Western727
Posts: 1616
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:38 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:58 pm

GA pilot here. I'm not allowed to touch alcohol 8 hours before a flight and as others have said, my BAC limit is .04. While I'm not an ATP, I support tough standards and enforcement. After a relatively-short stint of flying (3 or more hours of Hobbs time) I notice myself feeling taxed in terms of mental energy. And that's just flying a lowly Piper in uncontrolled airspace and airports.

Like I occasionally tell others, daydreaming (or being on "mental autopilot") is not possible while aviating...while it's possible on a, for example, highway in a rural area in daylight, good weather with light traffic and cruise control engaged. I'm with jfklganyc: it's criminal. The potential collateral damage is just way too high. I therefore fully expect my ATPs to be sober, with the complex machines that airliners are, the higher tolerances involved (than in GA) with inclement weather, as well as the Bravo airspace they often fly in. ATPs know the inherent risks when flying less than sober...so when they make bad choices, consequences need to be severe.
Last edited by Western727 on Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jack @ AUS
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 878
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:59 pm

chicawgo wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
Done being fired, gone, terminated, over

There is no successful HIMS program for pilots drunk in cockpit. That is criminal activity.

We live in a world where everything firm is questionable nowadays.

The pilot world and cockpit are not like that. Black and white rules to follow. Plain and simple.

Thankfully, you're not the one making the decision.

Nothing is black and white in life. Sometimes, grey needs to happen.

Lastly: remember this conversation next time someone gives you a "get out of jail free" card, and be thankful they didn't fire/throw you in jail at the first offence when there is an acceptable alternative.


Do you not consider the difference between being responsible for the lives of hundreds of people versus working in a 9-5 office position? One of the main reasons aviation has become so safe is precisely because of the institution of black and white regulations. Sterile cockpit rule. Cockpit resource management. Hell, even standard checklists.

Grey areas combining have been the cause of far too many accidents. Aviation is not an industry for grey areas.

There is a difference between a standard procedure (like a checklist) and someone having a drink too many.

I am not defending the pilot; he should have called in, no questions asked.
But, to strictly apply "first offence, you're out" without knowing the circumstances and background is wrong, unenforceable and, in many countries, against the law.

There was no accident in this case; give the guy a second chance (he might be a great pilot who strayed once) before deciding to hang him in public place...
 
SaschaYHZ
Posts: 262
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:41 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:23 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
FF630 wrote:
Sad, I have a friend who was in rehab. She told me there were a lot of cockpit and cabin crew folks from three different major airlines in rehab with her. This was not the first time in rehab for some of them.

I wonder if there is a higher percentage of these folks who are alcoholics than in other industries.


I could definitely see that. I'm sure it's a lonely life for many. It's also a way to pass the time. It would be interesting to see a study that took a look at pilots that drank heavily, moderately, and rarely. Pilots tend to age horribly. My granddather is 75 and still has most of his hair color and few winkles. He was a fire department chief. Most widebody captains I see have a full head of white hair and with aged skin. And obviously they are a lot younger than 75. I'm sure alcohol added into all of that radiation doesn't help.

I do hope this guy will get the help he needs. And hopefully it will be a wake-up call to others who may be in his shoes. I think most airlines are understanding of their employees come to them and ask for help. But all bets are off once they cross the line.


Add to that the fact that you're constantly crossing time zones, so your internal clock is probably out of whack. I imagine it's a contribution.
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 1074
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:19 pm

What is the US military's policy for a pilot that reports for duty while intoxicated? Will they just brush it off?
 
mm320cap
Topic Author
Posts: 295
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:35 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:29 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
chicawgo wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Thankfully, you're not the one making the decision.

Nothing is black and white in life. Sometimes, grey needs to happen.

Lastly: remember this conversation next time someone gives you a "get out of jail free" card, and be thankful they didn't fire/throw you in jail at the first offence when there is an acceptable alternative.


Do you not consider the difference between being responsible for the lives of hundreds of people versus working in a 9-5 office position? One of the main reasons aviation has become so safe is precisely because of the institution of black and white regulations. Sterile cockpit rule. Cockpit resource management. Hell, even standard checklists.

Grey areas combining have been the cause of far too many accidents. Aviation is not an industry for grey areas.

