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Travelers Accuse Southwest Pilot Of Being Drunk  
User currently offlineFokkerf28 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 152 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6534 times:
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Sounds like he may be ending his flying career early.

http://www.10tv.com/live/content/loc.../01/07/story_southwest_pilot.html?

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7441 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6491 times:

Unless he needed to pass through Security to report in sick, (which seems doubtful) it seems that he was planning to fly.

Assuming that he was actually drunk, (not clear if he was tested) then that must mean that his career is over.

Stupid boy.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6298 times:

In a related story, a WN pilot accused a group of passengers of "being all up in his business" and informed them that they "sounded like his wife" and they were "not the boss of him." He then attempted to walk up the down escalator, fell, and broke his nose.


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6170 times:

Did anybody seem to think that maybe he was in uniform to pass through security with liquids/medication so he could go home? Perhaps he called in sick hours earlier?

How did a flight from CMH (not a WN crew base) depart without a delay according to another article despite having to fly in a reserve pilot? I think it's a case of people throwing stones in glass houses. Innocent until proven guilty.

Case in point. Last winter I got a very nasty cold on a four day trip. My sinuses were completely clogged and I couldn't sleep. I flew through day two, decided I was not safe to fly and called in sick. Checked into the hotel, walked across the street to a drug store and bought some cold meds that weren't approved for use while flying (already called in sick). I wanted to go home the next day and sleep in my own bed. Had I not put my uniform on I would have needed a ticket to go through security. I would have lost all my toiletries and the medication that kept my head from feeling like it was going to explode due to not being able to equalize my sinuses with the pressure changes. I looked like hell and TSA even asked me about it. I told them why I was in uniform, and told them I was promptly changing once through.

[Edited 2009-01-09 17:30:08]


DMI
User currently offlineJA From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 563 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5989 times:

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/a...eres-the-police-report-on-the.html

Apparently, the officer saw that he had full command of his motor skills. Some drunks can do that, but the description leads me to believe that he wasn't drunk.

In addition, would an FO allow a drunk captain to fly? You can tell (even with a good drunk) when someone is intoxicated.


User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5975 times:



Quoting JA (Reply 4):
In addition, would an FO allow a drunk captain to fly? You can tell (even with a good drunk) when someone is intoxicated.

No.



DMI
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7441 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5952 times:

It is curious given that passengers and TSA thought that he was drunk that apparently he was not tested for drink.

As to whether the FO would allow him to fly, if the FO was PF you might just get away with it , especially in VFR conditions.

I suspect that crazier things have happened.


User currently offlineMcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1448 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5935 times:



Quoting JA (Reply 4):
would an FO allow a drunk captain to fly? You can tell (even with a good drunk) when someone is intoxicated.

The NWA crew that was arrested for flying under the influence was a three man crew. IIRC not everyone was drunk but they did not stop the Captain from flying impaired.

Most alcoholics are very good at disguising their drink mannerisms. Also, keep in mind it takes more and more alcohol for them to get the same feeling that someone else would need. In this particular case it seems there is some information missing or incomplete for those of us in cyberland to make a valid determination.

One thing I have to say is that yesterday I did read the entire transcript of the SWA overrun at MDW. Based on the conversations between the Captain and the F/O during the flight, it did not reflect very positively WN.


User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5899 times:



Quoting Mcdu (Reply 7):
The NWA crew that was arrested for flying under the influence was a three man crew. IIRC not everyone was drunk but they did not stop the Captain from flying impaired.

And the culture of "the captain is always right" was a much more common mentality 15-20 years ago. CRM situations like the one mentioned are brought up in training quite often and that flight is used as an example on a regular basis. I wouldn't get in a car with a drunk driver, why would I get in a plane with a drunk pilot?

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 6):
As to whether the FO would allow him to fly, if the FO was PF you might just get away with it , especially in VFR conditions.

Again, it's not a question of who is pilot flying, or not flying, or what the conditions are. You don't go. If I were in the situation, and a captain was intoxicated, and he didn't call in sick when asked to, I'd get off the plane and report him/her. There's no such thing as VFR in the airlines. 121 always flies IFR and when you do this day in and day out it really doesn't matter if it's clear and unlimited vis, or 200 and 1/2.

There are a ton of holes in the reports. Yes, he could have had a rough night but easily called in sick and been flying home in the back. I still want to know how the flight departed without a delay at an outstation if he was supposed to be flying it. Furthermore, I don't know too many of us (myself included) who hang out in the gate area before a flight. Perhaps the aircraft wasn't there yet but even if that's the case we're usually looking over the release because it's about 50 pages long and this is a great time to check NOTAMs and weather.

I'm not defending this pilot. I am telling the armchair QBs to lay off until the facts present themselves. Sensational reporting is just that.



