OPNLguy
Topic Author
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Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 11:39 am

Can you believe that this hasn't been resolved yet?

That defense mentioned in the last paragraph seems pretty weak...

An excerpt....

"MIAMI - Jury selection begins today in the Miami trial of two former airline pilots on charges of operating a Phoenix-bound aircraft while drunk nearly three years ago.

Prosecutors say the men were still intoxicated as they boarded their America West flight from Miami to Phoenix after an all-night drinking binge at a popular Coconut Grove sports bar nearly three years ago.

Former pilot Thomas Cloyd of Peoria and former co-pilot Christopher Hughes of Leander, Texas, were fired, lost their commercial licenses and are barred from recreational flying as a condition of bail.

Blood-alcohol tests showed results above Florida intoxication standards of 0.8 percent.

Both pilots contend that they aren't guilty because the jetliner was being towed from the gate, meaning they did not have direct control of the plane when they were arrested."

[Edited 2005-05-19 04:40:29]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 1:02 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Thread starter):
Can you believe that this hasn't been resolved yet

Out here the delay would be not Surprising.But Thats slow for the USA def
Why was it delayed.
regds
MEL
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hawk44
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 1:34 pm

Why are these two idiots making a dui go to trial? They should have taken a plea and disappeared.

Hawk44
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UAalltheway
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 1:36 pm

Psh.. the morans. How stupid could they be?! Not only puting their own lives in danger, but the lives of all the innocent passengers aboard the aircraft.

..Hope they enjoy being stripped of their licenses by the FAA and getting politicly beaten.. hehe.. I'll be enjoying this haha..
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 3:55 pm

Quoting althea (Reply 3):
posh.. The morans. How stupid could they be?! Not only puting their own lives in danger, but the lives of all the innocent passengers aboard the aircraft.

..Hope they enjoy being stripped of their licenses by the FAA and getting politicly beaten.. hehe.. I'll be enjoying this haha..

First of all althea, you might want to use spell check, it's moron! I did check your profile and realize your age, so I will stop there.

I do have a question for eveyone who is so quick to hang these pilots. I thought one was "innocent until proven guilty". In addition, isn't it a person's option to go to trial? Obviously, I am wrong.

As for the delay, the issue was who had jurisdiction, the State of Florida or the US. That issue was obviously resolved.
Fly fast, live slow
 
fly727
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 5:39 pm

PhilSquares has it right...

Folks, be careful with what you read... Even when "everything" clearly points the pilot's guiltiness none of us were on the flight nor will be at the trial to know the whole story.

Just remember that aviation has always been a great seller for the media.

Besides.... The fact that they will be on trial might not be an issue of their choice. The least thing they can do is having a reasonable argument and fight it (although pretty weak). I'm sure they have the advise of law professionals; they are not 13-15 years old!

RM  Smile
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
 
SHUPirate1
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 6:17 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Thread starter):
Blood-alcohol tests showed results above Florida intoxication standards of 0.8 percent.

Please tell me that is supposed to say 0.08%. After all, 0.8% is equivalent to FORTY drinks, and if you can legally fly a plane with thirty-plus drinks in your system, then by god, I'm getting the heck out of this state! That's a plane falling out of the sky (or twenty in a day) waiting to happen.
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zkeye
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 6:29 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Thread starter):

Both pilots contend that they aren't guilty because the jetliner was being towed from the gate, meaning they did not have direct control of the plane when they were arrested."

I make no judgement on if they are guilty or not - the media is shocking at getting their facts correct. However if what I have quoted above is their defense then... well.. my god what a couple of pillocks. It is everything but an admission of guilt and an attempt to use a technicality to get off. If they were boozed when being towed (by the information in their defense) then who did they expect to fly the plane after the tow had been released?

Get em breaking rocks and eating bread and water if guilty.
Bring out the gimp
 
MxCtrlr
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 6:57 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Thread starter):
Both pilots contend that they aren't guilty because the jetliner was being towed from the gate, meaning they did not have direct control of the plane when they were arrested.

