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BA Pilot arrested in ARN ???

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BA Pilot arrested in ARN ???

Old 25th Jan 2003, 20:07
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Post BA Pilot arrested in ARN ???

Just heard on the news that a BA pilot was arrested today in Stockholm, while attempting to fly actively to LON, apparently under the influence of alcohol. Anyone know anything ??

If this is true, I gather BA management would not be to happy........
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Old 25th Jan 2003, 20:30
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According to swedish newspaper "Dagens Nyheter" (equivalent to The Times) , the pilot in question was supposed to fly at 0830 local time but was picked up by the airport police. Breath-test showed 0.2 promille. A blood test was also taken, and its result was reported to take a couple of days.

BA spokesman was quoted to say (freely translated) "we take this very seriously" and also that they were going to "gather as much info as possible".

Passangers had to wait for about three hours, until BA had a replacement pilot.
for those of you who read swedish:
http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.j...usRenderType=6
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Old 25th Jan 2003, 22:31
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Ananova:

BA pilot 'fails breath test at airport'

A British Airways pilot is facing the sack after allegedly being caught over the alcohol limit as he prepared to fly a passenger plane to London.

It is understood that the pilot was held by Swedish police after failing a breath test he was asked to take before the flight was due to leave from Arlanda airport near Stockholm.

A British Airways spokeswoman said the pilot, who has not been named, has been removed from flying duties while a full BA investigation was carried out, in addition to the inquiry by Swedish police.

"We are extremely concerned to hear of this alleged incident," the spokeswoman said.

She said BA had "very strict rules governing the use of alcohol" which amounted to a "zero tolerance" policy.

"It's a disciplinary offence for an employee to report for work impaired by alcohol and it is deemed to be gross misconduct, which can result in dismissal.

"A full investigation has been launched."

The spokeswoman said the pilot had been flown back to the UK, where he was "helping" with the investigation.


Story filed: 21:40 Saturday 25th January 2003
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Old 25th Jan 2003, 22:34
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Pretty sure a 12 hour rule in Sweden and zero tolerance on any any in the blood stream. (As is Finland).

I have no sympathy for this, the rules are in bold black and white on BA's station briefing sheets, each crew member is given one on arrival - their is plently of time to read it on the long bus ride to the hotel.
......... is it really worth your job ?
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Old 25th Jan 2003, 23:01
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I may be sticking my neck out a little here but 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 am not too knowledgable about the blood alcohol levels so if someone could educate me a little?

Cheers
Dave
 
Old 25th Jan 2003, 23:23
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Not judging whether hes guilty or not, just a general comment here..

YOU ARE A F**KING IDIOT IF YOU MIX DRINKING AND FLYING.
ITS NOT WORTH YOUR LICENSE, AND IF YOU DO IT THEN YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING THROWN AT YOU.
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Old 25th Jan 2003, 23:30
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I would say it's from the night before.. Seems a bit stiff to have a drink at 6:30 in the morning but who knows...

Yet another tragedy..
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Old 25th Jan 2003, 23:48
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Just to give a perspective, if the reading was indeed 0.02, that compares with a UK driving limit of 0.08, and the common European limit of 0.05. I do not know the Swedish rules, but they are renowned for being very strict about alcohol.

So if this is true, a reading of 0.02 could very easily be from some time before.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 00:17
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But in the second post on this thread it quotes a level of .2, i.e. four times the UK limit
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 00:34
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From the BBC :

A British Airways pilot has been grounded after allegedly failing a breath test as he was preparing to fly a planeload of passengers to London.
It is understood that the pilot, who has not been named, was held by Swedish police after being found over the alcohol limit just before the flight was due to leave from Arlanda airport near Stockholm.

The 79 passengers were told there were "technical difficulties" with the plane and were made to wait three hours for a new flight crew to be brought in.

The co-pilot was not able to fly the plane because he was helping police with their inquiries, although he has not been implicated.

It's a disciplinary offence for an employee to report for work impaired by alcohol



BA spokeswoman

BA insisted that the pilot, reportedly in his 50s and from the London area, had not been close to flying the plane.

"Any suggestion that the pilot was removed from the cockpit is simply untrue," the spokeswoman said.

She added that he has been removed from flying duties while a full investigation was carried out by the airline, in addition to the inquiry by Swedish police.

"We are extremely concerned to hear of this alleged incident," the spokeswoman said.

Investigation

She said BA had "very strict rules governing the use of alcohol" which amounted to a "zero tolerance" policy.

"It's a disciplinary offence for an employee to report for work impaired by alcohol and it is deemed to be gross misconduct, which can result in dismissal."

The spokeswoman said the pilot had been flown back to the UK, where he was "helping" with the investigation.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said the current law was that "you shall not present yourself for duty under the influence of alcohol or drugs".

The CAA said they had the power to demand that any pilot with a UK pilot's licence undergo a medical assessment if suspected of being under the influence and may face the removal of their licence.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 00:51
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BarryM : you could be right. Unfortunately the report appears to relate to a breath test, and the level to a blood concentration, so we shall have to await fuller reports. Reports ususlly refer to a percentage of alcohol in blood, but the report above says promille, which is ten times greater than percent, if I read it correctly.

So we shall see.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 00:59
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Just to clarify BM,

The breathtest showed 0.1 Mg/L, (or 0.2 "Promille" in the blood). I don´t know the unit you use in the UK, but in Sweden the (rather strict) limit for driving is just that, 0.2 promille alcohol. I do know the limit measured in Promille is 0.8 in UK(= 0.4 Mg/L). So it was not a very high level of acohol, but still, one wonders how some people think, or if they think at all.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 03:57
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U_R and Fenderbender - Yup, thanks for that, I see what you mean. Let's hope that the result of the blood test is in the pilots favour.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 04:46
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From www.people.co.uk :


BA PILOT 'DRUNK IN COCKPIT'

A BRITISH Airways pilot was arrested yesterday on suspicion of being drunk at the controls of his plane.

