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-   -   BA crew test positive for alcohol (Sentences) (https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/108603-ba-crew-test-positive-alcohol-sentences.html)

staticwick 12th Nov 2003 22:48

Im sort of thinking about that bit that says "before you pick the splinter out of someone elses eye pick the plank out of your own.
Its dead easy to have a pop at Big Airways,there an easy target.Envy springs to mind but I may be nieve.
This unfortunate incident over the drinking matter could have happened to a great many of us over the years, or am I still being nieve!
Lets hope our friends our dealt with compassionately

Flip Flop Flyer 12th Nov 2003 22:57

Capt. Happy
Because, from personal experience, BA crews are very fond of landing beers and socialising until the wee early hours of the morning. You may not have noticed it, though I find it difficult to belive, but I've lost track of the number of times I've seen BA crews getting more than just a drink or two. And before you start asking what I was doing there, I didn't operate the next day.

Secondly, BA crews has been caught on more than just one or two occasion. Each time it receives huge press attention. I'll give you that the UK gutter press is horrible at best, pure witch hunting at worst. That's just one more reason not to do something stupid. Blaming the press is a poor excuse for inappropriate behaviour. Some seem to think that it's ok to cheat as long as you don't get caught. Perhaps in some areas, but not when it comes to drinking and flying in my opinion.

Finally, the crews failed a breath analyzer test which reportedly showed 0.09% for one of the crew members. So please spare us the "innocent until proven guilty" rubbish unless you think that it's all a big conspiracy against BA.

BA crews have, again, been caught doing something they damn well know is stupid in the extreme, and yet again BA's name is dragged through the press, tarnishing its good name, not to mention the employees of BA. How a BA collegue can post a defence for someone who tarnishes their name and profession, and ultimately their livelihood, is beyond me.

soddim 12th Nov 2003 23:11

Seems like both pilots are accused - now when me and the wife go out she stays off the pop so that she can drive home. Can't BA do the same?

ornithopter 12th Nov 2003 23:18

Why do people talk about 'BA pilots' and the culture within when they don't know? I am a BA pilot and I don't drink, ever.

In my experience, most people go and hide in their hotel rooms rather than drink to all hours. And as for socialising in the bar - I do it all the time, but I don't drink alcohol and I don't stay up to all hours. If you need alcohol to unwind, get help - you don't need it, otherwise I would have permanently clenched teeth!

Almost all of my colleagues are very responsible and take their jobs very seriously, and it annoys all of us if someone is reckless. However we must remember that these people are innocent until proven guilty. If anything, this incident will make everyone hide in their rooms even more and poor old Ornithopter will have no one to socialise with!

The initial test of the FO from this latest incident, revealed an estimated alcohol content of 0.09%. That means he would have been more than just a little dizzy on the night, and should have known damn well he wouldn't be fit for duty the next day.
Alcohol impairs your judgement - hence the fact it is hard to assess yourself.

And why is it 'always' BA - well its not - its just that we are the biggest and so an easy target, and because of the famous programme on telly, it works as a follow up. Plenty of famous people have been convicted of Drink Driving for instance, and do you ever hear about it? Not as good a story.

Pirate 12th Nov 2003 23:47

I think that the BA people here who are rushing to say "why knock us?" should reflect a little. None of us who give the matter any thought are taking potshots because you work for Birdseed - we know that the majority of you are careful professionals.

The problem is that, in the minds of the press and public, BA is British civil aviation, so when stuff like this hits the fan we all get tarred with the same brush - sorry to mix metaphors.

I've been in this business a long time and the reality of short haul rostering is that a "legal" drink is seldom possible these days. It does make sense for careful professionals - see above. Orange juice really isn't that bad, but if you're feeling like living dangerously, try tomato juice with Worcester, well iced!

martinidoc 12th Nov 2003 23:48

I think the problem lies in the lack of consistency in the regulations, and some very difficult regs.

A zero tolerance reg is in my opinion both unecessary, and practically very difficult to comply with safely. What is needed is an evidence based and universally adopted blood alcohol level, which all can accept.

