airfoilsguy
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Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:28 am

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.
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airtran737700
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:03 am

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.
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:08 am

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
 
Maverick623
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:10 am

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
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:14 am

Make him pay for the delay.
regds
MEL
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airfoilsguy
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:26 am

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?
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
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zeke
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:41 am

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
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:48 am

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
 
VEEREF
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:03 am

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.
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
airfoilsguy
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:25 am

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.
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gregarious119
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:30 am

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.
 
iairallie
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:48 am

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.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:18 am

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
 
VEEREF
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:22 am

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]
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
covert
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:37 am

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.
none
 
airfoilsguy
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:24 am

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.
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
itsnotfinals
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:29 am

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.
Speedbird 178 Heavy, FINAL runway 27L
 
as739x
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:44 am

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!"
 
ksupilot
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:05 am

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.
 
airfoilsguy
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:07 am

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
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
atct
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:30 am

This proves my point everyone!

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

Idiot!  yes 


ATCT
Former Aircrew member.
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SkyexRamper
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:32 am

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.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
dimoko
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:42 am

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
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:02 am

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.
 
N587NK
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:48 am

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
 
VgnAtl747
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:57 am

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 it OH or RP operated?
Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
 
VEEREF
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:40 am

Quoting Dimoko (Reply 22):
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.

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 be, so some discretion in those situations would be in order. That's the responsibility that goes with those rights.
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:49 am

Quoting VgnAtl747 (Reply 25):
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 it OH or RP operated?

Yes...look 2 posts up from yours...you'll find mine.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
lincoln
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:21 am

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 someone-happens-to-mention-drunk-requires-testing policy, anyway? I had never heard of it before this story made the local [Cleveland] news this morning) one does have to wonder where the threshold is.

I mean on a Comair flight about two years or so back the passenger next to me was screaming "We're all going to die! We're all going to die! The pilot doesn't know what he's doing! We're going to die!" at the top of his lungs when we hit a patch of turbulance -- was the next flight delayed so that the pilot could go for a checkride to prove that he was really qualified? As far as I know, no it was not.

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:42 am

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. Just because some idiot flew off the handle and overreacted to Smith's comment does not make Smith liable for any delays

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 guess people travelling in todays times need to be responsible enough to know what they are saying.No jokes can be tolerated that could compromise safety.

I still feel there should be a fine.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
wukka
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:54 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 29):
No jokes can be tolerated that could compromise safety.

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 after your International flight has landed and you're still airside.

I really don't understand this argument.

If anything, we airplane aficionados should be maddened by this insanity. The planes are neat, but the process of commercial flight just sucks anymore.
We can agree to disagree.
 
airfoilsguy
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:34 pm

I just heard on the radio. The case was dismissed. Free speech is still alive on Ohio
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
flyinryan99
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RE: Drunk Pilot At Akron-Canton?

Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:29 pm

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 31):
I just heard on the radio. The case was dismissed. Free speech is still alive on Ohio

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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