of behaviour perhaps? Not suggesting crew should go teetotal, far from it. But abstaining totally from drinking whilst on a night lay-over, and with an early morning report the next day, is probably not a bad idea. Not what aviation used to be like, but times they are changing. This industry is already suffering enough without these stories.

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