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Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?  
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3641 times:

Start disclaimer>> I searched and could find nothing on this << end disclaimer

I live in Canton Ohio and I heard or thought I heard something on the radio about a passenger who experienced a hard landing and said that "the landing was so rough that she thought he pilot was drunk" The pilot was then tested and found to have been drinking. I was at work when I thought I heard this so I wasn't paying complete attention to the radio. Anyone else hear about this? I know, it sounds like an urban legend.

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAIRTRAN737700 From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3591 times:

Traveler's joke lands him in trouble
Passenger accused of inducing panic for comment on pilot's sobriety
Gina Mace

Special to the Beacon Journal

Authorities aren't laughing at a passenger's joke about a pilot at Akron-Canton Airport.

Thomas Smith, 55, of Levittown, Pa., is scheduled to appear Wednesday in Barberton Municipal Court on a charge of inducing panic after he allegedly made a comment that delayed a commuter plane's flight to Cincinnati for about four hours Friday.

Smith was among 37 passengers on an airliner flying for Delta-Comair that made a bumpy landing at the airport in Green.

Summit County Sheriff's Sgt. Leonard Fanelly said Smith got off the plane just before 11 a.m. and made a comment in front of the flight crew, ground crew, staff and passengers that ''that was a terrible landing. The pilot must be drunk.''

As a result of Smith's comment, Fanelly said, the flight to Cincinnati was delayed so the blood alcohol level of the flight crew could be tested. None of the crew members had alcohol in their systems, authorities said.

The pilot, Scott Kepling, who works for Chautauqua Airlines, told deputies the delay would cost the airline more than $5,000.

An airline spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Smith was detained at a baggage claim area, where he was charged with inducing panic, a fourth-degree felony. He told deputies he was joking when he made the statement, Fanelly said.

Smith appeared Saturday before Barberton Municipal Judge Michael Weigand. The judge ordered Smith to return with a court-appointed attorney Wednesday. He is free on bond.

If convicted, he could receive up to 18 months in prison.

Fanelly said people need to be cautious with what they say in airports and on planes. ''What he said may have been just a joke, but he didn't realize what went along with it,'' Fanelly said.


User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3568 times:

Serves him right. He should get the max, then he might think twice before engaging his mouth. Always love backseat pilots whenever I non-rev. I'd like to see their asses up there doing better, wait, strike that, they couldn't do better. Leave the flying to the professionals and the smarmy remarks to the uninformed, better yet, keep them to themselves.


You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5675 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3565 times:

I fail to see how a crime was committed, unless he shouted it across the rooftops. There was no panic, just a better-safe-than-sorry response.

Doubt he'll ever fly with DL again, though.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3552 times:

Make him pay for the delay.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3524 times:

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 2):
Serves him right. He should get the max,



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 4):
Make him pay for the delay.

In America we have freedom of speech. From the above article I don't see how Smith can be charged with a crime. Everyone knows you don't joke about bombs or hijackings but to get in trouble for commenting on a pilots landing is preposterous. I think it was in poor taste to make a comment like that in front of the pilots coworkers but I fail to see how it is a crime. Just because some idiot flew off the handle and overreacted to Smith's comment does not make Smith liable for any delays. What is next, arresting someone for saying that the food on a certain flight tasted like crap, because a paranoid airline worker overheard it and called in the health department who proceeded to look for feces in the food?


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9159 posts, RR: 76
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3488 times:

Research shows that fatigued pilots fly as if they had been drinking alcohol. After 17 hours awake, one will perform as if they had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.05 (g/100 ml of blood or g/210 l of breath). After a firther 4 hours awake, the performance will be on a par with that of a person with a BAC of 0.1, which is illegal in most countries to drive a car.

Most US commuter pilots I have talked to have poor rosters to get inadequate rest, and tend to get disrupted sleeps.

Seems like an over reaction to me on tha part of the authorities, I think they took the responsible course of action in testing the pilots, they could have then simply explained to the passengers that alcohol was not a factor.

The cause for the bad landing has not been explained, to me that is the actual cause for this event. If he was ex-navy, it explains it all.  Smile



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3459 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):
but to get in trouble for commenting on a pilots landing is preposterous.

