JulianUK
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Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:48 am

today i was told by a representative of the civil aviation authority in the UK that pilots and ground staff could not be subject to random breath or blood tests for alcohol and that it had to be after a report or accusation before they could act - this i am told is the law in the UK

Is this the same worldwide - can the FAA for example choose a random pilot and breath test them?

J

[Edited 2006-06-24 01:54:56]
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:54 am

NZ has a policy of being able to randomly drug and alcohol test any employee in an operational role in the airline... that basically means all staff apart from Head Office.
56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
 
kaddyuk
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:10 am

It used to apply to Operating Crew only, however my company now has a detailed Drugs & Alcohol policy which allows anyone in the company (Operational Or Not) to be tested while on duty at work. It is a contractual agreement that you will take them and i belive refusal is a sackable offence.

It does however raise the question. If you're found at work to have previously taken drugs, however not being under their influence at work. Does the company honestly have valid grounds for dismissal?

It is also possible to test +ve for Opium if you eat a poppy seeded bun...
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
GQfluffy
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:20 am

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 2):
It is also possible to test +ve for Opium if you eat a poppy seeded bun...

Urban Myth. Well...maybe I'll believe it...if you've eaten like a dozen of them in 10 minutes then go in and pee in a cup....
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
n8076u
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:33 am

When I worked for UA as a mechanic (in the United States), we were subjected to random drug (piss) tests AND random alcohol (breathalyzer) tests. The pilots were also subject to these tests. If you were involved in an incident they would make you take the drug test, and the alcohol breath test as well if they suspected you were tipsy.

My number came up twice in regards to the random alcohol test, the funny thing was, the supervisor told me to go get tested, and then gave me the keys to a van to drive myself over there.  Wink

Chris
Don't blame me, I don't work here...
 
barney captain
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:50 am

In the U.S it boils down to: Pre-employment, post-accident, probable cause, and random screenings. Also I believe after an extended leave of absence.

Quoting N8076U (Reply 4):
Urban Myth. Well...maybe I'll believe it...if you've eaten like a dozen of them in 10 minutes then go in and pee in a cup....

It happened to a friend of mine (NWA FA). Small girl, no other food, 2 poppy seed muffins, and blammo, false positive. It never went any further than the required call from the physician who must have suspected the false positive in the first place as the "muffin factor) seemed to satisfy his curiosity.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
lincoln
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:32 am

For the US DOT view on it, start at http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/

"[The] Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 requires drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees in aviation, [...] and other transportation industries. DOT publishes rules on who must conduct drug and alcohol tests, how to conduct those tests and what procedures to use when testing. These regulations cover all transportation employers, safety-sensitive transportation employees and service agents -roughly 12.1 million people."

Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations also has some useful info, as sumarized in http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/NEW_DOCS/Part40_complete_20041109_A.pdf

But the short answer is, in the US, airlines are REQUIRED to randomly test employees in safety-sensitive positions.

Lincoln
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greasespot
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:04 pm

No random testing here in Canada....

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:08 pm

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 7):
No random testing here in Canada....

Well Canadians are one of the highest (if not the highest) users of cannibis  spin 
56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:19 pm

The Faa can test you for random Drug and Alcohol tests. I find it as a violation of my civil liberties, but to keep a job I have little choice. By now it has been batted through the courts and have been found legal. I still think it is illegel search and a violation of my fifth amendemnt rights. If I ever lose my job over a test that is how I intend on winning it back.

I am a true believer on personal rights. What someone does on their own, if it doesn't effect others is their deal. Drugs and alcohol abuse are not the big problem in aviation. The big deal is sleep deprivation. I've worked on third shift for thirteen years. I would much rather have a guy that has come on shift that has eight hours of sleep coming off a pot smoking party than a guy that has been up for 16 hours because it is his Monday and He didn't get a chance to catch a nap because his kid had a little league game that night.