There is a difference between a standard procedure (like a checklist) and someone having a drink too many.

I am not defending the pilot; he should have called in, no questions asked.
But, to strictly apply "first offence, you're out" without knowing the circumstances and background is wrong, unenforceable and, in many countries, against the law.

There was no accident in this case; give the guy a second chance (he might be a great pilot who strayed once) before deciding to hang him in public place...


The consequences for failing a drug/alcohol test for pilots has been baked into our heads since we first started flying - at least here in the USA. It’s that way for a reason. Hell. It’s usually an interview question at the majors (I got it during my interview in 1994). There is no room for error here; circumstances or background become irrelevant. I don’t know the laws in Holland with regard to whether he will do jail time, will be eligible for HIMS, etc., and I wish him well.

But make no mistake, people here aren’t “hanging him in a public place”. He did that all by himself. And he deserves whatever punishment comes his way. Hopefully it’s a lesson to those other pilots who struggle to control their drinking. Get help, or get out of the business
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:40 pm

LAXintl wrote:
Not sure why Delta opted to call it a mechanical issue instead of crew shortage or something.
At the end Delta not only has egg on its face due to the pilots actions but also it's apparent initial cover up. Needless added bad PR.


It is part of the culture of airlines to lie, especially if something would not make them look good. They lie to pax all the time.
 
Western727
Posts: 1616
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:38 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:48 pm

TonyBurr wrote:
LAXintl wrote:
Not sure why Delta opted to call it a mechanical issue instead of crew shortage or something.
At the end Delta not only has egg on its face due to the pilots actions but also it's apparent initial cover up. Needless added bad PR.


It is part of the culture of airlines to lie, especially if something would not make them look good. They lie to pax all the time.


One of my "favorites" is when a flight scheduled to leave in an hour or two is said to be running on time on the airline's app/website, but the inbound aircraft is running something like 1 hour late, with only a, say, 50-min scheduled turnaround time. Wow, they're so good at defying time! :twisted:
Jack @ AUS
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 878
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:53 pm

TonyBurr wrote:
LAXintl wrote:
Not sure why Delta opted to call it a mechanical issue instead of crew shortage or something.
At the end Delta not only has egg on its face due to the pilots actions but also it's apparent initial cover up. Needless added bad PR.


It is part of the culture of airlines to lie, especially if something would not make them look good. They lie to pax all the time.

Over-generalization much? There are hundreds or thousands of flights a day; how many lies are told each day???
 
mcdu
Posts: 1493
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:21 pm

sassiciai wrote:
I wonder if the people who say that the pilot was "drunk" would care to define what that word means in their view. The figures given above show that yes he had some alcohol in his body, but I very much doubt that he was "drunk"! To call him such is a bit of an insult


He was over the legal limit. He was drunk and he is responsidible for the cancellation fo a flight that impacted 100’s. You want to marginalize that? If the plane had crashed from an action of his and they found alcohol in his system how would the headline be written? Would you have been as lenient if a family member was also on that flight if it had crashed?
 
mcdu
Posts: 1493
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:24 pm

Revelation wrote:
mcdu wrote:
zeke wrote:
You and I would not be able to make a self assessment to determine the difference between 0.054 and 0.040, to put that in context your body would normally metabolize 0.015 per hour, so in under 1 hour they would have been under this limit at 0.039.

You seem bent on defending pilots showing up over the limit. You even try to defer the impact by saying it’s below the limit to drive. The fact is this pilot made a bad choice and disrupted 100’s of people’s travel plans. For that termination would be the best action. However his union will make sure he get to keep his job. If there were real consequences for pilots actions like this then the rate of offending would drop significantly. Currently there is no deterrent.

I think Zeke is just trying to explain the situation in terms people understand.

I think your statement about the pilot's fate are premature and probably wrong.

There will be real consequences for this pilot, be it firing, a stint in rehab, etc.


A paid stint in rehab. What are the financial consequences for this pilot? NONE. The HIMS program is a super expensive way to keep drunks working.
 
chicawgo
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:09 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:28 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
chicawgo wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Thankfully, you're not the one making the decision.

Nothing is black and white in life. Sometimes, grey needs to happen.