Sounds as similarly ludicrous as the NW pilots years ago who claimed they were "experienced drinkers" and, as such, had a higher alcohol tolerance. It didn't work for them back then and I suspect it won't work for these guys either.

MxCtrlr  bouncy 
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
 
chilledflyer
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 6:57 pm

All I could say is good luck to both pilots!!

Voluntary intoxication under normal circumstances will not provide a valid defence. A person would be held liable if the accused could be proven, beyond reasonable doubt, on the basis if the accused had been sober and had the necessary foresight for the crime in question (that is on Crimes of Basic Intent)

Their defence is definitely weak in my opinion but at least they have to give it a shot in proving their "innocence".

--chilledflyer--
Justice delayed, Justice denied
 
pilotaydin
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 7:53 pm

3 years? let them go the alcohol must have worn off by now right? it's been 12 hours LOL
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 9:36 pm

Quoting ZKEYE (Reply 7):
Get em breaking rocks and eating bread and water if guilty.

Then I guess people who are actually convicted of DUI/DWI should get the death penalty?
Fly fast, live slow
 
sanjet
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 9:43 pm

Quoting Pilotaydin (Reply 10):
3 years? let them go the alcohol must have worn off by now right? it's been 12 hours LOL

What is worst is that they lost their flying licenses, that would be enough punishment for me  Sad
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OPNLguy
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 10:03 pm

Quoting Sanjet (Reply 12):
What is worst is that they lost their flying licenses, that would be enough punishment for me

I'll second that.

This event wasn't first time a crew somewhere has had alcohol problems, and the one at FAR years ago is a good example. That 727 crew actually flew FAR-MSP and got nailed on arrival (the FAA inspector wasn't able to prevent their takeoff). IIRC, the crew got fired, the FAA yanked tickets, and the media pillorized them (much like the MIA situation), but I thought I recalled reading some years later that at least one of the three crewmembers went though an alochol rehab program, regained his ticket, and was flying again.

I have no problem understanding and accepting that alcoholism is a disease, and not a character flaw, but I think the MIA situation is different than that of the FAR crew. The fact that the MIA case has been delayed because of jurisdictional squabbles, and the crew's defense (as stated in the article above) seems to indicate more evasion of responsibility and denial of the alcoholism problem when compared with those in the FAR situation. I read where the MIA could get a sentence as much as 5 years in jail, and although I don't necessarily advocate it, I wouldn't be surprised to see them actually get a year or two.

Quoting SHUPirate1 (Reply 6):
Please tell me that is supposed to say 0.08%

The TV news this morning said that the captain was .091 and the F/O was .084, it looks like the reporter in the first item slipped a decimal place...  Wink
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
NAV20
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Thu May 19, 2005 10:20 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Thread starter):
operating a Phoenix-bound aircraft while drunk

I wouldn't seek to excuse them - I've never known anyone drink before flying an aeroplane, and hope that I never do.

But, for the record, a blood alcohol level of 0.08% is not 'drunk'. It's actually the legal limit for driving a car in several Australian states (some, like mine, use 0.05%). Assuming your bodyweight and metabolism are 'normal', a beer before dinner, a glass-and-a-half of wine with it, and a liqueur or brandy afterwards, and you'd probably be over 0.05%. Two brandies and you'd likely be over 0.08%.

Too much to fly an aeroplane, or drive a car, safely - but certainly not falling-down 'drunk'.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 12:11 am

I have a question about all this percentage stuff as far as alcohol limits are concerned:

In Germany, the limit for driving is 0.5 per thousand = 0.005 = 0.5 %
This figure measures the amount of alcohol in one's blood.

How come the figures you're all talking about are ten times lower, i.e. legal Fla. limit 0.08 %, these dudes with 0.091 and 0.084 %.

Do you measure something else over there?