DMI
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7441 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5803 times:

I am not defending a pilot who acted in this way. I am simply saying that a FO or Capt could be tempted to think that it will be OK because I can fly this plane on my own until he sobers up.

User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5606 times:



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 9):
I am not defending a pilot who acted in this way. I am simply saying that a FO or Capt could be tempted to think that it will be OK because I can fly this plane on my own until he sobers up.

Sure, you can "fly" the plane. However the workload in a busy environment requires two pilots. If one of the pilots is incapacitated, it's an emergency and requires notification to the NTSB in the US.

Like I said, I'd ask him to call in sick. Most airlines have substance abuse programs and will allow for unpaid leave to help treat these if they take action on their own. I want to give them the chance to take action on their own and save their career first. After that I'm going to have to call the company and it's not a good situation for any party involved.



DMI
User currently offlineJCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5450 times:

If a passenger accuses you of being drunk as a crew member, you should stop in your tracks and demand a test... even if it times everyone out and cancels the flight. It's as simple as that. In todays internet, everyones-a-reporter, news-now, suit-happy society that one simple comment could cause absolute chaos for your career.


America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5105 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5389 times:



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 3):
Did anybody seem to think that maybe he was in uniform to pass through security with liquids/medication so he could go home? Perhaps he called in sick hours earlier?

These are excellent points. However, the police report states that the pilot told the interviewing officers that he had called in sick from the bathroom, and that the civilian who reported him later stated that when the pilot was confronted by the civilian, the pilot had said nothing, but rather took a cell phone from his bag, and headed to the rest room, leaving his bag and gear with the first officer. The pilot was taken to the WN operations office by the police, where the WN operations manager handed him the phone and said, "The Chief Pilot wants to talk to you." He apparently spoke to the chief pilot and the WN drug and alcohol office, then told the officer that the union and the chief pilot told him to spend the night in a hotel room. The officer did go out of his way to document in the police report that although he smelled stale alcohol odor, the pilot did not stumble going up and down steps.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5369 times:



Quoting Mcdu (Reply 7):
The NWA crew that was arrested for flying under the influence was a three man crew. IIRC not everyone was drunk but they did not stop the Captain from flying impaired.

If that was the FARgo case you're referring to, kinda sad that the FAA guy didn't know the fastest way to stop the aircraft involved from departing...

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 8):
I'm not defending this pilot. I am telling the armchair QBs to lay off until the facts present themselves. Sensational reporting is just that.

Can't argue with that...  Wink


User currently offlineRabenschlag From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 1007 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5296 times:

If an alcohol incident ended a pilot's career, how would his or her life proceed? Who would hire such a person for which job???

User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5255 times:



Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 14):
If an alcohol incident ended a pilot's career, how would his or her life proceed? Who would hire such a person for which job???

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...9F0CE0D91231F937A25753C1A965958260

The above was written back in 1993, but here's to hoping we've come to learn even more in the years since then...


User currently offlineMcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1448 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5078 times:



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 8):
CRM situations like the one mentioned are brought up in training quite often and that flight is used as an example on a regular basis. I wouldn't get in a car with a drunk driver, why would I get in a plane with a drunk pilot?

Pretty naive to think you could would not miss a true alcoholic and their ability to mask their addiction. Recently I ran into a friend I had flown with many years ago. Great pilot, good guy to fly with and always a ton of laughs. He is now working with our EAP program as a counselor. When I asked what brought him to do such work as it seemed a bit more of a serious job than the guy i remember flying with. He told me he was a customer of the EAP and wanted to give something back. The rest of the story is that he had been an alcoholic for many years and was able to mask it. I don't know if he was "drunk" when we flew together as I did not ask him, but it did make me wonder.

The average ground instructor can not speak with authority on something of this manner. These guys and gals are out here (not sure if you saw the report on the female UPS pilot that was found dead recently from drug and alcohol abuse) there are many stress issues in this industry. At WN they seem to pride themselves on the cowboy/rebel image. That might be inherent in breeding some types of over indulgence.


User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3052 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4945 times:

For the benefit of doubt there are several potent over the counter cough syrups which when taken can give the appearance of being tipsy

I remember a painful earache which effected my equilibrium. I would think the constant up and down altitude fluctuations aviation professionals endure could also give the appearance of being tipsy

Just a few days ago the CDC reported this years flu vaccine, tama-flu (I think) is not real effective on several strains of the flu virus.



Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
User currently offlineSpirtofalaska From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 192 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4862 times:

he probably wore his uniform through security so he could bring his liquids and gels through, then once through he went to the bathroom to change his outfit into civilian clothes, Its a pretty common thing among flight crews.
There is no way SWA could of restaffed the flight deck crew that quickly if all of a sudden someone accused him of being drunk. he was obviously deadheading or non revving home.

this isn't a big deal at all, he drank too much, SO, called out sick. He did everything right.



you fo'Coffee?
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4857 times:



Quoting Mcdu (Reply 16):
At WN they seem to pride themselves on the cowboy/rebel image. That might be inherent in breeding some types of over indulgence.