I know It sounds bad. Dad wants to be the good parent and go to the game, vs some young guy partying till 6am and sleeping untill a few hours before work. I think a well rested pot smoker is in better shape to do the job. I think it is a close tie between the hungover and the sleep deprived.

In my thirteen years of third shift I have been in all of those catagories. In the early years working shelving groceries I spent a lot of time in the first two catagories. Once I moved to aviation I had to give up the first, and cut back on the second, but as the years went on the third came on with a vengeance. The pressure to live a 'normal' life' like civil people is pretty tough once you marry a daytime person. I still don't understand how those with kids do it. After ten years of wedded bliss my wife still has a tough time coping even though I have been on thirds for nine years of our twelve year relationship.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 5:16 pm

Out here.AMEs need to be Sober 12 hrs prior to Reporting at Work.
Any Staff.pilots,AMEs or any Staff on the Company roll can be randomly be asked to undergo a test,if there is any doubt of the person behaving abnormal.
The test could Include Urine,Breath Analayser or Blood.

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 9):
The pressure to live a 'normal' life' like civil people is pretty tough once you marry a daytime person. I still don't understand how those with kids do it. After ten years of wedded bliss my wife still has a tough time coping even though I have been on thirds for nine years of our twelve year relationship.

I've been at it since 1989.5 nights/week.With the Kids mom working Day.The Weekends are the only time for Enjoyment.Thanks to Grandparents We can Manage well.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:34 pm

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 9):
If I ever lose my job over a test that is how I intend on winning it back.

Yea you do that and you'll still be in the unemployment line like a couple of guys I worked with. Even the union can't help in a failure of a drug test.

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 9):
I would much rather have a guy that has come on shift that has eight hours of sleep coming off a pot smoking party than a guy that has been up for 16 hours because it is his Monday and He didn't get a chance to catch a nap because his kid had a little league game that night.

jeeez!
 
SlamClick
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:01 pm

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 5):
In the U.S it boils down to: Pre-employment, post-accident, probable cause, and random screenings. Also I believe after an extended leave of absence.

That last is correct, return to duty testing. There is also 'followup' testing and for pilots add 'periodic' tests at every flight physical.

Amazingly, in all the years these rules were in force I never once came up on a random. I guess it is truly random.

I always thought drug testing for pilots was a waste of money and I don't believe there has ever been a single clear-cut case where drugs were a factor in a commercial aviaition accident. Alcohol, on the other hand seems to be the drug of choice for pilots and I'll bet there is a pilot with an illegal BA level on duty with a reputable US airline at this very second.
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SlamClick
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:14 pm

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 9):
I find it as a violation of my civil liberties, but to keep a job I have little choice.

I felt much the same way. The catch is, the Constitution does not guarantee your right to work at a specific job, such as at an airline. So if you want to do that it is more of a 'privilege' than a 'right' and it may be subject to some controls.

It is illegal to discriminate against a person on the basis of a handicap but do you know any blind pilots?

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 9):
I still think it is illegel search and a violation of my fifth amendemnt rights. If I ever lose my job over a test that is how I intend on winning it back.

You won't win it back. You will lose your case. Drug testing was upheld by the US Supreme Court nearly twenty years ago. I think the case was "Bluestein vs the Secretary of Transportation et al" but my memory isn't what it once was.

Now if you want injustice, how about this: Elizabeth Dole imposed drug testing on rampers and bag smashers but not on herself. Senators, Congresspersons are still not drug tested. The US Supreme Court that gets to decide issues like this is still not drug tested. Their work is not deemed as important as that of a ramper, I guess.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:28 pm

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
Alcohol, on the other hand seems to be the drug of choice for pilots and I'll bet there is a pilot with an illegal BA level on duty with a reputable US airline at this very second.

Yea SlamClick you're probably right. Don't you agree that alcohol is the drug of choice for a couple of reasons. It's legal and on layovers where you really don't have anything to do except kill time it CAN become the BIG time killer. Bottom line is, you gotta have control. Pot on the other hand is, at the moment, illegal and the odor is very, very hard to diguise....busted.

