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BA Pilot arrested in ARN ???

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BA Pilot arrested in ARN ???

Old 28th Jan 2003, 11:41
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Flip Flop Flyer

You still havenīt figured it out have You?
0.02% BAC is not a flight hassard! This shouldenīt have been a story. That is the point of this thread!!!
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 12:21
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Flip Flop Flyer et al...

put yourself into this context

You work a whole month more or less 6 days on 2 off...

You may have a family at home, who you don't see very often, especially when you are (as a shorthaul pilot-) very often away 4-5 nights in a row(longer if you are longhaul).

You spend up to 12 hours a day locked in a 6'x6' box with one other bod who you may or may not get on with...

Your only communication with the outside world is on the r/t or the cabin interphone.

When you get down route you are rostered minimum legal rest period at least 50% of the time.

You very often don't get the time that most other people get in order to run the rest of their lives.....

You don't get the opportunity to 'pop' to the bank during your lunch hour etc..

Being able to do the sorts of things that everybody else in the modern western world gets to do during their time off is not alot to ask is it...

When you can no longer finish you day's work and go and socialise, and imbibe in say,...2 glasses of beer if you wish to, because the regulations would make you a criminal, is a bit sodding harsh isn't it......??

Maybe the new BA pilots' uniform should consist of sackcloth robes, and we should all shave our heads....because we are going to end up living as Monks at this rate....

Quality of life and rest periods down route are the major issues involved here.........Lower levels of stress and fatigue would have a far greater benefit to flightsafety than setting limits on alcohol so low they are only just measurable....as seems to be the case here.....
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 12:25
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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Icepack - you are absolutely correst when you talk of the dangers of fasle positves. Imagine the scene - 25 year captain who knows he is legal comes up positive on breath test. He goes home, calls Chief Pilot to set up loss of licence insurance (at one point being drunk at work was instantly assumed to be alcoholism hence medical removed), then picks up his phone to the solicitor to sue for all he is worth.

This is why the Airlines in the UK have not pushed for breath testing and has allowed the very sensible and workable self-policing system that IMHO works brilliantly in my company. If someone was clearly unfit to fly through alcohol misuse, drug misuse, stress, fatigue whatever i would have no hesitation to tell the the company and get the standby out. Surely this is better than some draconian system that only targets minute quantities of alcohol.

FlipFlopFlyer - you have totally missed the point of this. Singling out BA as a company does you no credit at all, it just fans the flames of the media inferno.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 12:27
  #104 (permalink)  

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FFF

namely why crews time and time again get busted for "driving" under the influence.
Care to substantiate the above sweeping and inaccurate assertion?
Few years ago several BA pilots were fired following a TV doc
Er....no. One resigned the others, after a long, detailed inquiry and review of many hours of C4 film, were found to have no case to answer. C4 had attempted, very badly, to stitch up pilots in general. All bar the one who resigned are still flying for BA. Didn't make headlines because it wouldn't have sold newspapers.
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
Another sweeping, unsubstantiated, subjective assertion. I have been flying for BA for over 15 years and have NEVER witnessed what you allege. The allegation is offensive.
Not very fcuking smart
One might say the same about your rather childish mis-spelling of of vulgar slang.
Alcohol has no place in aviation when duty is drawing close,
Who said it did?
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.
Why do you feel the need to state the obvious?
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.
Rubbish. I and many, many others abide by the rules. The rules have worked for many years. Changing the rules will not lessen the, already minimal, offending.

A little like the drive by the road lobby to reduce the driving limits. It won't make a scrap of difference to habitual drink drivers but it will make my life, as a responsible person, less pleasant.

Looking at your profile I hope you don't allow your interests to affect your job.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 12:52
  #105 (permalink)  

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Question

Can anyone (no barrack-room doctors/lawyers please ) tell me if I am correct in believing that it is possible for a tea-totaller to register up to 0.02 Promille as a result of naturally produced alcohol by the body? I vaguely remember reading somewhere that depending on diet the body can naturally produce enough alcohol to reach the 0.02 Promille limit, which, if is the case, means that the arbitary limit is either too low or the instruments required to determine the amount precisely need to be extremely accurate.

Whilst there is no excuse for anyone reporting for a flight under the influence of alcohol and there being no accurate way of determining that limit, especially if it is possible to theoretically be 'over the limit' but not inder the influence, then we need to be very cautious. So far it would appear in this case that the pilot concerned is extremely unfortunate and depending upon any action taken against him may have a case if he can get a good barrister.

Unfortunately we have many 'holier than thou' types posting here on PPRuNe but at least we can see the reactions to individuals on this topic. Those that jumped in with irrational comments based on the sensationalist news reports, especially those by the drug induced, syphylitic reporters from certain tabloids (Not nice being accused of something that possibly isn't true, is it? ) appear to be the same people who are the first to run around screaming and tearing their hair out when an inaccurate story is reported about a flight.

