Stretch 8
Topic Author
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 4:00 am

Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 12:14 pm

WTTG (Fox) television in Washington, D.C., opened their 10:00 p.m. newscast with a story about the apparent arrest of a Virgin Atlantic pilot who was pulled off the regular VS (#22, I think) flight from IAD to LHR. 383 passengers are stranded at IAD. The pilot was exhibiting suspicious behavior, according to TSA. He was pulled from the 744, and the passengers were told that the airports authority police were summoned.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
airways6max
Posts: 474
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 6:22 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 12:20 pm

Man oh man!

Thirteen years ago, I was flying an American Airline flight up from RDU to SYR. This was in August 1990, just days after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. There was a male flight attendant aboard. He seemed a bit odd--he was carrying a big red notebook and was wearing a three-piece suit. For much of the flight, he chatted with the people sitting in front of me for a VERY long time--seemed odd for a flight attendant. When I got off the plane in Syracuse, there was a police office waiting just outside, in the jetway. Again, this seemed odd. The next morning, when I picked up the newspaper, I learned that this flight attendant was a phony. He had donned the role so as to get a free flight with the airline. He got his free flight, but the police officer outside the plane was about to arrest him. The last I heard, he was taken to the Crowbar Hotel--aka, prison.
 
pilotntrng
Posts: 679
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:13 pm

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 12:26 pm

I tell ya, it's a shame that a pilot making that kind of money and having that very prestigious job would throw it all away over booze. Don't get me wrong I like to throw some beer back, but I know when to and when not to do it. What's the Aussie's regs on an incident like this? I know if the FAA catches wind of an American pilot being drunk while on duty you can kiss your ratings and license goodbye.
Booooo Lois, Yaaaa Beer!!!
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 1:00 pm

I don´t know what caused this guy to drink before a flight, but I used know several alcoholic aircraft mechanics, only that they wouldn´t drink before going to work, but afterwards they would drink themselves stupid.
I know that the aircraft maintenance industry has one of the highest divorce rates in the world, mostly to do with us working crazy shifts, often at night, often abroad and on call. Additionally our salaries are quite good and often a spouse might think "if I don´t see him anyway I might just get a divorce, get my maintenance and get myself a new one." We are joking about suffering of "AIDS", means Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome.
I wonder if the same applies to pilots and F/A´s. A retired captain told me once that the only suitable wife for him turned out to be a F/A because she knew the business and wouldn´t be jealous everytime he had to stay in the same hotel as his female crew members.
Myself, I´m almost only working nights, the only day shifts I´ve got are on weekends. This means there is almost no social life possible because everybody else is fast asleep when I´m awake. This limits the contacts to colleagues, which gets a bit annoying after a while, because I don´t like to go boozing in a bar on my off days. In some places short term accomodation is so expensive (like in Ireland) that you are forced to share an apartment or house with several coworkers. I personaly don´t like to see the same faces every day at home I see the whole day along at work.
I keep this life up at the moment, but when my girlfriend and myself move together some day (we live and work in different countries), I´ll be probably looking for a new job that includes more regular shift time.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
PiedmontGirl
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:39 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 1:11 pm

MD11Engineer:

" We are joking about suffering of "AIDS", means Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome.

I wonder if the same applies to pilots and F/A´s.


The same syndrome does apply to pilots and flight attendants. Both groups have extremely high divorce rates. The schedules are crazy and unpredictable, often being determined by the weather and/or broken airplane parts. It's very hard on marriage. It's very hard on relationships of any kind.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 1:27 pm

PiedmontGirl,

If a plane goes AOG, I´ve got to stay on until I´ve at least troubleshot the problem and ordered spares. I had 20+ hour shifts, with being called at home a few hours later when the spares arrived. If there is bad weather at the destination we´ve got to wait until the plane takes off or the flight gets canceled because the crew runs out of hours. I wonder there are maximum duty hours with regulated rest periods in between for flying staff, but no regulation concerning maximum maintenance shifts. Everybody is talking about pilot´s fatique but I´ve heard nobody talk about bad maintenance through tired mechanics.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
AA717driver
Posts: 1502
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2002 8:27 am

AA CFO Resignation...

Sat Dec 20, 2003 1:40 pm

PilotNTng--Uh, VS is based in England, not Australia. I think you are thinking of Virgin Blue...TC
FL450, M.85
 
PiedmontGirl
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:39 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 1:44 pm

MD11Engineer:

I wonder there are maximum duty hours with regulated rest periods in between for flying staff, but no regulation concerning maximum maintenance shifts.

There are federally mandated on duty and rest periods for both pilots and flight attendants in the US, and I would certainly think there would be in Germany also.

There should be some attention paid to mechanic fatigue. I've known mechanics to work double shifts day after day after day. I know one who is so tired he cannot drive home between them and just goes to one of the airport hotels for a few hours sleep. He's making really good money doing it, but he hates it, says it's not worth it, and would certainly prefer not to be so tired all the time. He's mentioned a couple of times checking and rechecking work -- I can understand why.
 