Whew! That's a relief. For a minute there, I thought you were going to make a sweeping generalization...  Yeah sure


User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5105 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4722 times:

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 17):
Just a few days ago the CDC reported this years flu vaccine, tama-flu (I think) is not real effective on several strains of the flu virus.

Actually, the vaccine shot (and Flumist vaccine) are fine. What doesn't work well this year against one of the types (not even strain, but whole type!) is the medicine that people take once they have the flu, called antiviral medicince. That makes it even more important to get your shot or your flumist this year if you are flying anywhere or work for an airline in a position that puts you in contact with travellers.

[Edited 2009-01-11 13:05:29]

User currently offlineMcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1448 posts, RR: 17
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4659 times:



Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 19):
Whew! That's a relief. For a minute there, I thought you were going to make a sweeping generalization... Yeah sure

OPNL,

No disrespect intended but WN does negotiate beer, wine and liquor prices for crews at hotel bars. The infamous 1,2,3 contracts. Herb himself was known as a huge fan of Wild Turkey and the atmosphere at WN has always been one of lighthearted good times. I am not knocking the idea, it is just that some people with alcohol problems find this a bit too tempting.


User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4432 times:



Quoting Mcdu (Reply 21):
No disrespect intended but WN does negotiate beer, wine and liquor prices for crews at hotel bars. The infamous 1,2,3 contracts. Herb himself was known as a huge fan of Wild Turkey and the atmosphere at WN has always been one of lighthearted good times. I am not knocking the idea, it is just that some people with alcohol problems find this a bit too tempting.

Cheap drinks don't mean you have to drink more simply because you had the same amount to spend. I've taken advantage of the 123 rule for a single beer on more than one occasion in a hotel shared with WN.



DMI
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4417 times:



Quoting Mcdu (Reply 21):
No disrespect intended but WN does negotiate beer, wine and liquor prices for crews at hotel bars.

But so what? Every carrier I have flown for does the same thing. It doesn't mean squat. Again, we have the crewmember already walking to the gallows when 99.999999% of the posters don't have a clue as to what really happened.

IF he was reporting to work and IFhe had a BAC over the limit, the system will take care of him. IFhe was sick then he should be left alone. IFhe has a alcohol problem he should be encouraged to seek help. That's how the system is supposed to work. All of the experts on this forum should spend a little time looking the mirror before they are so quick to condemn someone!

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 16):
At WN they seem to pride themselves on the cowboy/rebel image. That might be inherent in breeding some types of over indulgence.

Give me a break!!!


User currently offlineMcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1448 posts, RR: 17
Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4268 times:



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 23):
Every carrier I have flown for does the same thing.

I have never known a carrier other than WN that negotiates the $1 Beers, $2 mixed drinks, and $3 dollar wines for layover crews. In fact the majority of the discounts that I have seen in the carriers I have worked for EXCLUDED alcohol. We might discounts on room service or restaurants but practically never on booze.

I am not convicting this particular pilot. In my opinion no one ever sets out to attain the goal of being alcohol dependent. It is a chemical and mental issue. However, the atmosphere that breeds heavy drinking is like waving a red flag in front of bull. WN has had some issues over the years that reflects the "good times" attitude. Remember the naked pilots?

It is the persona that WN generates. Much like the humorous "gotta get away" ads. I think they are quite funny and it makes WN look like a company with a good sense of humor. Again not knocking it. It is just different than the culture and impression the other carriers try to reflect. Maybe that helps set WN apart from the field.


25 PGNCS : I have to side with Mcdu here. My company does not negotiate food and beverage discounts for us except in exceptionally competitive cities where ther
26 PhilSquares : I beg to differ. I have worked for 2 121 carriers and was on the Hotel Committee for one US carrier and a foreign carrier. It is the norm! Again, no
27 Mcdu : What other US carrier specifically has a 1,2,3 policy like SWA? A food discount is not even close comparison to a booze discount. Here is the thing t
28 Flyguy41 : We have food discounts, but I've never seen any booze discounts. The SWA 1 2 3 has been out there for at least the last 10 years.
29 PhilSquares : I am not missing anything, perhaps you can tell me where you or how you come to that conclusion! Well, one just merged with another 121 carrier and t
30 Mcdu : Therein lies the rub. At WN it is NORM that they only approve hotels that provide them $1,$2,$3. You said liquor discounts were a "Norm" at all carri
31 PhilSquares : How many carriershave you been with? I have been with 2 US 121 carriers and 2 international (non-US based) carriers. I have been involved with or on
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