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Drunk Emirates Pilot Jailed  
User currently offlineBiddleonia007 From Australia, joined May 2006, 14 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7965 times:

Interesting and worrying article regarding a drunk pilot who was stopped from flying before he boarded. Refer Link :

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,20898100-663,00.html

My question to those of you in the industry, what mechanism is in place by various airlines to ensure those upfront of the plane (and some down back as well !) are in a fit condition to fly. Why wouldn't airlines say introduce compulsory breath testing of crew before boarding in view of the unthinkable consequences if a pilot is drunk or ill?


Biddleonia007
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7926 times:

Quoting Biddleonia007 (Thread starter):
Why wouldn't airlines say introduce compulsory breath testing of crew before boarding in view of the unthinkable consequences if a pilot is drunk or ill?

The unions would scream bloody murder if an airline tried to put safety ahead of employee convenience.  flamed 


User currently offlineTozairport From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7787 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 1):
The unions would scream bloody murder if an airline tried to put safety ahead of employee convenience.

The unions screams would be drowned out by management whining about PAYING for a safety item when nobody has died yet. Management doesn't see a safety problem unless blood is spilled.

Ref.

AA in LIT - crew rest issues
AA in Cali - navigation and inadequate GPWS issues
AA 191 at ORD - AirTran CEO "Forklift" Joe Leonard's non-standard maintenance practices.
UA at COS - 737 rudder reversals that were ignored or dismissed until tragedy.
US Air at PIT - Same thing as above

I could give more examples but it's late. Management has NOTHING to do with safety besides trying to minimise the cost of it. The "whining" pilots unions have EVERYTHING to do with safety as it is their basic charter.

AND, pilots flying drunk is not so much of a problem as a good news story. I guarantee that many times more of your managers come to work drunk/hung over than pilots ever do. But you are management, so we don't really have to worry about you paying for breathalyzers, do we?

Peace out.



Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
User currently offline767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7778 times:

Tragic. This guy must have a real problem to throw away such a hard-fought career.

I wonder why no one on the crew bus noticed and pulled him aside...


User currently offlineKevi747 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1058 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7766 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 1):
The unions would scream bloody murder if an airline tried to put safety ahead of employee convenience.

Dumbest thing I've read on here in a while. And that's saying a lot. Sad. sarcastic 



"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
User currently offlineTozairport From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7759 times:

Quoting Biddleonia007 (Thread starter):
My question to those of you in the industry, what mechanism is in place by various airlines to ensure those upfront of the plane (and some down back as well !) are in a fit condition to fly. Why wouldn't airlines say introduce compulsory breath testing of crew before boarding in view of the unthinkable consequences if a pilot is drunk or ill?

See part of my reply to Zvesda, but to summarize:

- There really is not that big of a problem, just a good news item.
- Flight crew are already screened by security, and trust me, they give us a closer look over than the average passenger.
- Not all news stories that you read about result in convictions or license suspensions. I know of two situations at UA where the pilot was pulled out an accused, but in fact had consume no alcohol and blew a .00
- If a crew member shows up inebriated, the other crew members will most likely notice.
- The cost of employing someone to operate testing equipment, keeping the machines calibrated, etc. would be prohibitive and not really result in any increased safety. The money would be much better spent on less draconian work rules (how alert are you after a 16 hour day), better equipment (EGPWS, EFB, Satcom, GPS, etc. have been around for years but management does not want to pay for it), and other safety improvements.

Good question, but I don't think breath testing crew members would result in any safety increase. Now if we could breath test management, we might be on to something!



Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7708 times:

Quoting Tozairport (Reply 2):
Management has NOTHING to do with safety besides trying to minimise the cost of it.

I know that's standard union mantra, but crashes are very, very expensive in terms of both direct and indirect costs and managment are highly motivatived to spend any reasonable sum to lower the risks of crashing. They may be penny-pinching, insensitive, uncaring, cold, ruthless, etc., but competent managers are never penny wise and pound foolish. Airline management is generally quite risk averse.

Quoting Tozairport (Reply 2):
AA in LIT - crew rest issues
AA in Cali - navigation and inadequate GPWS issues

Wow! Blaming management for pilot error.  Yeah sure Continuing to descend when in a mountainous area, already below mountaintop level, and not having any clue of one's location is just plain reckless.


User currently offlineANstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5176 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7590 times:

Quoting Biddleonia007 (Thread starter):
Why wouldn't airlines say introduce compulsory breath testing of crew before boarding in view of the unthinkable consequences if a pilot is drunk or ill?

I think QF were thinking of doing this about 2 years ago and the unions threatened to strike over it.


User currently offlineKiwiinOz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7542 times:

I think breathalising is a good idea. I used to work in a hotel where we accommodated crew from two major international airlines. It was not uncommon, (maybe twice a month) for us to have to "shake and wake" hungover/still drunk pilots, who would then proceed to the airport.

We reported this to the station managers, who informed us that this was an airline matter and could be dealt with internally. We left it at that.


User currently offlineStevenG From Netherlands, joined Oct 2005, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7474 times:

If an airline doesn't perform any breath testing then police authorities at the airport could enforce the law. Very occassionaly a crewmember from the flightdeck gets caught at AMS. Don't know if the police has been alerted then or it is the result of a regular check at all crew members.
In my opinion it's not only an airline matter to deal with but a public safety issue at first.


User currently offlineCurmudgeon From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 695 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7319 times:

KiwiinOz, I am wondering if you were able to test these crew members with a breathalyser or blood test before you concluded that they were hungover/still drunk?