Thanks,

Daniel Smile
 
PSAjet17
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 1:15 am

I do not condone what these two did but I am upset at the media who continually report on this story saying that they were drunk. No one has proven that they were drunk...they were under the influence. If they were truly drunk, how could they configure the aircraft so it was ready for departure? This isn't Flight Simulator where you can hit Ctrl-E and have the engines start automatically. Operating a vehicle under the influence -YES; Drunk-not proven.
 
September11
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 1:34 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 13):
That 727 crew actually flew FAR-MSP and got nailed on arrival (the FAA inspector wasn't able to prevent their takeoff).



Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 13):
IIRC, the crew got fired, the FAA yanked tickets, and the media pillorized them (much like the MIA situation), but I thought I recalled reading some years later that at least one of the three crewmembers went though an alochol rehab program, regained his ticket, and was flying again.

I think that crewmember who got the job back, not flying 727 but 747!!!!!!!
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NAV20
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 1:43 am

Quoting Airsicknessbag (Reply 15):
I have a question about all this percentage stuff as far as alcohol limits are concerned:

Airsicknessbag (what a TERRIFIC name for a thread about drinking  Smile) I think 0.05% expresses alcohol content in milligrams per millilitre.

But I'm the wrong person to ask really. Paid-up member of the SAMS ('Society for the Abolition of the Metric System').
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
SlamClick
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 3:21 am

This is my first post in a month, but this subject has been on my mind a lot in the last four years or so of my career. I selected my username partly because I'd been forced to become something of a slam-clicker. During the past four years only one time did the entire crew go out for dinner together. During that time the few who did want to go out and grab a (legal) beer had pretty well dwindled down to those who went out to have a bunch of beers, maybe instead of dinner.

I always felt that the drug testing program for airline pilots simply demonstrated that the FAA has no clue as to who or what a professional pilot is. I've never known one pilot who used drugs. Not one! On the other hand, the random alcohol testing (which is NEVER actually done) and the programs that go with it probably have saved many lives. These two guys should have availed themselves of the services of the HIMS program.

Quoting OPNLguy (Thread starter):
Both pilots contend that they aren't guilty because the jetliner was being towed from the gate, meaning they did not have direct control of the plane when they were arrested."

These guys should lose their licenses and their attorney should be sent back to law school just for entering such a plea as this. It has already been shot down more times than I can count and I don't believe it has ever been upheld.

FAR 1.1 defines "Operate" like this:
. . . with respect to aircraft, means use, cause to use, or authorize to use aircraft, for the purpose (except as provided in § 91.13 of this chapter) of air navigation including the piloting of aircraft with or without the right of legal control (as owner, lessee, or otherwise).


The reference to FAR 91.13 (Careless or Reckless Operation) pertains to two different cases of operation, one for the purpose of flight and the other not, making it possible to prosecute mechanics who taxi a plane, or even someone who steals a plane, under the influence.

Under that definition, a dispatcher who releases a plane for flight while under the influence may be guilty of "operating" an aircraft.

In my opinion, the captain violated this rule when he signed his copy of the dispatch release. No further action on his part was necessary to signal his intent to take off and fly with his existing blood alcohol level. He was further, guilty of operating an aircraft with a required crewmember (the copilot) whom he knew to have violated the "bottle-to-throttle" rule.

As a practical matter, he violated the intent of the rule, and committed a huge offense against professional standards when he did not call himself sick off the trip when he got back to his hotel room. No one could be expected to make a rational, responsible decision like that while drunk. It is for that reason that we must have already made these decisions - NOT EVER to violate the rule in the first place.

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 4):
I thought one was "innocent until proven guilty". In addition, isn't it a person's option to go to trial? Obviously, I am wrong.

There are obviously many proper exceptions to this: In the first place, if it applied to all people all the time, the police could not arrest a person until after they had been convicted. Not very practical. Presumption of innocence is really only an admonition to jurors.

OJ killed his wife and Ron Goldman.

FAR 121.458 (b) sets the limits for anyone covered in Appendix J (includes pilots) at 0.04

Then there is the whole part about your medical not being valid unless you are in a state of health at least as good as when you took the physical.

