Posts: 656
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 4:33 am

Flying Under The Influence

Wed Dec 20, 2000 10:35 pm

Last night I watched an excellent British documentary concerned with the problem of pilots flying under the influence of alcohol. Several BA crews were filmed the night before flying, drinking up to 20 units alcohol and not calling it a night until early morning, getting just three to five hours of sleep before going to the airport to prepare for their next flight. Such a considerable amount of alcohol in the blood of course makes for a terrible hangover, and is counterproductive to a pilot´s level of alertness. The pilots were also drinking well into BAs 8 hour ban on drinking.
The whole thing was videotaped by an ex stewardess and people from a British Channel 4 camera team, the pilots were identified by name, and their faces exposed on TV. A BA spokesman said the pilots concerned were suspended from duty, but that on board safety was not at risk at any time.

(MALEV by the way got honourable mentions fora adressing the problem and regularly checking their pilots and crew for traces of alcohol).

According to the documentary this happens more often than we´d like to know. Anybody here care to comment on this?

- caravelle
Trains and boats and planes....
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 12:01 pm

RE: Flying Under The Influence

Wed Dec 20, 2000 10:45 pm

Yeah it is pretty bad. A couple of weeks ago a pilot and co-pilot were removed from the DC-9 in St John's before there flight to Halifax. A fellow crew-member smelt alcohol and told somebody. Air Canada has a 12 hour rule between "Bottle and Throttle".
The Ticketor
Posts: 427
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2000 9:02 pm

RE: Flying Under The Influence

Wed Dec 20, 2000 11:01 pm

I do think that this is quite rare. Most pilots are intelligent enought not to do this. Anyone that does should be fired. If they actually was onboard working, the should be reported to the police as well.

Fan, jeg glemte å sette timern på videon! Jeg var på julebord med jobben! Drit!
Posts: 656
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 4:33 am


Wed Dec 20, 2000 11:17 pm

Fylla har skylda...  
You missed a good documentary right there. And I didn´t record it, sorry to say. Better turn on the docu-drama on Heathrow tonight then: Same channel, six thirty. Like most buffs, I watch it if I can!

- caravelle
Trains and boats and planes....
Posts: 11676
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2000 2:03 am

RE: Flying Under The Influence

Wed Dec 20, 2000 11:18 pm

Yeah, I saw that program too. I don't understand why pilots are allowed to drink at all before a flight. Interesting documentary.

The Ticketor---Du gikk ikke glipp av så mye.  

"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 4:33 am

RE: Thom@s

Thu Dec 21, 2000 3:12 am

Your comment to The Ticketor in Norwegian translates: You didn't really miss much (by not watching).
Now, if I knew thew pilots of my plane were partying until very late at night, and then flying me to my destination a few hours later, somehow I would not want to get aboard that plane.
The programme was recorded only this summer. So this is happening now.
Any Brits out there: Did the programme cause any commotion at all in the UK?
These were real pilots drinking real drinks - and many of them - just a few hours before reporting for work!
Somehow, it worries me.

- caravelle
Trains and boats and planes....
Posts: 8777
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: Flying Under The Influence

Thu Dec 21, 2000 3:18 am

Just an FYI, but AI routinely tests all crew ex-BOM for alcohol.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
Posts: 656
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 4:33 am

Update: Pilots Sacked

Thu Dec 21, 2000 4:26 pm

The BBC reports this morning that BA, following a Channel 4 TV documentary, has sacked two pilots after they had been drinking heavily the night before they were due to fly, the reason being cited as "gross misconduct", and not adhering to company rules on drinking before flying.
Disciplinary hearings for a further four pilots are due to take place shortly, the BBC reports.

- caravelle
Trains and boats and planes....

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