Obviously, you are not a pilot or someone who takes great pride in their work and all the time, effort, planning and expense that went into it.

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):
I think it was in poor taste to make a comment like that in front of the pilots coworkers but I fail to see how it is a crime

Poor taste, yes. Crime, yes. Free speech, no. You can't yell fire in a crowded movie house.

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):
Just because some idiot flew off the handle and overreacted to Smith's comment does not make Smith liable for any delays

Sure as hell does. He caused the delay of a flight and inconvenienced others. He also brought about the possibility of tarnishing someone's reputation and jeopardising his career. That statement alone can be construed as slander, another offence and liable, yet another.

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):
What is next, arresting someone for saying that the food on a certain flight tasted like crap, because a paranoid airline worker overheard it and called in the health department who proceeded to look for feces in the food?

Nice try.

According to your profile, you work with jet engine airfoils. How would you take to someone falsely claiming you were drunk on the job and that you could possibly hurt someone or worse (which is exactly what that man implied). If you have a job with the FAA this could very well stain it or worse. All that planning, career choice, schooling, time and effort would have been for naught because some tool thought you were drunk.

By the man's implication, wrong at that, he falsely led others to believe that he might have endangered others. He also might have led others to believe that the carrier in question allows the practice of having drunk pilots/crew. It goes beyond "a joke".

Having food taste like crap and ruining a mans career, life and way of living are two entirely different things.

He deserves everything thrown at him.

I know I sure as hell would.



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineVEEREF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3422 times:

Why couldn't he have just complained about the landing? Does the pilot have to be "drunk" to make a firm landing?
He might have been kidding, but he should have kept it to himself. The crew was correct to get tested. This eliminates any later doubts and protects the crew and company from stupid lawsuits.

I have done the same thing in the past. A woman pax was getting on our plane and "jokingly" asked my F/O "didn't I see you guys at the bar last night?".
We delayed the flight and immediately went to go get tested.
Discretion is a personality trait alot of folks just don't posses.

I wouldn't put him in jail, but I would go after him for the cost of the delay at a minimum.


User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3376 times:

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 7):
You can't yell fire in a crowded movie house.

Acording to the artical he didn't yell anything. People say asine stuff all the time. If you start putting people in jail for it 95% of the American population would be incarcerated.

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 7):
Sure as hell does. He caused the delay of a flight and inconvenienced others.

He didn't cause anything. The over reaction of the airline personnel caused the delay. If the man had made an official complaint then I can see how he can be charged.

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 7):
How would you take to someone falsely claiming you were drunk on the job and that you could possibly hurt someone or worse (which is exactly what that man implied).

It would depend on the circumstances. If a formal complaint was made I would be pissed. If some nut mumbled it in passing, I would ignore it.


User currently offlineGregarious119 From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 534 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3358 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):
In America we have freedom of speech. From the above article I don't see how Smith can be charged with a crime. Everyone knows you don't joke about bombs or hijackings but to get in trouble for commenting on a pilots landing is preposterous. I think it was in poor taste to make a comment like that in front of the pilots coworkers but I fail to see how it is a crime. Just because some idiot flew off the handle and overreacted to Smith's comment does not make Smith liable for any delays. What is next, arresting someone for saying that the food on a certain flight tasted like crap, because a paranoid airline worker overheard it and called in the health department who proceeded to look for feces in the food?

 checkmark 

While it may not have been in the best taste for him to make that comment in front of the crew, he is not responsible for any delay that the airline came upon.


User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3324 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):
I fail to see how a crime was committed

Maybe not a crime but civil penalties should apply. As Hawk said earlier...

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 4):
Make him pay for the delay.



Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):
Just because some idiot flew off the handle and overreacted to Smith's comment does not make Smith liable for any delays.

If you know anything about commercial airlines. You would know that a comment of this nature made even in jest has to be acted upon and investigated immediately. It is not an overreaction just the normal reaction. It happened to a friend of mine some woman made a comment at the gate before boarding and the next thing you know the entire crew has to be drug and alcohol tested. They can't let comments like that slide for safety and liability reasons. Safety is no joke in this business.