Whether we discuss it here or not the press are going to invent whatever they want about the incident. Fortunately there are a few reporters who frequent these pages with the intention of gathering a more accurate 'feel' for what we think may be the case. The posts which antagonise us the most, ie. the holier than thou ones, are largely ignored and the debate surrounding the technical, scientific and most importantly 'experience' of those of us actually in the job, are the ones that matter.

Whilst it is very easy to just not drink any alcohol at least 24 hours before a duty, especially if like me, you don't normally drink much anyway, in reality it is more important that the limits prescribed by the law are adhered to. If, as my original question asked, the body can naturally produce enough alcohol to take you over that arbitary limit are we not in danger of breaking the law regularly whilst never being under the influence?
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 12:55
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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If you were to use off the shelf mouth wash this has enough alcohol to bump you up a bit.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 13:04
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Bumblebee,

Not sure I can follow you. You've got a job that does not allow you to consume alcohol in quantities which may leave you unfit for duty the next day. If, due to the reasons you point out, that is a problem, then maybe flying short-haul / multi-sector is not for you?

M.Mouse

You remind me of OCB,looking at technicalities rather than the "big picture". And you may wish to deny this to yourself, or whomever else you wish to impress, but the habits among certain crews is well known in the community. You may wish to close your eyes to these things, and pretend they'll just go away. I won't. I have no axe to grind, on the other hand I am not a member of the silent service.

I will not do the searching for you, but go back through the library right here. From the top of my mind there was 2 or 3 crews in the US and recently, and the LH guy in HEL springs to mind. Perhaps they were/are all innocent, never the less brought themselves in a situation where they came under suspecion. Merely bringing one in a situation that may be suspect is stupidity made large in this business. But you already know that don't you?
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 13:12
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Flip Flop Flyer

Poor thing! Still missing the point I see!

Danny

Iīm not sure You meen 0.02 promille (0.002%) cause I donīt believe that is messurable at all. They do have problems messuring 0.02 percent accuratly! But to your Q yes it is possible that som things you eat can start to produce alcohol after beeing consumed. This winter they had to shot an elk (moose) in a norweagian neighbourhood for beeing out of control. It had been eating apples in a garden that had started to yeast in its tommy, makeing it severly drunk and thereby not afraid of people thus starting to attac kids and cars.
So from now on guys: no fruit, no chocholatemints no sourdough bread no nothing just water.

Last edited by Hotel Charlie; 28th Jan 2003 at 13:50.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 13:45
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Flip Flop

The point is: we are talking about a situation where consuming a only a small amount of alcohol will end up putting you at or just over the 0.2 promille limit the morning after, yet that amount is highly unlikely to render anyone 'unfit'.

There are a great number of other stressors that have a far greater detrimental effect on the 'fitness', performance and ability of pilots to do their jobs....

It is an extraordinarily unusual job....as are those of the guys and girls in ATC.....

More allowance must be made for some semblance to the way others outside of the industry including your friends and family live their lives.

The constant erosion of terms and conditions, reduction of rest periods and increases in hours all mean that as pilots, crews, and ATC - or for that matter anybody working in a safety-critical environment - we have increasing levels of stress + pressure.

What i have is a job that makes it very difficult to live anything like a normal life when i have time off downroute...

As quality of life in the job deteriorates, so does flightsafety....
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 13:47
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Interesting to compare this discussion with the regular banter about duty hours and fatigue. Fatigue is bad and airlines are all very naughty for making you work long hours, but here we have contributors who think alcohol levels above the legal minimum are not only unavoidable but acceptable - some even going so far as to suggest it enhances performance!

Can we at least try and get some consistency into the debate. Alcohol and fatigue are both bad, and nobody should be encouraging a situation where crews are working under the influence of either.

The law is the law (and it may even be an ass sometimes), but everybody knows the limits and you are pretty dumb if you put yourself into a situation where you fall foul of them. Only you make the decision to drink before you know you are on duty, so if you get caught - tough luck. Frankly I don't see the need to be drinking when you're working myself.

You may not 'feel' drunk at that level, but 'feeling' has nothing to do with it. We wouldn't defend pilots breaking the minima on approaches or otherwise jeopardising passengers and crews, so why the sudden tolerance of pilots who may or may not be operating with illegal levels of alcohol?
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 13:55
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We recently had a debate in our medical staff association covering all the issues raised by these posts. The patterns of work in hospital medicine have many similarities to the aviation world. We rejected a "zero tolerance" policy to alcohol on the grounds that reasonable intake (driving limit) should not have any significant impact upon performance. Furthermore, as our hepatologist (liver doctor) pointed out, being denied red wine in moderation (2 units or so/day) can actually have a detrimental effect upon one's longevitiy, particularly in relation to the major killers ischaemic heart disease and stroke.