As for random testing I've been snagged a few times, seems I got picked a couple of times in one month and then it was a while before the next call. Ramp control will call the flight on taxi in and just give the employee no. that's to be tested. After block in you cannot pass go or collect $200 till the test is done!
 
SlamClick
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:40 pm

Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 14):
Ramp control will call the flight on taxi in and just give the employee no. that's to be tested. After block in you cannot pass go or collect $200 till the test is done!

That was another problem I had with the system. They waited until the crew had flown their trip before testing them.

One reason might be that you could not later claim the 'defense' that you would not have actually performed duties under that condition. Problem is; what do you want to have happen. If you have any reason at all to believe that a flight crew needs to be tested (even if that reason is only that their number has come up) then you need to do it BEFORE they have the flying public in their hands.

I believe it was just so the airline would not be inconvenienced if a crewmember popped positive. In other words to save a few bucks on not having an on-premise reserve, they were permitted to use crewmembers who MIGHT be on drugs. And if you argue that you know they are NOT on drugs then why test them at all?
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barney captain
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:48 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
add 'periodic' tests at every flight physical.

I've never heard of drug testing during flight physicals. Was this a company thing?

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 15):
In other words to save a few bucks on not having an on-premise reserve, they were permitted to use crewmembers who MIGHT be on drugs. And if you argue that you know they are NOT on drugs then why test them at all?

Yes, the hypocrisy is astounding. Between twice a year sim checks, random drug/alcohol tests, annual line checks, daily (while at work) TSA screening, random FAA route checks, twice a year physicals, and a certain percentage of our pax scrutinizing us to make sure were "ok", I can't think of another profession so under the microscope.

Before I get "shot out of the sky" for my comments, understand that I'm not advocating that we don't get tested and evaluated. I'm just wondering how much of the above is really based on need for correcting a legitimate problem, and how much is political reactionism (like drug testing).
Southeast Of Disorder
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:05 am

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 16):
Between twice a year sim checks, random drug/alcohol tests, annual line checks, daily (while at work) TSA screening, random FAA route checks, twice a year physicals, and a certain percentage of our pax scrutinizing us to make sure were "ok", I can't think of another profession so under the microscope.

Amen! I don't think doctors even get recurrency chks or drug chks. whas up with that?

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 15):
If you have any reason at all to believe that a flight crew needs to be tested (even if that reason is only that their number has come up) then you need to do it BEFORE they have the flying public in their hands.

Yea that's always been the joke....I would imagine that almost every pilot , if called before a flight, would "hold it" and "not be able to pee" until 5 min past show time! How many guys would be going home after being subbed off a 12 day trip! Whoa! In reality the breathalizer is the only test where the results are immediate and the drug test are sent off to a lab eliminating any real time results. Of course you can't call them in an hr. before because now duty time has started which could be important on long int'l trips. So now you can call them in a day early and pay a min duty period but then the commuters will scream bloody murder. Hopefully most guys/girls wouldn't let another pilot fly if there was a problem but then if they BOTH have a problem there's no self policing. Thankfully it appears that the mandated percentages have been lowered and you see fewer these days. Just remember... Don't drink within 50' of the aircraft and don't smoke 8 hrs prior to duty! LOL
 
SlamClick
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:17 am

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 16):
I've never heard of drug testing during flight physicals. Was this a company thing?

No, it was FARs. Part 121 Appendix I, § V. B. reads in part:
Periodic Testing. Each employee who performs a safety sensitive function for an employer and who is required to undergo a medical examination under Part 67 of this chapter shall submit to a periodic drug test...


The clause permits discontinuing periodic drug testing after completion of the first year of the company's drug testing program, which is probably its present status with your company. I went through this because I was already onboard when drug testing came along. For airlines with ongoing programs its functions have been absorbed into other tests.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:38 pm

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 15):
That was another problem I had with the system. They waited until the crew had flown their trip before testing them.