Consumption of alcohol, (particularly red wine) has numerous health benefits, including : reduction in stroke, heart disease and certain cancers. It is therefore important that individuals in any walk of life should not be denied the choice of taking alcohol in moderation. If we accept that, then zero tolerance is unfair.

The airline industry should take the lead in supporting research into the appropriate maximum levels of alcohol above which performance is significantly impaired. I'm certain there would be plenty of volunteers.

There is some, (not very good) evidence about fatigue and psycho-motor performance, and this is at least as important as blood alcohol.

I do not condone reckless excessive late night binge drinking, but I think there should be a consistent, fair and sensible approach to the problem rather than a blanket ban, which can reck pilots' lives unecessarily.

Let us all hope that the crew involved are innocent.

effcix 13th Nov 2003 00:46

boozing norway
does A 4 have his Church parade rostered?Such outbursts are usually intended to hide a sheltered life,which most pilots don,t have/want.

OSCAR YANKEE 13th Nov 2003 01:32

The zero tolerance being 0,2 (promille) has nothing to do with chocolates and mouthwash.
It simply has to do with the tolerance of the measuring equipment and the testing method.

Navy_Adversary 13th Nov 2003 02:12

When was the last time a UK airliner had an accident because the flight crew had been drinking the night before ?
As SLF I would rather fly with a UK airline where the crew had had a few drinks the night before than with certain foreign airlines whose crew are zero alcohol.

Captain_Happy 13th Nov 2003 02:39

Some seem to think that it's ok to cheat as long as you don't get caught. Perhaps in some areas, but not when it comes to drinking and flying in my opinion.
FFF, if you seriously think I'd ever condone mixing drinking and flying then you obviously haven't read my post correctly.

How a BA collegue can post a defence for someone who tarnishes their name and profession, and ultimately their livelihood, is beyond me.
See my first point; nothing in my post stated that I was defending them. I would merely suggest that you let legal proceedings take place first before hanging these guys up on a noose.

I think Ornithopter registered what I was getting at; as a member of a BA crew I take great pride in my work and don't want to be seen as "just another Nigel." Besides which, on many occasions the whole crew just go to bed knackered...

BA are no different to any other airline - this could have happened to anyone, in any airline, and to suggest otherwise is naive and hypocritical.

niAd20 13th Nov 2003 02:42


What sort of rubbish is this:

"Consumption of alcohol, (particularly red wine) has numerous health benefits, including : reduction in stroke, heart disease and certain cancers. It is therefore important that individuals in any walk of life should not be denied the choice of taking alcohol in moderation. If we accept that, then zero tolerance is unfair."

Are you trying to tell us that if we don't drink ONE night we risk our health? Get a grip, please. Nobody is telling us we should never drink, but they are saying (and this is nothing new) don't drink excesively while on duty. And if excesively translates as no more than 1 unit of alcohol due to the current levels, then no one should do it. We get paid to come to work, not to get rat arsed every night. Maybe we need better guidelines, but if someone is unsure of local law, then surely they should abstain. Better safe than sorry?

And no, I'm not taking a pot shot at BA. This happens in every airline in every country. BA just happens to be the most visible target, due size and fame. But there might be some truth in the cultural differences argument. Drinking to excess is something typically British, and don't bother arguing, first hand experience and all that.

At the end of the day, the law should be respected wherever you are. And I would like to think than when I get in ANY flight anywhere, I will be safe and the crew will be fully alert and functional. That's what they are there for.

A4 13th Nov 2003 02:52

effcix :D

I think I've only said what many others have also said ....... and I practice what I preach (on my church parade :) )

Sheltered....? Non. Still I'm glad that my "outburst" moved you enough to post your first ever post!

A4 :)

kfw 13th Nov 2003 03:30

Someone asked how many accidents have been attributed to alcohol in Briish aviation since the war ?

The answer is ZERO so alcohol is obviously a huge problem...NOT

Airlines have ( this is for the hacks ) a quick access recorder that monitors almost 2000 parameters that if exceeded can be investigated . Is there a correllation between early starts and incidents ? Well I've never heard of it and I'm sure we all would have if it were the case .

