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Are There Rules For Pilots When Not On The Job?  
User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4691 times:

Some time ago there was a trend regarding pilots who received speeding tickets while driving a car and the implication to their job as a pilot. Basically certain behavior deemed as irresponsible when not on the job could affect a pilot getting a job or the current status of a pilot. Are there rules of conduct which pilots must go by when they are not on the job? For example for some occupations if you are seen drinking at a bar in your uniform especially if the uniform or badge depicts who your employer is, you could get in trouble. Even if you are not in uniform some companies have certain rules of conduct depending on what a person occupation is. Some companies believe that once you are still in uniform or exhibit 'bad conduct' you represent the company and any irresponsible behavior could reflect on them. If a pilot stops at a bar on the way home and is still in uniform could he get in trouble?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyHoss From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4658 times:

Yes, we're not allowed to drink in uniform (seems pretty obvious, eh?). We're also not allowed to even enter a bar when in uniform. We can, however, eat in a restaurant that has a bar, when in uniform.
DUIs (tickets for driving under the influence of alcohol) are a BIG problem for pilots. You must report that you've received one to the FAA (within 30 days?), so you're guilty until proven innocent.
One DUI won't cost you your job, but two (within 5 years, I believe) will cost you your medical certificate and thusly, you're not an employable pilot any longer.
Fortunately for me, I haven't had those experiences, but a pilot friend did get a DUI coming home from the same party that I also had just left. It changed his life, he doesn't drink alcohol at all now.
Another policy (from my carrier) is that we can't do anything that will discredit the company, including allowing our finances to "tank." Yet another reason that pay cuts are so painful (like when you buy a house based on X income and a year later you're now working for .7X).



A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4618 times:

Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 1):
Another policy (from my carrier) is that we can't do anything that will discredit the company, including allowing our finances to "tank."

Thanks for your input. If a pilot finances tank how does that discredit their employer and how would they find out?


User currently offlineFlyHoss From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4570 times:

Quoting JAM747 (Reply 2):

Thanks for your input. If a pilot finances tank how does that discredit their employer and how would they find out?

Well, a declaration of bankruptcy would probably do it. Credit agencies calling the carrier/company would likely be the first signal, though.

IIRC, there's also some concern that a crewmember is dire financial straits could be "bought" by drug-smugglers or worse. I also recall a former worker that had piled up massive gambling losses and was offered the chance (by the gambling debt holder) to make up for it in one day (the coworker passed on that opportunity, but his debts forced the sale of his house and cost him his marriage).



A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
User currently offlineMD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4405 times:

Glad I didn't become a pilot afterall....I never wanted a job (no matter how cool) where the company "owns" you 24/7/365. Even though I do not drink and always drive the speedlimit....it's the thought of it that bother's me.

Of course the airline has no problems embarassing the sheet out of it's employees with some of the stupid moves they have made the last decade or so.


User currently offlineTPAnx From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4385 times:

I recall being in ATL when a pilot asked me to walk into a bar and check the
score of a Falcons game for him..he couldn't even walk into the bar, turn on his heel, and walk out. Course he was a Delta pilot, and the airport in ATL is probably not the place to even think about bending the rules a little....
TPAnx  Wink



I read the news today..oh boy
User currently offlineJrosa From Brazil, joined Jun 2005, 367 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4257 times:

CI has a policy which voids a pilot to gamble.

User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4156 times:

Same rule applies to railroad employees in passenger service and has been around for over a century. I remember that when I worked for a tourist short line, anytime the crew went out for dinner after work to an establishment that served alcohol, we had to change out of uniform.


"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineAirbus340313x From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4133 times:

I now work as a Railroad Conductor, and its pretty much the same, we can't have any alcohol prior to 12 hours before begining of duty, and we always have to be rested for shifts. We are not allowed a second job, and if caught working another job on mandatory rest periods, we can loose our jobs. Of course no drinking in uniform, and can't enter a bar with uniform. Its pretty similar to aviation, except that if you have a DUI you are in deep....especially if it is coming back from work, because at certain occasion we are paid to drive from and to work, so it is considered on duty time, even after you are off the train and going home....I can be called 363/7/24 (except X-mas and New Years) at 2h30 notice, so allmost never any alcohol here, my life is of the railroad now!! And I used to be an aircraft technician...!!

User currently offlineBridogger6 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 716 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4124 times:

Yeah for any airline I know of, passenger service and flight crew cannot go into bars under any circumstances in uniform. I am not sure that this is the case with rampers, I doubt it but I don't know. I once had to get a passenger who had gone into a bar but could no do it so I asked a friend who was non-reving to go get them for me. :-P But it is the exact same case with pilots, it's something they can be terminated for.

User currently offlineSCEagle From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4085 times:

Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 3):
Well, a declaration of bankruptcy would probably do it. Credit agencies calling the carrier/company would likely be the first signal, though.

Is this rule enforced when the pilot's employer declares bankruptcy? Or are the pilots cut some slack when their pay gets cut?

(I can see the pamphlet passed out by the airline to the pilots: So You're Facing Bankruptcy, Too.)


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3986 times:

Unless a Pilot is on Standby,He needs to be Sober.
Whenever in Uniform needs to set a good example  Smile
If Hes not on duty.He can Enjoy.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13116 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3939 times:

My comments are as to the USA, but probably relate to other countries as well. There could also be post-9/11 Federal and state security rules that could also affect the off-job life of any airline employee to prevent the compormise of safety and security.
The 'bottle to throttle' and other related rules set by Federal and state laws as to alcohol and drugs are well established and clear as to Pilots. Generally though a suspension or revocation of a Pilot's vehicle drivers license can cause the same as to any pilot's license, and not just for DUI. The rules as to not being in uniform in a bar is more of a universal airline rule and not a Federal rule as far as I know. I would suspect that any arrest for the use of illegal drugs could lead to the same actions.
Any airline, just like most other employers, can also suspend or fire (within the law) any employee (pilots or non-pilots) for other crimes, including driver's license problems, minor one like shoplifting, or more serious like assult and battery, drug violations or for any job rules violation (like drinking in uniform).
Many airlines, as well as most employers, also may require those with alcohol or drug problems to go to consuling and rehab required after the first violation, and if caught a 2nd time, then terminated from employment. That could be not just as to pilots.
As to the personal financial status and employment, that would be really set by the airline. Perhaps some airlines do an annual credit report request of employees to make sure that people in financial trouble cannot cause comprimises of safety. I know in my job, as a legal assistant and working on sensitive cases, I had to submit the right of my employer to get a copy of my credit report to work there on those cases to prevent financially troubled people from selling out sensitive info to get out of debt. All states have laws protecting an employee from a loss of job due to financial issues such as a court notice to your employer for unpaid child support, credit debts, alimony or phone calls from a disguntled separated or ex-spouse looking for her late alimony payment. Still, the airline/employer may take some action if the problem is so serious to affect safety and service.


User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3901 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 12):
I had to submit the right of my employer to get a copy of my credit report to work there on those cases to prevent financially troubled people from selling out sensitive info to get out of debt.

I have heard about this before, and it makes more sense to me now after reading the comments from you and others on this trend. It is possible for a airline pilot in personal financial crisis be tempted to be bribed or do bad things due to his access to an aircraft and possible international ports. I think in some similar situations police or security personel have their financial situations monitored since they are in a position where they could be bribed.

[Edited 2005-11-19 16:10:08]

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