Out here its done Prior to Flight.Wouldn't that be a Plus Safety Point of View.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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DL_Mech
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:05 pm

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 13):
Now if you want injustice, how about this: Elizabeth Dole imposed drug testing on rampers and bag smashers but not on herself. Senators, Congresspersons are still not drug tested.

Mechanics are subject to random drug and alcohol tests, but the engineers who write up the paperwork that we use (AD's,EO's,SB's) are not.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:28 pm

Quoting Dl_mech (Reply 20):
Mechanics are subject to random drug and alcohol tests, but the engineers who write up the paperwork that we use (AD's,EO's,SB's) are not

Whats the Logic.Out here its Both.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
LMP737
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:23 pm

Quoting N8076U (Reply 4):
My number came up twice in regards to the random alcohol test, the funny thing was, the supervisor told me to go get tested, and then gave me the keys to a van to drive myself over there

Same thing happened to me a couple months ago. Supervisor tells me I have a random alcohol test and then handed me the keys to a company van. Good thing I wasn't liqueured up!
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
redcordes
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground St

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:40 pm

A friend flew for US Airways for many years, and he used to say that there has never been a case of an alcohol-related, commercial-aviation accident in recent US history--I've no idea of the accuracy of this statement. He also used to say that he worried more about the teetotaler, uptight pilots he shared the cockpit with.
"The only source of knowledge is experience." A. Einstein "Science w/o religion is lame. Religion w/o science is blind."
 
aogdesk
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:19 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 13):
The US Supreme Court that gets to decide issues like this is still not drug tested. Their work is not deemed as important as that of a ramper, I guess.

Um.......if they started drug and alcohol testing for members of Congress, the House and Senate halls and chambers would look like a ghost town. Oh wait, I forgot, its always "medication" that they always claim they were under the influence of.....  Wink
 
EMBQA
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:26 am

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 3):
Urban Myth. Well...maybe I'll believe it...if you've eaten like a dozen of them in 10 minutes then go in and pee in a cup....

Actually, no... it's for real. Myth Busters, the Discovery Channel show did just this myth and proved it ws for real. One of the guys ate a small Poppy seed cake, and the other 3 poppy seed bagels. Both tested positive within 3 hours of eating the cake and bagels. Now, they used a at home test kit which only offers a basic test results. The DOT uses a higher grade test that is much more accurite. I want to say the basic test is 7 tier and the more advance test is 24 tier. The more advanced test can even tell if you have taken one of those 'test buster' drinks to fool the results.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
don81603
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:45 am

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 3):
Urban Myth. Well...maybe I'll believe it...if you've eaten like a dozen of them in 10 minutes then go in and pee in a cup....

That would depend on the sensitivity of the test. We have had false positives from a worker eating a poppy seed bagel.
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
don81603
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:49 am

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 7):
No random testing here in Canada....

WRONG!!!!

In Ontario, the provincial Gov't ruled random testing a civil rights violation (what about everyone else's rights?). But other than that, Drug Testing for certain safety sensitive occupations is mandatory, and to hold a commercial drivers licence, it's a mandatory part of the required physical examination.
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
don81603
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:00 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 13):
do you know any blind pilots

Other than RyanAir?  Wink

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 16):
I can't think of another profession so under the microscope.

Try the trucking industry!

I'm not sure which would be more closely regulated, but it would be very close.

We can (and do) get pulled into inspection stations and put through the whole wringer. Everything from freight documentation (which can be literally hundereds of pages), proof of operating authority, Hours of service comliance (and they can go back 8 days (14 days in Canada) to make sure you're "legal"), criminal background searches, equipment scrutinty, safety equipment, cargo security and a "whiz quiz" to name but a few. Add to this the differences in Canadian and US regulations, and it can be a major PITA!
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
T prop
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground St

Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:49 am

Did this accident help get the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 in place?

T prop.
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:30 am

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 26):
We have had false positives from a worker eating a poppy seed bagel.

Very true, Sir. The test kits distributed for random checks can't be considered a quantitative test by any means, the only reliable one is the blood test.