Lastly: remember this conversation next time someone gives you a "get out of jail free" card, and be thankful they didn't fire/throw you in jail at the first offence when there is an acceptable alternative.


Do you not consider the difference between being responsible for the lives of hundreds of people versus working in a 9-5 office position? One of the main reasons aviation has become so safe is precisely because of the institution of black and white regulations. Sterile cockpit rule. Cockpit resource management. Hell, even standard checklists.

Grey areas combining have been the cause of far too many accidents. Aviation is not an industry for grey areas.

There is a difference between a standard procedure (like a checklist) and someone having a drink too many.

I am not defending the pilot; he should have called in, no questions asked.
But, to strictly apply "first offence, you're out" without knowing the circumstances and background is wrong, unenforceable and, in many countries, against the law.

There was no accident in this case; give the guy a second chance (he might be a great pilot who strayed once) before deciding to hang him in public place...


I completely understand what you’re saying and my point was that in most cases, you’re absolutely correct. However, my opinion is that when it comes to a position of responsibility where you have the lives of hundreds of people in your hands and being anything less than 100% alert and responsive could be the difference between safety and disaster in an unexpected situation, I think the black and white stance is imperative. Seems that’s where we disagree.

It definitely makes me cringe to see the “come on guys, it didn’t crash, give him another chance” logic. That is a dangerous precedent for aviation. If that were the prevailing strategy, we never would have made all the progress we have in improved safety.
 
2175301
Posts: 1412
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:19 am

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:37 pm

Decades ago before such things were common I (being a power plant manager at the time) had a problem employee; which I knew involved alcohol and I suspected other things. Instead I went to my management with an idea... that I then proposed to the Union once the Utility management agreed. The Utility would pay for an evaluation and whatever treatment or rehab program needed, guarantee his paycheck for the treatment and rehab period; and his position when he came back. This was not in the Contract and by certain interpretations of certain portions of the contract might not be allowed. The Union Steward (and later the plant employees) were stunned by the offer (I and the Utility would offer that). That is not what they expected when I asked the Steward for a discussion on that employee. The Union quickly assured me that they would waive any possible contract interpretations that would prevent such an offer; and backed me fully on it. While the employee in question turned the offer down... elsewhere in the Utility other people came forward and asked their managers.... You know that offer that (the Power Plant Manager) made to (specific employee).... Could I get something like that. I had multiple people later on tell me that I personally saved their life, their marriage, etc. by allowing them to go into treatment for their problems. They became top notch employees for the Utility. The next Contract included that program.

I fully support appropriate programs to help people with such problems... At the same time; I believe once through such a program is all an employer should have to be responsible for. People do make mistakes and can learn. Some people cannot learn. No reason to retain those who cannot learn in my opinion.

Have a great day,
 
goboeing
Posts: 2557
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:38 pm

mcdu wrote:
Revelation wrote:
mcdu wrote:
You seem bent on defending pilots showing up over the limit. You even try to defer the impact by saying it’s below the limit to drive. The fact is this pilot made a bad choice and disrupted 100’s of people’s travel plans. For that termination would be the best action. However his union will make sure he get to keep his job. If there were real consequences for pilots actions like this then the rate of offending would drop significantly. Currently there is no deterrent.

I think Zeke is just trying to explain the situation in terms people understand.

I think your statement about the pilot's fate are premature and probably wrong.

There will be real consequences for this pilot, be it firing, a stint in rehab, etc.


A paid stint in rehab. What are the financial consequences for this pilot? NONE. The HIMS program is a super expensive way to keep drunks working.


You know very well that a paid stint in rehab would be at whatever the airline's long-term-sick-leave pay system is. Therefore you cannot say with any honesty that there are no financial consequences whatsoever.

The HIMS program is regarded as the most successful system in its class throughout all industries.
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 1074
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:47 pm

goboeing wrote:
mcdu wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I think Zeke is just trying to explain the situation in terms people understand.

I think your statement about the pilot's fate are premature and probably wrong.

There will be real consequences for this pilot, be it firing, a stint in rehab, etc.


A paid stint in rehab. What are the financial consequences for this pilot? NONE. The HIMS program is a super expensive way to keep drunks working.


You know very well that a paid stint in rehab would be at whatever the airline's long-term-sick-leave pay system is. Therefore you cannot say with any honesty that there are no financial consequences whatsoever.