User currently offlineNWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1404 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3256 times:
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Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 2):
Serves him right. He should get the max, then he might think twice before engaging his mouth. Always love backseat pilots whenever I non-rev. I'd like to see their asses up there doing better, wait, strike that, they couldn't do better. Leave the flying to the professionals and the smarmy remarks to the uninformed, better yet, keep them to themselves.

Agreed. Something else; it's always been my opinion that flying is a privilege, not a right.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 4):
Make him pay for the delay.
regds
MEL

Yes  checkmark 

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):
I fail to see how a crime was committed, unless he shouted it across the rooftops. There was no panic, just a better-safe-than-sorry response.

Doubt he'll ever fly with DL again, though.



Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):
In America we have freedom of speech. From the above article I don't see how Smith can be charged with a crime. Everyone knows you don't joke about bombs or hijackings but to get in trouble for commenting on a pilots landing is preposterous. I think it was in poor taste to make a comment like that in front of the pilots coworkers but I fail to see how it is a crime. Just because some idiot flew off the handle and overreacted to Smith's comment does not make Smith liable for any delays. What is next, arresting someone for saying that the food on a certain flight tasted like crap, because a paranoid airline worker overheard it and called in the health department who proceeded to look for feces in the food?

With Freedom of Speech comes responsibility. If I were to start a rumor at work saying, so and so is a thief and steals from the company, is that freedom of speech? No. There are certain accusations of which a person is guilty until proven innocent. Is accusing someone of sexual harassment "freedom of speech"? No.

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 7):
According to your profile, you work with jet engine airfoils. How would you take to someone falsely claiming you were drunk on the job and that you could possibly hurt someone or worse (which is exactly what that man implied). If you have a job with the FAA this could very well stain it or worse. All that planning, career choice, schooling, time and effort would have been for naught because some tool thought you were drunk.

By the man's implication, wrong at that, he falsely led others to believe that he might have endangered others. He also might have led others to believe that the carrier in question allows the practice of having drunk pilots/crew. It goes beyond "a joke".

Having food taste like crap and ruining a mans career, life and way of living are two entirely different things.

He deserves everything thrown at him.

I know I sure as hell would.



Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 11):
Maybe not a crime but civil penalties should apply. As Hawk said earlier...

 scratchchin  This is good.

Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 11):
Safety is no joke in this business.

Very true. Again, In my opinion, flying should be a privilege, not a right (like driving supposedly is)

Russell



Things aren't always as they seem
User currently offlineVEEREF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3241 times:

So what's the lesson here?

Whether or not it is specifically against any laws to make such a comment or insinuation is completely irrelevant.

If it is overheard by the crew it WILL be acted upon and addressed, even if it means a delayed or cancelled flight.
So if an on time flight is the goal, then save the comments for the car ride from the airport, and everything will work out best for everyone.

[Edited 2007-03-20 20:25:31]

User currently offlineCovert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1452 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3057 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):
In America we have freedom of speech.

In the United States, Part 91.17 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (codified as administrative law in the United States under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations) specifically prohibits alcohol intake 8 hours before flight, and blood alcohol content levels of greater that 0.04% while operating an aircraft.

By walking up to official agents of the airline and making such a statement, this individual was essentially accusing those pilots of committing a crime, not much unlike walking up to a TSA agent and claiming to possess a bomb, or pointing at a random dark-skinned guy that looks middle eastern claiming that he was observed partaking in "suspicious activity."

In recent times, there have been very visible cases involving "drunk" pilots; hence the airline personnel not taking any chances.



thank goodness for TCAS !
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2785 times:

Quoting Covert (Reply 14):
By walking up to official agents of the airline and making such a statement, this individual was essentially accusing those pilots of committing a crime, not much unlike walking up to a TSA agent and claiming to possess a bomb, or pointing at a random dark-skinned guy that looks middle eastern claiming that he was observed partaking in "suspicious activity."

If that is what happened, the person walked up to an airport employee and made a statement about drinking, I agree, the pilots should be tested and the person should be prosecuted if the comments turned out to be untrue. But from the article I read this.

