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Can Russian Pilots Drink On Board?  
User currently offlineMD11Lover From Switzerland, joined Oct 2003, 444 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5354 times:

My father has worked for many years in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kazakstan) and he told me that pilots drink while flying the aircraft? Is this true? Any info?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineMD11Lover From Switzerland, joined Oct 2003, 444 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5342 times:

I also forgot to state the obivous. He s flown on Russian domestic routes too!

User currently offlineAA777MIA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 686 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5334 times:

I beleive the same goes for Aitalia as well. I heard a long time ago that they were allowed wine with their meal, not sure about it, but heard that. Anyone know??

User currently offlineLevg79 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1013 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5333 times:

Yeah, why not....of course they can drink.

The list is a little limited though, coffee, tea, soda, maybe juice if they get lucky...

I've actually never heard of any incident involving Russian pilots, like the one happened on HP flight out of MIA last year  Smile

A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
User currently offlineMD11Lover From Switzerland, joined Oct 2003, 444 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5309 times:

Good call... i meant to say alcoholic beverages....eg. Vodka


User currently offlineOD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1928 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5203 times:

There are many incidents of drunk pilots all over the world and this is not a problem only in Russia.
Also, drinking is found in many professions. Some surgeons have a few shots before an operation.
Sad but true.

User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5189 times:

Officially, the rules in Russia, and even the Soviet Union, were extremely strict about drinking, or being intoxicated on the job - any job. It was one of the few things that a worker could do to get himself fired, and the workers collective would not defend him. Aeroflot had the same official policy - no drinking during or before the flight.

But in reality, drinking is such an imbedded part of Russian culture that it seems that most cases are tossed off with "a nod and a wink". But the laws are there.

I flew an Il-86 to Kazakhstan in 1992. We landed, and were waiting for the pilots to disembark (old Russian tradition - the pilots get off first, the passengers wait). We waited a good 15 minutes, and when the cockpit door finally opened, the captain was revealed. He was a grizzled old man of around 65, in full uniform and a whole lot of medals down the front of his tunic. He was also red-faced, eyes rolling, drooling all over himself, and unable to stand up without the help of the copilot and engineer. I think it is safe to assume that the copilot landed the plane (was a perfect landing, as I recall).


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 5112 times:

he told me that pilots drink while flying the aircraft? Is this true?

It beats hooking 'em up to an intravenous drip. Those can be a real bitch in turbulence I hear.

User currently offline7E7 From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 159 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 4993 times:

"If you drink and fly, you're a bloody idiot"  Nuts

I've heard similar stories (in line with bringing champagne glasses inside the cockpit when first/biz class is being served). Always thought they would be more of tales made up by bored passengers...or perhaps the pilot is celebrating his 10000's hour  Innocent

User currently offlineFly727 From Mexico, joined Jul 2003, 1803 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 4717 times:

More than merely drinking alcohol for the pure effect, when you do it because it is part of your fine culture, it is very difficult to get rid of it even at 35,000'.
I'm saying this because I saw a picture (I think it was in defunct airlinesmeals.com) of one Iberia's crew meal with everything including a cup of red wine for the captain. I was surprised by quickly understood that it is part of their culture. As long as they don't get too culturized in my flight.... LOL

RM  Smile

There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 4093 posts, RR: 50
Reply 10, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 4566 times:

Don't drink and drive.

Smoke and fly!

All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 4494 times:

i surely hope they don't. i've seen first hand how bad a combination alcohol and cars can be. airplanes are bigger, heavier, carry more fuel and pax... i'd hate to see a wasted pilot at the controls. for me, 12 hours bottle to throttle.

"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineSPLOBKrakow From Poland, joined Sep 2003, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 4471 times:

This was a common topic with LOT about 10 years ago. Everyone used to worry about the pilots being intoxicated. Some people laughed if off some too it more seriously. Not sure if anyone ever got caught drinking. I know for a fact that many pilots come to YYZ stay with friends and do nothing but drink. Not sure if they sober up before their flight.

User currently offlineLastBaron From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 290 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (12 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 4463 times:

Oh, puh-lease! A family friend was a captain for Pan Am in Berlin back in the 1960s. I have never met a more jovial, convivial and hard-drinking, hard-playing man... and yes, he and most of his colleagues at PAA drank on duty, too. Maybe not stateside, but overseas even American pilots will occasionally have a snort...

I never saw anyone drool on themselves in connection with alcohol, but I'm sure they've done even worse than that up there... pass the air sickness bags, please!  Wink/being sarcastic

My aunt dated this particular pilot for quite some time and I remember many happy hours and tales of cockpit escapades in Berlin's Hilton Rotisserie Grill. Not every one in the world is as immature about alcohol as Americans seem to be these days... many people find a meal without a glass of decent wine "incomplete," regardless of their line of occupation. Why should a pilot be an exception?

We can only hope that all this right-wing induced "political correctness" goes away with the demise of the right wingers after the next election here.

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14968 posts, RR: 61
Reply 14, posted (12 years 7 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4254 times:

The PanAm parties in Berlin were legendary, I know several ex Pan Am Berlin station mechanics, and they had to service crew oxygen bottles very often (Pilots breathing pure oxygen to ober up). Also BA had continuous parties in their crew hotel. According to a catering man, BA had a pallet of Heiniken beer out on the ramp outside their crew office at TXL and every crew would help themselves to a sixpack or bringing home. Finnair liked TXL as ell, because it is only 50 meters from the plane to the duty free. When I was working in passenger handling years ago, I had a plane, paxes on board, ready for deprture, just the captain missing. He arrivd with a big bottle of Ballantine´s whisky under his arm. A C/A told me later that liquor is very expensive in Finnland, and only available in government stores, spread far and apart, so they buy their booze abroad, to take home. But it still looked funny with that big whisky bottle.


Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
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