What is needed surely is a common sense policy, universally applied across States which everyone can feel comfortable with.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 14:21
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Martinidoc,

Excellent post, at this rate the way certain individuals advocate living our lives for us, none of us will be around to enjoy our retirement.

I rest my case.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 14:58
  #113 (permalink)  
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Danny

You are using holier than thou as some sort of insult. I've sat in pubs and drunk alcohol-free beer. It's not that difficult. There are hoards of people reading PPRuNE who would die for the honour of being a commercial pilot. So don't tell me I'm some sort of pathetic individual if I say pilots should absolutely be alcohol-free when they fly. What's the point in banging on about safety if you then willfully degrade your own performance. As yet nobody has countered my point that half a pint of beer has measurable adverse effects on pilot performance. Underlying this discussion is the feeling that lot of people have - that being slightly under the influence is neither here nor there and just part of life's rich tapestry. I'm not holier than anyone else. I'm just not self-deluded.

Issues of fatigue and legal jurisdiction are red herrings. The question is should an ordinary professional pilot believe in being sober, or indeed, should he obey his airline's rules?

As for spurious readings, I doubt this can happen but more to the point I would lay money that the pilot concerned had acted inadvisably. It's extremely unlikely this sequence of events would have occurred following a mouthwash. In fact I'd wager he'll turn out to be rather more than the 0.2 figure.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 15:52
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Bumblebee

Sorry mate, will have to disagree.

If your chosen occupation severly impacts the way you wish to live your private life, then in my humble opinion either your occupation or private life needs a change of direction.

Being a pilot, as you obviously know, is not your regular mon-to-friday 9-to-5 kind of thing. As such, you can not readily expect to have the same possibilites as one working office hours, just as a "standard" office worker can not expect to have rostered days off on week days. I am sorry, but I have no sympathy if that leaves pilots in less advantageous positions from time to time. There are other advantages you have over 9-to-5 people, so exploit them to the fullest.

Break the rules, you risk getting caught. If you're caught, don't come crying "the rules are stupid". You knew what they were, and by breaking them you put yourself in a position where you may face severe repercussions.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 16:15
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Flip Flop Flyer and twistedenginestarter,
Youīre both twisted! Nobody on this thread has said they accept drunks flying. We are though discussing media blowing this totally out of proportion and that the legislators (pencil pushers) are passing laws that turn ordinary people into criminals. Had it been that 0.02% did affect your performance in a negative way Iīd be all for the law. But it does not. Itīs accutally been shown that performance did increase with a BAC at 0.05% in simulator tests.
Twist you claim that a pint of beer adversly effects your performance. Where do you get that from? Self experienced or what!
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 16:18
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It's not that difficult. There are hoards of people reading PPRuNE who would die for the honour of being a commercial pilot.
I am sure that there are, and to be honest they are welcome to it. It felt like an honour 9-10 years ago but I don't think you will find many of us in the UK who still think it is.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 16:25
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As yet nobody has countered my point that half a pint of beer has measurable adverse effects on pilot performance.
Evidence please.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 17:39
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I have no idea if the body can produce .02 Promille as a result of naturally produced alcohol, however at least two scientific papers have been written on the subject.

Lindiger, W., Taucher, J., Jordan, A., and Vogel, W. Endogenous production of methanol after the consumption of fruit. "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research", 1997, 21, 939-943

Phillips, M., Greenberg, J., and Martinez V., Ostrovsky, Y. M. Endogenous ethanol -- its metabolic, behavioral and biomedical significance. "Alcohol," 1986, 3, 239-247.

--Mik
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 18:01
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FFF,

ok...it would be interesting to expand this discussion.....would you mind specifying which of the points in my previous post you disagree with?

btw...i am certainly not advocating that one breaks the rules...

I'm trying to put just one issue into context....
You mentioned the importance of the 'big picture' yourself...


thx
Bumblebee

Last edited by Bumblebee; 28th Jan 2003 at 21:10.
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Old 28th Jan 2003, 20:33
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I was always a big believer in pprunes open policy on members. There have been some subjects in the past where lay people have brought something to the party but not, I fear, very recently.

There are hoards of people reading PPRuNE who would die for the honour of being a commercial pilot. So don't tell me I'm some sort of pathetic individual
Oh dear, perhaps those hoards would like to explain why, if its such a fab job our divorce, alcoholism and early death rates are at the levels they are?

Number of people killed by drunk drivers in the UK since 1980 - 20 000 (yes thats 20 thousand http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/drinkdrive/).
Number of commercial aviation accidents caused by drink since WW2 - 0.

Why dont you go and do something worthwhile, like shopping your family member who regularly drinks and drives? (we all have one) And leave people trying to do a job you so clearly have little understanding of to do their job to the best of their ability.
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