Quoting AIRTRAN737700 (Reply 1):
Summit County Sheriff's Sgt. Leonard Fanelly said Smith got off the plane just before 11 a.m. and made a comment in front of the flight crew, ground crew, staff and passengers that ''that was a terrible landing. The pilot must be drunk.

The way that reads to me is that someone is just spouting off and should be ignored. She made a comment that the crew happened to hear, not a direct reporting of a possible problem.


User currently offlineItsnotfinals From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2777 times:

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 12):
like driving supposedly is

Driving is a privilegde also, not a right. That is the problem with a lot of Americans, they feel they are entitled to everything.


User currently offlineAS739X From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6161 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2754 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):

So I have the freedom to run through the TSA line yelling "bomb"? Just cause I have freedom of speech?

ASLAX



"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlineKSUpilot From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2727 times:

All this is going to cause is for passengers not to speak up, now that there is a risk you may end up in jail if he's just having a bad day.

User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2721 times:

Quoting AS739X (Reply 17):

So I have the freedom to run through the TSA line yelling "bomb"? Just cause I have freedom of speech?

Have you read anything else I wrote in this thread besides that quote??  Yeah sure


User currently offlineATCT From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2313 posts, RR: 38
Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2690 times:

This proves my point everyone!

Everytime a passenger walks through a metal detector their brains are sucked out!!!!

Idiot!  yes 


ATCT
Former Aircrew member.



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlineSkyexRamper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2637 times:

Quoting AIRTRAN737700 (Reply 1):
The pilot, Scott Kepling, who works for Chautauqua Airlines,



Quoting AIRTRAN737700 (Reply 1):
Smith was among 37 passengers on an airliner flying for Delta-Comair

mmm...What the heck!?!? Huh??! WOW, what a totally false and horribly wrong statement.


User currently offlineDimoko From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 307 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2621 times:

I think that charging the man with a felony is crazy. He would have gotten off lighter had he punched the pilot in the face!

And what happens if he makes the comment and the pilot was drunk?

sorry, but i take my freedom of speech very seriously, and this was not inciting panic. fire in a movie theatre, or bomb at a security checkpoint is very very different than muttering comments about a drunk pilot in a jetway...especially since the plane was firmly on the ground.

If he had made the comments while airborne i could understand the panic. but everyone was safe, and frankly, no one panicked...

He wasn't committing a crime, he was being an a-hole...and in this country, being an a-hole is NOT illegal.

[Edited 2007-03-21 19:50:52]


"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2590 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 5):
In America we have freedom of speech. From the above article I don't see how Smith can be charged with a crime.

We are guaranteed freedom of speech, as long as we don't slander or make false statements while enjoying that freedom.

He deserves to at least be fined. I hope they give him a few weekends in the slammer. It may teach him about appropriate public behavior.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineN587NK From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 302 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2550 times:

No one over reacted in this situation. When someone makes a comment like that it is REQUIRED to be taken seriously, and that means delaying or cancelling the flight while the crew gets tested. Anything else, such as just ignoring the comments is unacceptable

25 VgnAtl747 : Anyone else notice that the news story says it was an OH flight, but then said "The pilot, Scott Kepling, who works for Chautauqua Airlines"... so was
26 VEEREF : Nothing wrong with taking your freedoms seriously. But I think we now know what the outcome of the kind of comment made by subject of the thread will
27 SkyexRamper : Yes...look 2 posts up from yours...you'll find mine.
28 Lincoln : I have to wonder where the logical end of this is... While I respect the crews and can understand airlines policy (how many airlines actually have the
29 HAWK21M : How do you tackle every Pax making such a comment.What do the Authorities do.What if the comment is about Explosives.Is the reaction similiar. I gues
30 Wukka : How do you compromise safety after the flight is already on the ground and you're at the baggage claim? Just like going through the metal detectors a
31 Airfoilsguy : I just heard on the radio. The case was dismissed. Free speech is still alive on Ohio
32 Flyinryan99 : As the criminal case should've been. However, if the airline wanted to sue, my guess is they would probably be able to.
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