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?