The HIMS program is regarded as the most successful system in its class throughout all industries.


Some of you keep saying this but you give us no details of the how and why. Do they give these pilots a breath test before every flight? GPS ankle monitoring to make sure they're not at places that sell alcohol?

My great aunt lost her job at a bridal shop because the owner saw her having a drink at lunch. It's quite sad that pilots are given a pass on such a serious offense.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 878
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:54 pm

chicawgo wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
chicawgo wrote:

Do you not consider the difference between being responsible for the lives of hundreds of people versus working in a 9-5 office position? One of the main reasons aviation has become so safe is precisely because of the institution of black and white regulations. Sterile cockpit rule. Cockpit resource management. Hell, even standard checklists.

Grey areas combining have been the cause of far too many accidents. Aviation is not an industry for grey areas.

There is a difference between a standard procedure (like a checklist) and someone having a drink too many.

I am not defending the pilot; he should have called in, no questions asked.
But, to strictly apply "first offence, you're out" without knowing the circumstances and background is wrong, unenforceable and, in many countries, against the law.

There was no accident in this case; give the guy a second chance (he might be a great pilot who strayed once) before deciding to hang him in public place...


I completely understand what you’re saying and my point was that in most cases, you’re absolutely correct. However, my opinion is that when it comes to a position of responsibility where you have the lives of hundreds of people in your hands and being anything less than 100% alert and responsive could be the difference between safety and disaster in an unexpected situation, I think the black and white stance is imperative. Seems that’s where we disagree.

It definitely makes me cringe to see the “come on guys, it didn’t crash, give him another chance” logic. That is a dangerous precedent for aviation. If that were the prevailing strategy, we never would have made all the progress we have in improved safety.

You know "being anything less than 100% alert" will happen much more frequently due to being tired, sick (such as a cold) or personal problems? So, what do you do for those pilots, fire them???

As others have said, I do believe help is needed for this pilot. ONCE time, not plenty times. If he relapses, he should be barred for life then.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 20427
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:54 pm

mcdu wrote:
Revelation wrote:
mcdu wrote:
You seem bent on defending pilots showing up over the limit. You even try to defer the impact by saying it’s below the limit to drive. The fact is this pilot made a bad choice and disrupted 100’s of people’s travel plans. For that termination would be the best action. However his union will make sure he get to keep his job. If there were real consequences for pilots actions like this then the rate of offending would drop significantly. Currently there is no deterrent.

I think Zeke is just trying to explain the situation in terms people understand.

I think your statement about the pilot's fate are premature and probably wrong.

There will be real consequences for this pilot, be it firing, a stint in rehab, etc.

A paid stint in rehab. What are the financial consequences for this pilot? NONE. The HIMS program is a super expensive way to keep drunks working.

Alcoholism is a disease and can be treated with varying degrees of success. The airlines have a lot invested in the pilot so they are willing to try the treatment option. You are entitled to your attitude but IMHO it's pretty close minded. Being asked/told to step away from one's profession and seek treatment does have consequences, hopefully positive ones.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
FlyHappy
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sat May 13, 2017 1:06 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:04 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
TonyBurr wrote:
LAXintl wrote:
Not sure why Delta opted to call it a mechanical issue instead of crew shortage or something.
At the end Delta not only has egg on its face due to the pilots actions but also it's apparent initial cover up. Needless added bad PR.


It is part of the culture of airlines to lie, especially if something would not make them look good. They lie to pax all the time.

Over-generalization much? There are hundreds or thousands of flights a day; how many lies are told each day???


Look, it is true.
The fact is that everyday, there are delays and cancellations and loads of antsy people at the gate. Gate agents make announcements to appease the crowd, buy time, reduce anxiety. They often dispense information that is "best they know", but sometimes its obvious that it cannot be completely correct/the full picture.

The agent at AMS a) probably didn't know the exact reason for the cancellation - they need to deal with a planeload of pax standing before them . b) if they knew, would it be prudent to announce "today's flight has been canceled due to our intoxicated pilot"? - probably not. Then, follow up information often feels compelled to "extend the white lie". Fact is, DL made the information public within a reasonable period of time; I see no problem with that.

