America West pilots rang up hefty bar tab
Party downed equivalent of 30 beers
When Miami-Dade police asked America West pilot Capt. Thomas Porter Cloyd how many beers he drank just hours before he attempted to fly 124 passengers from Miami to Phoenix, he replied: ''Too many,'' according to court documents released Monday.
The pilots, yanked from their cockpit July 1 because police suspected they were drunk, rang up a $122 bar tab at Mr. Moe's in Coconut Grove the night before the flight. Their party, prosecutors say, consumed the equivalent of 30 12-ounce bottles of beer and one martini between 10:49 p.m. and 4:22 a.m.
The only food listed on the tab: a hamburger.
Eight hours after closing out the tab, police say, Cloyd registered a blood alcohol level of .091 and First Officer Christopher Scott Hughes tested at .081.
It's not clear exactly how many people were drinking at Moe's with Cloyd, 44, and Hughes, 41.
The receipt seems to indicate there might have been as many as 11 people in the pilots' party, but prosecutor Ron Ramsingh said he expects to have evidence that contradicts that.
''You shouldn't infer from the receipt that there were 11 people in their party drinking that alcohol,'' Ramsingh said. ``We contend there were far fewer than that.''
A manager at Moe's declined to comment Monday afternoon. But two sources familiar with the case say investigators obtained a security tape from the bar that shows there were between four and six people in the party.
Ramsingh asked a judge Monday to revoke the pilots' bail, claiming they left Miami-Dade County and returned to their homes in Arizona without getting the court's permission.
Hughes' attorney James K. Rubin said his client believed his contract with the bail bond company allowed him to travel.
''The bondsmen told them they could travel back to Arizona,'' Rubin said. Cloyd is represented by attorney William Pearson.
Both men have been ordered to appear in court Aug. 1.
''I'm not trying to lock them up until the trial,'' Ramsingh said. ``We just want them to follow proper procedure and come back and ask the court for permission to be in Arizona.''
Both men have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor DUI charges and felony charges of operating an airplane while intoxicated.
They face up to six years in prison if convicted on all counts, Ramsingh said.
The Federal Aviation Administration revoked the men's pilots certificates three days after the incident. America West also fired them.
According to prosecution evidence released Monday to the defense lawyers:
The receipt shows the pilots' table ordered seven 34-ounce Sierra Nevada draft beers; seven 16 ounce Sierra Nevada draft beers; one martini; one ''happy hour draft''; and one ``Western Burger.''
Cloyd and Hughes closed out the tab at 4:22 a.m.
GUARDS ON ALERT
Six hours later, they arrived at Miami International Airport to pilot a 10:39 a.m. flight. Security guards said they appeared drunk.
The guards called police and said the pilots reeked of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, flushed faces, and became irate when they were told they couldn't pass through a security checkpoint with large cups of coffee.
Hughes told the guards it was just his ''bad breath'' when they asked him if he had been drinking, according to court records. Both pilots soon took the controls and began taxiing the jet for takeoff. Miami-Dade officers called the control tower and had the plane return to the gate.
Officers queried Hughes about his breath. He responded the scent was ''merely mouthwash,'' according to the arrest report. Police read the pilots their rights against self-incrimination, court records show, and then asked them how much alcohol they drank.
The pilots said they were drinking pints of draft beer at Moe's. Cloyd said he didn't know how many he had consumed, but that it was ''too many,'' according to an investigator's notation.
Hughes told police he had consumed ''many'' pints.
FAA regulations prohibit pilots from operating an aircraft within eight hours of consuming alcohol or if they have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher.
Florida's legal limit for driving is .08. America West policy bans drinking within 12 hours of a scheduled departure.
Brons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3015 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3419 times:
Damn...they really tied one on! How could they expect to drink _that_ much and be sober 6 hours later? Furthermore, why go out at 10Pm the night before a 10am flight? They should be getting a good night's sleep!!
Oh well, now I know where to go for spring break: the pilot's house!!
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
PROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3400 times:
If there were six people in the party, and they collectively consumed 30 beers in a period of five and a half hours, that's hardly what I'd call heavy drinking. You're only talking about one per hour, which in most people won't cause intoxication given the rate at which the body metabolizes alcohol. Of course, this is assuming that everyone in the party had equal amounts and that they spread out the drinking fairly evenly over the time the spent in the bar, which may not have been the case.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
Artsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 34
Reply 7, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3270 times:
prosa wrote...If there were six people in the party, and they collectively consumed 30 beers in a period of five and a half hours, that's hardly what I'd call heavy drinking
I would have supported this theory if it wasnt for the fact that I know too many pilots. I am not sure I have ever seen a pilot put his hand into his pocket for anything...never mind paying for drinks for others. Tab is most probably just those two...
It is the running joke in the Fa circles about how cheap pilots are..
Barney captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 970 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3253 times:
FWIW, anyone at my table gets treated routinely to the beverage(s) of their choice, and if they're still on probation, food as well. Not to mention the Starbucks run mid-day. So please, we are not all cheap.
AWspicious From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3094 times:
Mr Moe's - New addition to the Miami sightseeing tour route. New prime time sitcom (Move over Cheers!).
I suspect those two lads didn't drink all that booze by themselves. However, proving that might be a bit sensitive since they probably have wives or girlfriends and being discrete about certain affairs that went on (no pun intended) might be the only thing left for them to save... seeing how they've done lost their jobs.
Then again, you'd have to be pretty drunk to pay $8.50 (U.S.!) for a burger... Unless it was a super sized combo and the drink was one of those 16 ouncers of beer :-]
Planeawesome From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3031 times:
In my expert opinion (resulting from many years of serious partying), they should have booked off sick.
The fact that they didn't probably indicates that they've done this many times before and nobody noticed. This isn't the type of thing that just randomly happens one time when you're in your forties. It is more likely a longer term issue.
They'll most likely cut a deal out of court and do a stint in a re-hab clinic.
747-451 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2417 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2938 times:
Prosa Said:"If there were six people in the party, and they collectively consumed 30 beers in a period of five and a half hours, that's hardly what I'd call heavy drinking. You're only talking about one per hour, which in most people won't cause intoxication given the rate at which the body metabolizes alcohol. Of course, this is assuming that everyone in the party had equal amounts and that they spread out the drinking fairly evenly over the time the spent in the bar, which may not have been the case."
If they were drinking and EATING maybe it would lessen the intoxication, notice how there is nly one burger on the tab. And they weren't execatly drinkin' Coors Lite either!
I'm suprised there were no Jello shots either...burp...excuse me!