Bobs89irocz
Posts: 599
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:52 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 4:46 pm

I ride motorcycles with a mechanic the works 2 double shifts in a row....he gets his 40 hours done in 2 days......takes him a day to recuperate then hes a personal trainer for a couple days....makes AWSOME money but works hard. Guess thats how he can afford and Iron Hourse.....LOL...very nice bike.

Im not sure what the regulation is on mechanics, or if there is any on there work hours but there should be some sort of regulation made for them as well.
 
StevenUhl777
Posts: 3281
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:02 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 4:52 pm

Sad...but maddening, too. It's isolated cases like this that give the profession a black eye, and makes the flying public uneasy. There were also recent cases with America West and one other carrier.

Imagine having to explain to 383 passengers that they'll have to wait a day because the pilot was *allegedly* intoxicated. I'd be pretty pissed off, too.

Bad news for VS, because it's not like they have a monopoly on the route...they compete daily against their arch rival BA, but also vs. UA too. Wonder how many of those 383 people will think twice when booking their next transatlantic flight to/from LHR.
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
flyingbronco05
Posts: 3484
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 5:26 pm

Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
 
United777
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 8:04 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 6:12 pm

I'm sure Sir Richard Branson will give him a raise now!

Farhan Ali
Seattle, USA
 
bartond
Posts: 647
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 6:59 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 6:29 pm

Hey Bobs89, I see what you're saying but I wouldn't (don't) want to fly on a plane that has been inspected/repaired by a guy that's been on call for 20+ straight hours. Period. That's like the stories you hear about doctors working for 36 straight hours and screwing some stuff up. Some study was done and it said after about 20 or so hours of straight work that a humans' motor skills start to diminish like he/she was downing beers. I think it said that a human that's up for 30 or so hours straight has the competency of someone who's had about 6-8 beers. Be it surgery on me or inspecting/repairing the plane I'm flying on, I don't want someone who's been up for a full day doing anything that technical.
 
charliecossie
Posts: 408
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2001 5:17 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 7:04 pm

There's a little thing in the EU known as the European Work Time Directive.
It's law. It applies to all except "mobile" workers (pilots and cabin crew are classed as "mobile" and have separate legislation governing their duty hours) and any aircraft maintenance staff should familiarise themselves with it.
Those holding a JAR 66 licence should also famliarise themselves with the JAR Regulations regarding fitness for work.

For those outside the EU - the law demands a maximum of 16 hours on duty (and then minimum 10 hours off) and the JAR regs state that a licensed engineer/technician must not present himself for duty when unfit for said duty (includes tiredness).
 
A330
Posts: 688
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 12:31 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 7:43 pm

IMPORTANT:

No accusations have been taken place. The only accusation of drunkenness has been made by the TSA, not exactly the most intelligent bunch of people...
Shiek!
 
NWFltAttendant
Posts: 331
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:41 pm

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 8:13 pm

This is very unfortunate and saddening. FIRST, I dont support him trying to fly (DUH). However this individual obviously has an alcohol problem that needs to get dealt with. Unfortunately it has come at the expense of his career and his ratings, hopefully just that. I am not making excuses and am pretty sure some turkeys in here are going to jump all over me for this post, but look at the absolute tragedy in this career, but thankfully it didnt become one for the carrier and 383+crew on board. The bottle claims another one.
Go yakkin !!!!!!
 
fritzi
Posts: 2598
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 2:34 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 8:37 pm

"Virgin pilot removed from Washington-London flight"

This is discrimination. Just because he was a virgin doesn't mean he cant fly the airplane safely!  Big thumbs up  Nuts
 
richardw
Posts: 3137
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 8:58 pm

BBC news are using old film of a VS 747 taking off with lots of BA planes in old livery!
 
Lu
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 1999 2:02 pm

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 9:59 pm

Fritzi
U mind VIRGIN very much!!! HA HA HA
 
fritzi
Posts: 2598
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 2:34 am

RE: Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sat Dec 20, 2003 10:03 pm

Lu,

could you rephrase that,
Im having a little trouble understanding your reply.
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8007
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sun Dec 21, 2003 12:46 am

Here's the question: will that flight finally take off today with a replacement flight crew? Will we see the possibility of two VS 747-400's parked side-by-side at IAD?
 
crewrest
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sun Dec 21, 2003 1:08 am

RayChuang: I suspect that isn't anyone's priority right now.
 
User avatar
Bruce
Posts: 4935
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sun Dec 21, 2003 5:04 am

I suspect that this is not the first time this has happend. just means this was the first time he was CAUGHT.

BTW,
I love the headline "Virgin pilot removed from Washington-London flight" made my day!  Big grin


bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
ben2881
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 5:49 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sun Dec 21, 2003 6:19 am

just a quick question maybe somebody can help me out with. are pilots allowed to fly at all after drinking. i.e. one can drive a car if his blood alchohol is below a certain level. is this the same for pilots or is there zero tolerance.
 
RiverVisualNYC
Posts: 926
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:11 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:06 am

He's apparently an American living in the UK, interesting because I thought the bottle to throttle had mainly been a problem with British pilots, different cultural attitude towards alcohol and such...Anyway, I am glad to see VS is sticking up for their employee in the absence of any real evidence so far. Most US airlines would be trying to find a way to fire the guy before they even gave him the breathalyzer test..
 
crewrest
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:42 am

Ben2881

From the UK CAA safety site.