As for the plonker who quoted the BALPA site and BAs new route cx form , just about every investigation into CFIT or near CFIT would disagree with you . If you don't believe that good CRM is fundamental to flight safety , I really hope you are not a pilot and if you are can I do your next rte cx ?

Get off the alcohol case and get onto flight time limitations and anything else that will improve the crews situation awareness case.

Globaliser 13th Nov 2003 04:11

Rocco in Budapest: prattbrat, what was the point of naming them? Makes you feel better about yourself doesn't it.

Up & Away: No excuse on this forum to mention any names!!
Unfortunately, the names are already on page 1 of today's Times for anyone who happens to have started reading it at the front, or indeed for anyone who reads it online. The names are said to have been confirmed by the company.

Hap Hazard 13th Nov 2003 04:51

Just to change the subject slightly as I am not interested in speculation and cant be bothered reading through all dross, can anyone tell me with a degree of accuracy just how long should an average Joe should allow for say a glass of wine, before flying so as to be legal at 0.2gr/1000gr?
I normally allow at least 12hrs, but without testing myself, I am now wondering if this is sufficient?
I do know it depends on your weight and health as well, but I would be interested to hear from someone who knows a lot more than me on the subject.:sad:

Dan Winterland 13th Nov 2003 04:52

There is one instance of alchohol being attributable to an accident, although not in civil aviation. In the 70s, a RAF Jet Provost flew into a resevoir in Yorkshire early one morning. The pilot had been seen to partake in a quite a few bevvies late the previous evening. I'm not sure if there was medical evidence, but the Board of Inquiry attributed alchohol as a factor.

Zlin526 13th Nov 2003 05:31

I can't see what all the fuss is about. Why the hell BA (or any airline for that matter) haven't come up with a 'No alcohol on duty' policy yet is beyond me. Lets face it, ANY alcohol isn't acceptable, let alone leaving the decision up to the very people who are drinking as to how much they should or shouldn't drink. I certainly wouldn't want to be driven around the busy skies of Europe by a pair of pissheads with hangovers....

If found guilty, sack 'em good and proper. Yeehar......:ok:

trytofly 13th Nov 2003 05:46

zlin 52..whatever.

your sweeping statement shows nothing but your ignorance of the whole issue.
BA DO ALREADY have a zero tolerance with regard to alcohol drinking on duty !!!? as you put it, and also with regard to residual alchohol in the blood when reporting for duty.

Further to this...it is a MINEFIELD..this 'zero' label stuff.

Another reason to get out of this god-forsaken industry ! If I could....I would. It ain't worth it.:{

M609 13th Nov 2003 05:55

Are criminal proceedings in Norway a possibility?
According to some reports in the local media, yes. Not seen anything official on it, they are awaiting the blood tests.
Offence happend on Norwegian soil, so why not?
Jail is a common type of punishment in drunk driving cases..... :cool:

CH4 13th Nov 2003 06:07


Trytofly is correct. There are two real issues here

1) How the hell does a pilot know if he is breaching the limit? He's told that it is 0.2 or whatever, a very low figure, but how does he determine that? The real 'rule breakers' will know for sure, they went on a bender maybe and broke all the obvious rules. That does not account for most pilots, I believe. This is an issue that the airlines have to address too. Somehow, a pilot needs to know if he 'meets the rules'. At the moment it is haphazard, to say the least. The pilot needs to ascertain if he meets the rules and givemn the 'chance' to make himself 'unavailable for duty'!

2. Short haul pilots. These are the guys most vunerable. Most normal people like a drink and who the hell can deny them that right. But, if you give a pilot the minimum 8 stautory days off in 28, then why shouldn't he be allowed to have a sensible drink during his 'time off'? The new rules would inhibit a guy the chance to even have a sensible, moderated dinner party on a legitimate day off, if he had to report the next day for duty! Again, maybe this is the airlines' problem to solve with the 'rule makers' and maybe you have to grant a 'drying out day' after the 'statutory days off'.

3. The airlines cannot just throw the 'rule book' at the pilots. They need to be proactively involved, so should the unions, such as BALPA.

It's an industry problem, not just a pilot problem. IMHO

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