He was breathalysed by Swedish police as he prepared to fly 79 passengers from Stockholm to London.

The pilot, in his 50s and from London, was held in the cockpit of the Airbus 320 after airport staff noticed a smell of booze.

A police spokeswoman said: "They asked him to blow into the breathalyser. At first he refused, then said Yes. It was positive."

The £100,000-a-year pilot is said to have admitted drinking the night before BA's 8.35am Flight 771.

A BA spokesman said: "We have very strict rules governing the use of alcohol and a zero tolerance policy. If the allegation is proved, it will result in dismissal."

__________________________


And, in a somewhat related story about pilot impairment from The Guardian:

New hours could kill, say pilots

Andrew Clark, transport correspondent
Tuesday January 21, 2003
The Guardian

A European plan to harmonise the hours worked by airline pilots could put passengers' lives at risk, as exhausted crew struggle to stay awake in the cockpit, union leaders told the government yesterday.

The British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) said that the proposal, backed by the European parliament, could add up to two hours to a pilot's working day. Balpa's chairman, Mervyn Gramshaw, said this would leave his members unable to behave in an "intellectually sensible" way. Their concentration levels would be equivalent to a blood-alcohol level above drink-drive limits.

Mr Gramshaw, a Britannia Airways pilot, said: "Lives are at risk and will be put at risk."...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/airlines/s...878971,00.html
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 08:56
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This limit is common around Europe. There is anecdotal evidence that some individuals have a figure close to this as a background reading i.e no alcohol required. Also it is believed that certain diets can cause this limit to be reached. My company is thinking of providing access to test equipment in order to establish your residual levels. More research seems to be needed to check this as you only get one chance. Does anyone know more.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 09:03
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Angry

..... and just to think that Air France pilots used to ( and maybe still do ) get a little bottle of wine with their in-flight dinner.

Now for all we know the pilot in question might just have used a mouthwash, e.g. I've just got the one from my bathroom cabinet ( i.e. Tesco's Extra Strength CoolMint ) and a glance at the ingredients reveals: Aqua, Alcohol (21% w/w), Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Benzoate, Aroma, Cetylpyridium Chloride, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Fluoride (0.05% w/w), Benzoic Acid, CI42090, CI47005.

veritably an almost eye watering array of stuff, including alcohol !

So one could well imagine that if I rinsed my mouth with it, and maybe even managed to mistakenly swallow some of it, then I too could likely register on a breath-test that's seemingly set so low.

Thus, and before we forget that great tradition of 'being innocent until PROVEN to be guilty', let's wait and see what comes of the blood test shall we ?
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 09:42
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Unfortunately, the Taleban will have his death planned already. The big red book was changed post Channel 4 so that now ‘no residual alcohol’ is left in the bloodstream. The physiologists and biochemists have explained that this is in reality an unattainable level – even for the most evangelic apostles of the Prince of Darkness. But reality is not a state of mind enjoyed by soldiers of the Jihad. The rule was placed there to facilitate swift and decisive punishment, and they’re not interested in tiresome extenuating circumstances.

I hope that the blood tests show the individual to be innocent, I truly believe that the very great majority of Nigels are responsible, mature, and professional pilots. I take no pleasure whatsoever in seeing the name of this once great company being dragged through the mire by tawdry rags that I wouldn’t wipe my bum with.


I’ll take on the opposition anyday. It’s my management I can’t beat!
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 10:57
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The new alcohol limit was set as the lowest level currently detectable with current technology as such it is a virtually negligible level of alcohol.Given the presence of naturally produced chemicals in the body which can test as alcohol in addition to certain foodstuffs and mouthwashes the potential for a miscarriage of justice is enormous.I suspect even a teetotaller could fall foul of this very low limit.I have for several years had a strict personal rule of no (not even moderate) alcohol consumption within 24 hours of duty, even so I have little faith that I might not be one day falsely accused.I purchased a cheap alcometer in the U.S. a few years ago as it is a subject I am very interested in ,the readings have the potential to be damning at very low levels even when no alcohol has been consumed.Be very careful colleagues there are forces out there at work whose very last concern is flight safety!!.Make sure your a paid up member of Balpa who I can assure you have a very realistic view of the potential problems of this very low limit.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 10:57
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I wonder what the Jorno's blood alcohol level is when they write some of this tosh. The printed "Mail on Sunday" was completely over the top, since toned down on its website. It is only a couple of months since a similar scare that was a very costly non event.

We are now in an invidious position where I can sit down for dinner with my wife and consume half a bottle of wine and finish it by 2100. Would anyone like to tell me what my blood alcohol level is when I report for work at 0600 because I haven’t a clue and I certainly would not be "drunk" in "journalese" and would have complied with the UK law.

Yet all the time the real story about the real danger to our passengers; fatigue due excessive roster disruption and long night duties doesn’t raise a murmur. If only someone could produce a fatigue test - "snore into this bag please".
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 11:05
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Red face

Well said Sky 9 our occupation is being persecuted to the point where a normal moderate lifestyle is denied us ,false accusations can be readily made towards us yet the authorities seem willing to condone excessive duty periods which leave us fatigued to the equivalent of alcohol consumption well over the drink driving limits.Wake up world.!!!(And thank God for Balpa!!)
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