The “prescribed limit” for a maintenance engineer is the same as for a driver on the road, at 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. However, the limit for those in categories 1 to 3 (pilots) is a mere 20 milligrams per 100 millilitres. The human body manufactures its own alcohol, and it is possible for the level of that ‘self manufactured’ alcohol to almost reach that 20 milligram level, so it would be prudent for anyone who is subject to the Act to think of the permitted level as equating to no consumed alcohol at all.

Sorry if that's metric but it gives you an idea
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Mon Dec 22, 2003 6:48 pm

This has happened plenty of times with airlines from everywhere (including the US). I have no idea why these pilots are so stupid about this. I really think they should be checked out emotionally after these incidents, as not many people throw away a career that requires so much dedication and affords such benefits for a few beers.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Stretch 8
Topic Author
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 4:00 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:54 pm

The accused spent the weekend in the Loudoun County (Virginia) jail, and will be arranged this morning in General District Court in Leesburg, VA.

The more detailed news reports here in the D.C. area over the weekend included this: TSA noticed something about the accused, and notified VS at IAD. Airline personnel confronted the captain on the flight deck of the 744. The decision was then made to call airports authority police, who removed the accused without incident.

Question: Who amongst VS IAD personnel would have the authority to relieve a captain of command in a situation such as this? I am thinking none of them; that is why they called the police. A 744 captain would likely have big dick syndrome, leading to the need for law enforcement in situations similar to this(?).
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:01 am

He is 55 too, so about to retire presumably, messed that up hasn't he?
 
SRD737NG
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2003 12:45 pm

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:34 am

Stretch 8-

Size of the plane doesn't matter. There are people flying King Air's that have big D...syndrome. As far as authority to relieve a Capt. of command in a situation involving alcohol.....any crew member with concern can refuse to fly with this guy...F/O or F/A. In fact, I used to fly for a company that...if a passenger so much as made a stupid/joking comment referring to a pilot drinking, the pilot was required to leave the airplane for a test, and a nice delay for that comedian and his fellow passengers. These kind of comedians always show up on airplanes around the country too, especially after things like this make the news.

This is all ironic, since I happened to see this very flight preparing to board at IAD, as I was pushing back from the next gate on Jetblue for OAK!!! At the time, I had no idea that all of this was going on.

 
RiverVisualNYC
Posts: 926
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:11 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:00 am

Has it occurred to anyone that maybe the "big d--k syndrome" is with the TSA former rent a cops, that increasingly like to show who is the boss now? I am sure TSA has had alot of crew members, and passengers, removed or detained for no reason other than they didn't like their attitude. TSA agents seem to have broad authority to do what they want with impunity.
 
MD-90
Posts: 7835
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 12:45 pm

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested

Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:45 am

Hang on. This incident could possibly be a serious mistake.

What if the pilot had a cold and took cold medicine that has alcohol in it? The TSA agent suspected that the pilot was drunk merely based upon his breath. How can he be arrested for that? I think he should've been barred from flying the flight, of course, and should've gone and taken a breathalyzer test, but why was he arrested?

Does anyone know whether it was legal for him to be arrested or not?
 
PiedmontGirl
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:39 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:57 am

MD-90:

I would depend on his blood alcohol level. In the US a blood alcohol level of .04 or above is grounds for arresting a pilot. .04 qualifies as drunk as far as pilots (any pilots) are concerned.

The same rule, BTW, applies to flight attendants.
 
toltommy
Posts: 2497
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:04 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:57 am

Because it is against the law to operate an aircraft under the influence, that's why. Perhaps it was cold medicine, but it is still the pilots responsibility to know what is in the cold medicine. I dodn't know how UK rules work in this situation, but if he were flying for a US carrier, he would be subject to reasonable suspicion testing. His breath would have caused TSA to alert the police, who would notify station management. If the station personnel had been trained, and could make the judgement that there was reasonable suspicion that he had used alcohol, he would be required to test. If he did not, his employment would be terminated. But since he's with a UK carrier, the rules may be different.
 
PiedmontGirl
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:39 am

RE: Alledged Drunk Virgin Atlantic Pilot Arrested At IAD!

Tue Dec 23, 2003 6:07 am

TOLtommy:

He would have a whale of a time getting to .04 with Vick's NyQuil or any similar product. I strongly suspect that NyQuil is not the culprit here.

Since they arrested him, I am thinking that he blew .04, or over, since that is the level at which pilots may be sent to jail. Otherwise, he would simply have been removed from the airplane for the British to deal with once he got back there.

This article concerning this incident is courtesy of the on line Washington Post.

Pilot Pulled From Dulles Flight Faces Charge Over Drinking

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 21, 2003; Page A14

A Virgin Atlantic Airways pilot who was removed from a flight at Dulles International Airport was charged yesterday with operating an aircraft under the influence of alcohol and ordered to appear in Loudoun County District Court tomorrow.

For complete article, go to:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17864-2003Dec20.html

[Edited 2003-12-22 22:28:26]

Who is online