I don't have a problem with this particular event, there are practical legal and crowd control considerations. To say the plane isn't safe, we're canceling is fine, no need to give out details at that moment.

There are far, far greater things airlines do "wrong".
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 1074
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:12 pm

Revelation wrote:
mcdu wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I think Zeke is just trying to explain the situation in terms people understand.

I think your statement about the pilot's fate are premature and probably wrong.

There will be real consequences for this pilot, be it firing, a stint in rehab, etc.

A paid stint in rehab. What are the financial consequences for this pilot? NONE. The HIMS program is a super expensive way to keep drunks working.

Alcoholism is a disease and can be treated with varying degrees of success. The airlines have a lot invested in the pilot so they are willing to try the treatment option. You are entitled to your attitude but IMHO it's pretty close minded. Being asked/told to step away from one's profession and seek treatment does have consequences, hopefully positive ones.


Should any employee that makes a racist,misogynistic, statement in public or on social media be sent to sensitivity training and be allowed to keep their job? Maybe they just didn't know any better. But lots of people got sacked for that in 2018. Many who were very well paid. I'm sure their company had a lot invested in them too.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 878
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:15 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
Revelation wrote:
mcdu wrote:
A paid stint in rehab. What are the financial consequences for this pilot? NONE. The HIMS program is a super expensive way to keep drunks working.

Alcoholism is a disease and can be treated with varying degrees of success. The airlines have a lot invested in the pilot so they are willing to try the treatment option. You are entitled to your attitude but IMHO it's pretty close minded. Being asked/told to step away from one's profession and seek treatment does have consequences, hopefully positive ones.


Should any employee that makes a racist,misogynistic, statement in public or on social media be sent to sensitivity training and be allowed to keep their job? Maybe they just didn't know any better. But lots of people got sacked for that in 2018. Many who were very well paid. I'm sure their company had a lot invested in them too.

Actually, yes they should. And plenty of people have fired back to their former employers with lawsuits: one of the well-known one is the lady who flipped the bird to Trump's motorcade, and I hope she wins.
 
mm320cap
Topic Author
Posts: 295
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:35 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:19 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
chicawgo wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
There is a difference between a standard procedure (like a checklist) and someone having a drink too many.

I am not defending the pilot; he should have called in, no questions asked.
But, to strictly apply "first offence, you're out" without knowing the circumstances and background is wrong, unenforceable and, in many countries, against the law.

There was no accident in this case; give the guy a second chance (he might be a great pilot who strayed once) before deciding to hang him in public place...


I completely understand what you’re saying and my point was that in most cases, you’re absolutely correct. However, my opinion is that when it comes to a position of responsibility where you have the lives of hundreds of people in your hands and being anything less than 100% alert and responsive could be the difference between safety and disaster in an unexpected situation, I think the black and white stance is imperative. Seems that’s where we disagree.

It definitely makes me cringe to see the “come on guys, it didn’t crash, give him another chance” logic. That is a dangerous precedent for aviation. If that were the prevailing strategy, we never would have made all the progress we have in improved safety.

You know "being anything less than 100% alert" will happen much more frequently due to being tired, sick (such as a cold) or personal problems? So, what do you do for those pilots, fire them???

As others have said, I do believe help is needed for this pilot. ONCE time, not plenty times. If he relapses, he should be barred for life then.


So what you are saying then is that it’s cool for an airline pilot to show up to work over the legal limit once, but not more than that. So we should all just get a free pass the first time. Boy... that’s a lot of flights with pilots who are impaired.

Pilots battle fatigue, personal issues, health issues (check out the cancer rates) all the time. If they come to work sick, they are breaking the law (at least in the USA where you have to certify yourself for for duty before each flight). We are paid to push those things aside and focus on the task at hand. And we, as a general rule, do that quite well. Just like people drive their cars when they are tired, stressed, sun in their eyes, sick. But throwing alcohol into the mix is a completely different animal. It’s 100% avoidable. We know the consequences. He made his choice. I hope he gets treatment and learns from his mistake, but we all know going into this job that there is ZERO tolerance for this particular issue.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 878
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:23 pm

mm320cap wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
chicawgo wrote:

I completely understand what you’re saying and my point was that in most cases, you’re absolutely correct. However, my opinion is that when it comes to a position of responsibility where you have the lives of hundreds of people in your hands and being anything less than 100% alert and responsive could be the difference between safety and disaster in an unexpected situation, I think the black and white stance is imperative. Seems that’s where we disagree.