As to the matter of punishment. I cannot imagine a year or two on probation being worse than the revocation of my pilot license and the loss of my career. I think there is very little the judicial system can add to that.

Nevertheless, folks, you have no personal stake in the punishment of these guys. Simply, it is none of your business. What you do have is a right to expect NEVER to have to ride with a pilot who is under the influence.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 3:47 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 19):
There are obviously many proper exceptions to this: In the first place, if it applied to all people all the time, the police could not arrest a person until after they had been convicted. Not very practical. Presumption of innocence is really only an admonition to jurors

I disagree. Being arrested and being sent to jail to serve a sentence are two very distinct events. Presumed innocence is not only to the jurors it's the cornerstone of the US judicial system. Can you prove OJ killed his wife? No, you can't his peers said so. End of story. Anything beyond that is pure speculation.

Your comments about never being randomly tested for alcohol are really surprising. Haven't passed though AMS? You will get it there. I have personally been tested about 10 times in the past 7 years. All with the rest of my crew. Not just in AMS but just about every place else.

I do agree with your statement about public expectations. However, everyone is human. The system is not fool proof. How do we fix it? I don't know.
Fly fast, live slow
 
Pope
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 4:16 am

I'm quite confused by this strategy. Even if you accept its premise at face value, you've handed the prosecutor a conviction on INCHOATE attempt charge.

At very least they're going to be convicted of attempted operation of an aircraft under the influence (and that's assuming the jury buys the lame argument).
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
OPNLguy
Topic Author
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 4:23 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 19):
Under that definition, a dispatcher who releases a plane for flight while under the influence may be guilty of "operating" an aircraft.

In my opinion, the captain violated this rule when he signed his copy of the dispatch release.

No arguments on either point...  Wink

(Always liked your Username....)  Wink
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Pope
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 4:24 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 22):
Always liked your Username....

You guys should get a room.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 4:57 am

The last I ever heard about this whole situation was on FOX10 Arizona Morning was last year, both pilot's case was dropped or something and both pilots petitioned the F.A.A. for their licenses back. Anyone know anything about this?? I swore I heard something on the news about it....
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 5:15 am

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 11):

Then I guess people who are actually convicted of DUI/DWI should get the death penalty?

I'd give anything on Earth to see that made, and kept, law.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
zkeye
Posts: 222
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 6:32 am

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 11):
Quoting ZKEYE (Reply 7):
Get em breaking rocks and eating bread and water if guilty.

Then I guess people who are actually convicted of DUI/DWI should get the death penalty?

PhilSquares,

Geez mate.... don't take things too literally  Smile

However these guys, if convicted, need a very serious penalty indeed. Not just suspension of license and fines.
Bring out the gimp
 
SlamClick
Posts: 9576
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 7:12 am

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 20):
Your comments about never being randomly tested for alcohol are really surprising. Haven't passed though AMS?

Many times. Never tested. Never in my career was I randomly drug tested either. Just initial, physicals, and return-to-duty.

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 20):
Can you prove OJ killed his wife?

He was found guilty of that act in civil court.
The acquittal in criminal court merely meant that the jury felt that the prosecution had not proved their case "beyond a reasonable doubt" (and no one defines reasonable) and that, largely because they did not like, and therefore chose not to believe Mark Furman. Furthermore, celebrities just don't get convicted anymore. Michael Jackson is about 9-1 to walk.

Quoting Pope (Reply 21):
I'm quite confused by this strategy. Even if you accept its premise at face value, you've handed the prosecutor a conviction on INCHOATE attempt charge.

At very least they're going to be convicted of attempted operation of an aircraft under the influence (and that's assuming the jury buys the lame argument).

You would not believe how may drunk pilots (in general aviation - not airlines) have been dragged, kicking and screaming from their airplanes, leaving the motor running - only to argue in court later that they "never really intended to fly" This quite properly heads that off before it even gets started. Such a plea is contempt of court, in my opinion. It is an insult to the judical process. OF COURSE they were going to fly.