Also, if you were sure that a pilot was drunk yet silently sent him off to the airport, you might want to have a think about where the bounds of your civic duty are regardless of any happy horseshit from an airline dispatch office.

Speaking of which, I can't imagine an airline dispatch office in N.Z. covering for a drunk pilot.

Finally, at QF the pilot's association was only concerned with protocols for breath testing, not the testing per se. Most pilots whom I have surveyed on this are for testing, or at least not opposed.



Jets are for kids
User currently offlineKiwiinOz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7285 times:

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 10):
KiwiinOz, I am wondering if you were able to test these crew members with a breathalyser or blood test before you concluded that they were hungover/still drunk?

Acually, as someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for a long time, with myself and my team trained to recognise intoxication, I feel fairly confident with my, and my team's assessment.


Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 10):
Speaking of which, I can't imagine an airline dispatch office in N.Z. covering for a drunk pilot.

Don't know. I have never worked in a hotel in NZ

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 10):
Also, if you were sure that a pilot was drunk yet silently sent him off to the airport, you might want to have a think about where the bounds of your civic duty are regardless of any happy horseshit from an airline dispatch office.

As I said, they were not sent silently. We have no authority to hold them, and legally no responsibility to inform anyone. However we did take the step of informing the employer. What happened after that, who knows, (and the airline would have no need to tell us). I think for us to take further action would be legally compromising, plus hopefully unneccessary. A lot goes on in hotels. If we are expected to take full responsibility for all of societies woes, we would be very busy!!!


User currently offlineFridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6450 times:
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I've been flying Emirates for the last three years and I LOVE it.

As for the pilot, an unblemished 25 year career down the tubes. He simply should have known better! I have no sympathy for him. F**king Moron.



The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6400 times:

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 10):
KiwiinOz, I am wondering if you were able to test these crew members with a breathalyser or blood test before you concluded that they were hungover/still drunk?

Believe it or not, sometimes there are other ways to tell if someone is drunk short of breathalyzing them. If someone smells strongly of bourbon, has no color, bloodshot eyes, and isn't doing so well with keeping their balance, they might be drunk....



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineCurmudgeon From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 695 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6250 times:

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 13):
Believe it or not, sometimes there are other ways to tell if someone is drunk short of breathalyzing them

Yeah, I know. In a former life I was one of those unsmiling patrol officers behind the mirrored Ray-Bans making drunks walk the line. But the modern index of intoxication is a breathalyser. Since they are widely available, anything less when making an allegation is simply not enough. To even tell apocryphal stories about drunk pilots might be fun, may be true, but it might also be gratuitously slanderous.

I'm not saying that KiwiinOz was lying, or even embellishing, but I will say that if every dinner party story about some drunk pilot was true the world would have a lot more craters than it does.

Dealing with this stuff is fairly easy-it simply takes leadership. If a crew member is suspected of being intoxicated, a quiet word about booking off sick, followed up by a treatment program if a chronic situation exists. If an argument ensues, a simple request, then demand, that he or she submit to a breathalyser does the trick. The range of possible human behaviours well includes being over the line with booze...usually someone else playing the role of the adult is all it takes to head off a dangerous situation.



Jets are for kids
User currently offlineTozairport From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4285 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 6):
Wow! Blaming management for pilot error. Yeah sure Continuing to descend when in a mountainous area, already below mountaintop level, and not having any clue of one's location is just plain reckless.

AA at LIT - crew had been on duty for 14+ hours, MANAGEMENT PILOT was PIC. New hire was F/O. MANAGEMENT PILOT pushed probationary F/O to complete duty day even though both must have been fatigued. As a direct result of this crash came the Whitlow rules and reserve rest criteria. Something management had fought for years because it cost $$ (and lives).

AA in Cali - While the crew did try to rush the approach, data anomalies in the FMC ("B" ndb identified as both Rojo and Bogota) led to a turn toward the hills. If EGPWS had been pushed harder by management as it was by the unions, this accident never would have happened.

Tell me why I am wrong. You didn't disagree with any of my other examples, so I guess you agree with those.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 6):
I know that's standard union mantra, but crashes are very, very expensive in terms of both direct and indirect costs and managment are highly motivatived to spend any reasonable sum to lower the risks of crashing.

Only if people die first. The history of aviation is rife with examples from the very beginning of airline history. Try reading "Flying the Line 1 and 2" for some perspective.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 6):
but competent managers are never penny wise and pound foolish. Airline management is generally quite risk averse.

ROTFLMAO!!!!!! That is a good one.

Cheers.



Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4271 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 1):
The unions would scream bloody murder if an airline tried to put safety ahead of employee convenience.

I think this uneducated member here has forgotten the tremendous contributions to air safety that unions have made.


User currently offlineKiwiinOz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3237 times:

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 14):
Since they are widely available, anything less when making an allegation is simply not enough. To even tell apocryphal stories about drunk pilots might be fun, may be true, but it might also be gratuitously slanderous.

Would love to see my doormen in the lobby armed with breathalisers testing departing guests.....would gain us some interesting press. As for slander, I think you'll find it doesn't count unless the slandered person is identified.

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 14):
I'm not saying that KiwiinOz was lying, or even embellishing, but I will say that if every dinner party story about some drunk pilot was true the world would have a lot more craters than it does.

Much as I crave yours and everyone's acceptance and approval via my crazy stories, in this particular case, I feel I could bring a reasonably unique, and qualified view to the discussion. Obviousely you don't think so.


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