To GQfluffy: The Mythbusters tested this "urban legend" with shocking results...
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
UAL Bagsmasher
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:55 am

I was reading some time ago they were going to move to hair samples instead of urine for greater accuracy. Anyone else heard about this?
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:33 pm

Quoting UAL Bagsmasher (Reply 31):
I was reading some time ago they were going to move to hair samples instead of urine for greater accuracy.

How does that Work.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
don81603
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:35 am

Quoting UAL Bagsmasher (Reply 31):
I was reading some time ago they were going to move to hair samples instead of urine for greater accuracy

My first thought was "What about the bald guys?"
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
bri2k1
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:46 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 32):



Quoting Don81603 (Reply 33):

The evidence of drugs in the bloodstream is transfered to any growing hair and stored in the follice. Extracting a single hair for analysis can provide a rough timeline of drug use events. I'm personally aware of this as common practice for persons applying for high-security jobs such as in defense industries. Bald persons can submit a hair sample from somewhere other than the top of the head.
Position and hold
 
EasternSon
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:52 pm

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 9):
If I ever lose my job over a test that is how I intend on winning it back.

How about you stop using drugs and keep your job. Look at the bright side, you may not be able to get high, but at least you won't be endangering people's lives.
"The only people for me are the mad ones...." Jack Kerouac
 
Dougloid
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:49 pm

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 9):
The Faa can test you for random Drug and Alcohol tests. I find it as a violation of my civil liberties, but to keep a job I have little choice. By now it has been batted through the courts and have been found legal. I still think it is illegel search and a violation of my fifth amendemnt rights. If I ever lose my job over a test that is how I intend on winning it back.

I am a true believer on personal rights. What someone does on their own, if it doesn't effect others is their deal. Drugs and alcohol abuse are not the big problem in aviation. The big deal is sleep deprivation. I've worked on third shift for thirteen years. I would much rather have a guy that has come on shift that has eight hours of sleep coming off a pot smoking party than a guy that has been up for 16 hours because it is his Monday and He didn't get a chance to catch a nap because his kid had a little league game that night.

From a legal standpoint there's no constitutional right to work in any particular occupation. So that argument's a non starter.

Any allegedly illegal search and/or seizure would be challenged on 4th amendment grounds. The fifth is the right against self incrimination. If no criminal prosecution results from a failed drug test there's no violation. In addition, the fourth amendment protects only against state agents. Anything that a private person does does not implicate the fourth, as it only protects against state action.

That argument's a non starter as well.

Fact of the matter is this. If you want to be a drunk or a druggie, you've got to be willing to put your future on the line at every drink or every toke.
If you're OK with that, fine. But there's also no constitutional right to be a drunk or a druggie.


When you get right down to it, substance abuse is stupid.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:05 am

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 34):
Bald persons can submit a hair sample from somewhere other than the top of the head.

Interestng.Any Link to this Technology.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:03 am

As a shift leader in maintenance, if one of my guys would come in smelling of or dope (I'm not allowed to do invasive tests), I'll send him home. If it is the first time, there'll be a verbal warning (Years ago at another job as a mechanic in an electric power station we had a young foreman, who was actually very good at his job and very reliable, but one day he came to work absolutely p#ssed. We found out that his girlfriend had dumped him the night before in a very nasty way and he hit the bottle to get over it. We put him in our locker room, sitting in a chair right at the window, where he could puke out if necessay, and let him sleep it off during the day, while we were doing his work. This was the only incident he was ever involved in, so once can be an exeception), but the second time I'd write a report to my boss and the third time I'd make sure that the guy would get fired.

Jan
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bri2k1
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:33 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 37):

I'm sure there are.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:27 pm

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 39):
I'm sure there are

Do you have the Link.
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MEL
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flymatt2bermud
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:29 pm

We have to fill out 'chain of custody' paperwork prior to submitting a sample for drug analysis. On all the forms I have seen there is a question pertaining to any prescription medications you are using. If you have had anything with poppy seeds in the last 96 hours, you should indicate that in the box.