Anyway, it does not matter, since he did sign the dispatch release and he did permit his copilot to board and operate aircraft controls knowing that he had violated the 12-hour rule.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 7:36 am

Quoting Airsicknessbag (Reply 15):
In Germany, the limit for driving is 0.5 per thousand = 0.005 = 0.5 %
This figure measures the amount of alcohol in one's blood.

Your BAC is a measure of the amount of alcohol you have in your blood. The measurement is the number of grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

For example, a BAC of 0.05 means 0.05 grams or 50 milligrams of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood.


In Europe, it is measured in tenths of a percent (promille). It is the same as a BAC, just different name.

http://www.driveandstayalive.com/art...riving-0005--global-BAC-limits.htm
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
Webby
Posts: 6
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RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 7:45 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 18):
Quoting Airsicknessbag (Reply 15):
I have a question about all this percentage stuff as far as alcohol limits are concerned:

The percentage is read as the number of grams of pure alcohol per 100 grams of blood. So 0.05 is 5 milligrams of pure alcohol in 100 grams of blood. 0.8 would be 80 grams of pure alcohol per 100 grams. Death occurs between 0.4 and 0.5
When you get pulled over and blow into the bag that is only called a preliminary breath test. You then have to be blood tested by a doctor to establish your actual Blood Alcohol Content.
 
MissedApproach
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:12 am

RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 9:33 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 27):
You would not believe how may drunk pilots (in general aviation - not airlines) have been dragged, kicking and screaming from their airplanes, leaving the motor running - only to argue in court later that they "never really intended to fly"

Here, even if you're asleep in your car, the police can nail you for DUI/DWI. If the keys to the vehicle are in your possession, you are in care & control of the car, period. It then comes down to your blood alcohol level. I don't see why it should be any different for pilots.
For these guys to argue they aren't guilty because the engines weren't running is ludicrous. As far as punishment (providing they are found guilty), I think yanking their license is a minimum. A negligence charge on top of that would be fitting too. After all, what would we be saying if they'd crashed on takeoff & the alcohol showed up in their autopsies?  drunk 
Can you hear me now?
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 9:54 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 19):
Nevertheless, folks, you have no personal stake in the punishment of these guys. Simply, it is none of your business. What you do have is a right to expect NEVER to have to ride with a pilot who is under the influence.



Well said, SlamClick. Boy, do I wish we could drive this concept through the skulls of the general public.


2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
zkeye
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:05 pm

RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 9:25 pm

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 25):
Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 11):

Then I guess people who are actually convicted of DUI/DWI should get the death penalty?

I'd give anything on Earth to see that made, and kept, law.

On reflection I will retract my earlier post (25) and agree with the above. Bugger the drunk drivers and their rights. The number of people being slain on our roads here in New Zealand (and I guess elsewhere) is obscene. Maybe a few executions would make these pricks think twice.
Bring out the gimp
 
Okie
Posts: 3552
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

RE: Pilots Go To Trial...

Fri May 20, 2005 10:16 pm

Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 30):
Here, even if you're asleep in your car, the police can nail you for DUI/DWI. If the keys to the vehicle are in your possession, you are in care & control of the car, period. It then comes down to your blood alcohol level. I don't see why it should be any different for pilots.

In the State of Oklahoma they have a law similar called AFC, Actual Fiscal Control (not misspelled)

Unfortunately has been seriously abused to arresting people mowing their lawns, sitting in the backyard drinking a beer with keys in their pocket.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 19):
In my opinion, the captain violated this rule when he signed his copy of the dispatch release. No further action on his part was necessary to signal his intent to take off and fly with his existing blood alcohol level. He was further, guilty of operating an aircraft with a required crewmember (the copilot) whom he knew to have violated the "bottle-to-throttle" rule.

IMO I agree once the dispatch was signed, the captain took control of the aircraft.

Okie

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