The laboratory my former company used provided a drug analysis and report was thorough (I don't know how many tiers) but when a positive would come back it would indicate the potential source of most prescription type drugs found.

First, I don't think anyone should drive under the influence. However, I find it interesting that if a pilot in the U.S. has two D.U.I. convictions they loose their medical and therefore can no longer fly. Why aren't truck drivers or even physicians held to the same standard. I am not convinced that a guy with two D.U.I. offences proves that they would attempt to fly while under the influence.
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ltbewr
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:49 pm

One of the key events that led to drug testing of transportation employees in the USA was a deadly Amtrak accident in Maryland in the late 1980's IIRC. A blood test of the engineer found they had smoked pot not long before they went on duty.
You also had a number of large truck accidents where it was found the drivers had been using 'uppers' to stay awake on their runs. Also for truck and bus operators, they have a near-zero tolarance as to alcohol and one can lose their Commercial Drivers License rating for any DWI conviction.
Starting in the early 1980's there was a real change in the tolarance with the abuse of alcohol, especially DWI and drug use. It was realized that many accidents in many jobs had DWI/drug use as a factor. This cost employers money from lost work, paying higher insurance rates, and empoyee moral.
As to airline pilots, there was a time when alcohol problems were probably at higher rates than today. The culture of pilots, both military and commercial into the late 1970's encouraged the use of alcohol to 'show you were a real man'. Until the introduction of cockpit management, and changes in the military, pilots were considered 'gods' and not to be challanged for their beheavor. When cockpit management, others on the flight crew could then challange their other crew members as to their ability to fly, including if they had drank too close to flying.
 
flymatt2bermud
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:13 am

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 42):
for truck and bus operators, they have a near-zero tolarance as to alcohol and one can lose their Commercial Drivers License rating for any DWI conviction.

Thanks LTBEWR, I didn't know CDI holders were subject to a zero tolerance policy.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 42):
The culture of pilots, both military and commercial into the late 1970's encouraged the use of alcohol to 'show you were a real man'. Until the introduction of cockpit management, and changes in the military, pilots were considered 'gods' and not to be challanged for their behavor.

I agree with your statement. I have never had a DUI/DWI charge, but I am still not convinced that a DUI/DWI indicates unquestionably that a pilot would take his problem into the cockpit.

If it's a zero tolerance policy then why doesn't everybody loose their right to work if they have two DUI/DWI convictions?
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward" Leonardo Da Vinci
 
ltbewr
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:59 am

As to DWI/DUI and CDL's, if one is found to be DWI/DUI, even at a .01% level (effectively 'zero-tolarnce), while operating a vehicle requireing a CDL, they lose the CDL after conviction. If a person whom holds a CDL gets convicted for a DWI/DUI at the .08 (or .05 for lower "DUI" level, with slightly lower penalties) then lose both licences. Train operators also have similar situations. Some states (like my state of NJ) don't allow for conditional licenses for those under suspension to be able to go to/from or in their work.
Any DWI/DUI in a personal vehicle can cause suspension of any flying license, private or commercial. Of course, this can affect your status of future employment, including being fired.
Many companies do have 2 strike policies. This can also be codified in employee contracts if there is a union. If a simple DUI/DWI, and not involving security/safety/vehicle operation, then you pay the fines and do the requirements under law. If serious injuries or if caught at certain levels of alcohol or drug use the first time, then you may be suspended from your job and have to go into rehabilation. If you fail to go into and complete the initial stages of rehab within a set period of time (like 30 days), then the employer can fire fire them. Usually getting caught a 2nd time will get you fired.
As to those other than pilots subject to testing, remember that MX and ramp workers are often in hazardous situations, need to do their work absolutly right due to the extreme safety needs. Customer service workers, although having to deal will customers sometimes will drive you to drink, are the face of the company and alcohol or drugs hurts the image and quality of service.
For all employees, drug/alcohol use can also cause higher rates of theft of goods, money, to pay for their habits.

[Edited 2006-07-22 19:02:23]
 
Dougloid
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:32 am

Quoting FlyMatt2Bermud (Reply 41):
We have to fill out 'chain of custody' paperwork prior to submitting a sample for drug analysis. On all the forms I have seen there is a question pertaining to any prescription medications you are using. If you have had anything with poppy seeds in the last 96 hours, you should indicate that in the box.

The laboratory my former company used provided a drug analysis and report was thorough (I don't know how many tiers) but when a positive would come back it would indicate the potential source of most prescription type drugs found.

OK guys. This is the attorney speaking.

If you get asked to give a random drug sample, the next thing you should be doing is to get out your cell phone and arrange to have a sample done with another place or your doctor's within two hours of the first one. This is absolutley mandatory-false positives, contamination, sample mixups and so on can and do happen, and the error rate on initials can be between 5-14 per cent.

False positives are a fact of life. That's fact number one.
Fact number two is that the people who do drug tests as a business often catch people who try and fake them out with things like the wizzinator.

Somewhere around here I've got a test report from some woman who tried to fake them out two or three times in one week.

It's like lying. If it's uncovered it's an unappealable death sentence.

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bri2k1
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jul 23, 2006 3:07 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 40):

Yes. Yes I do.
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SlamClick
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jul 23, 2006 3:08 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 45):
False positives are a fact of life.

Not for FAA testing.

I don't mean that the phenomenon will never occur. I just mean that they do not ever use that phrase. They call it something else, but 'false positive' is a word-pairing that will never occur in any FAA document.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 42):
The culture of pilots, both military and commercial into the late 1970's encouraged the use of alcohol to 'show you were a real man'.

I ran into my AME, who was also the flight surgeon at the local guard unit, at an airshow one time and we got into that discussion. In 'our' time in military aviation a pilot who did not show up for happy hour on Friday and drink 'til Sunday evening was suspect. What the hell could such a guy be doing if he wasn't spilling flaming brandy down his chest, singing offkey, cheating at darts and other honorable activities with the rest of us? Sipping a wine cooler at a 'fern bar' perhap?

He said at that time (early 90s) it had changed and even fighter pilots were coming around to a more sober off-duty life.

There was a time when the old-time professional pilot cadre had a big percentage of alcoholics or hardcore drunks. By my time these guys were being relegated to the freightdog outfits or the QBs. Now the freighers have 'cleaned up' to a large extend and it is mostly just to QBs that is steeped in the tradition of hard likker and dirty jokes. Of course the QBs are no longer mostly professional pilots now. Those of us who lived with the realities of Part 121 Appendices I and J, not to mention the increasing difficulty of passing Class I medicals while hung over finally sobered up.

There are a few left with us, probably always will be a few, but as much as I resented the drug and alcohol testing I now admit that it was probably the agent of improvement.

Now if only we could impose it on elected officials with the same rules. Bush would probably never have gone into politics and the changing topography of Bill Clinton's nose would have gone unnoticed.
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Dougloid
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jul 23, 2006 6:58 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 47):
Not for FAA testing.

I don't mean that the phenomenon will never occur. I just mean that they do not ever use that phrase. They call it something else, but 'false positive' is a word-pairing that will never occur in any FAA document.

Well, of course not. Do you expect the Friendly Aviation Administration to get up in public and admit that the process they've hung their hat on can be and often enough is, wrong? It's like the department of justice and their beloved polygraph, which guys like Aldrich Ames and that other schmuck routinely beat....do you think they'll ever admit it's witchcraft along the lines of the dunking stool? Of course not....

Which brings me to my next point. If they ever ask you to take a polygraph and you are not required to do so (like if you're a cop or something), DON'T FUCKING DO IT. The test may not be admissible but the answers you give to the questions they ask ARE.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff

Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:10 am

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 46):
Yes. Yes I do

Would Appreciate you sharing it for the Rest.
regds
MEL
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