It definitely makes me cringe to see the “come on guys, it didn’t crash, give him another chance” logic. That is a dangerous precedent for aviation. If that were the prevailing strategy, we never would have made all the progress we have in improved safety.

You know "being anything less than 100% alert" will happen much more frequently due to being tired, sick (such as a cold) or personal problems? So, what do you do for those pilots, fire them???

As others have said, I do believe help is needed for this pilot. ONCE time, not plenty times. If he relapses, he should be barred for life then.


So what you are saying then is that it’s cool for an airline pilot to show up to work over the legal limit once, but not more than that. So we should all just get a free pass the first time. Boy... that’s a lot of flights with pilots who are impaired.

Pilots battle fatigue, personal issues, health issues (check out the cancer rates) all the time. If they come to work sick, they are breaking the law (at least in the USA where you have to certify yourself for for duty before each flight). We are paid to push those things aside and focus on the task at hand. And we, as a general rule, do that quite well. Just like people drive their cars when they are tired, stressed, sun in their eyes, sick. But throwing alcohol into the mix is a completely different animal. It’s 100% avoidable. We know the consequences. He made his choice. I hope he gets treatment and learns from his mistake, but we all know going into this job that there is ZERO tolerance for this particular issue.

OK, let's make things clear: I said it and will repeat, his behaviour was unacceptable.

However, those here calling for the guy to lose his job (which is what I called "being hanged in public") are going too far: he needs help and I hope he finds it and kick that demon aside.

By the way, pilot fatigue can technically be 100% avoided too.
 
robsaw
Posts: 415
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:14 am

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:28 pm

chicawgo wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
Done being fired, gone, terminated, over

There is no successful HIMS program for pilots drunk in cockpit. That is criminal activity.

We live in a world where everything firm is questionable nowadays.

The pilot world and cockpit are not like that. Black and white rules to follow. Plain and simple.

Thankfully, you're not the one making the decision.

Nothing is black and white in life. Sometimes, grey needs to happen.

Lastly: remember this conversation next time someone gives you a "get out of jail free" card, and be thankful they didn't fire/throw you in jail at the first offence when there is an acceptable alternative.


Do you not consider the difference between being responsible for the lives of hundreds of people versus working in a 9-5 office position? One of the main reasons aviation has become so safe is precisely because of the institution of black and white regulations. Sterile cockpit rule. Cockpit resource management. Hell, even standard checklists.

Grey areas combining have been the cause of far too many accidents. Aviation is not an industry for grey areas.


The regulations may be black & white but the consequences aren't typically summarily draconian - why not? Because a safety culture that focuses on punishment rather than correction is proven to result in a less safe outcome, not a more safe outcome. If people know they are "toast" they will tend to hide and coverup rather than admit an error. That doesn't mean there aren't consequences, it just may mean the consequences are measured.

This case has its own specific circumstances and perhaps even arising to criminal, which will impact the options available in terms of consequences.
 
cc2314
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:15 pm

Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:36 pm

Are breath tests a random preflight thing?
I wonder how many pilots are up there flying not at their best
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mm320cap
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:41 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
mm320cap wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
You know "being anything less than 100% alert" will happen much more frequently due to being tired, sick (such as a cold) or personal problems? So, what do you do for those pilots, fire them???

As others have said, I do believe help is needed for this pilot. ONCE time, not plenty times. If he relapses, he should be barred for life then.


So what you are saying then is that it’s cool for an airline pilot to show up to work over the legal limit once, but not more than that. So we should all just get a free pass the first time. Boy... that’s a lot of flights with pilots who are impaired.

Pilots battle fatigue, personal issues, health issues (check out the cancer rates) all the time. If they come to work sick, they are breaking the law (at least in the USA where you have to certify yourself for for duty before each flight). We are paid to push those things aside and focus on the task at hand. And we, as a general rule, do that quite well. Just like people drive their cars when they are tired, stressed, sun in their eyes, sick. But throwing alcohol into the mix is a completely different animal. It’s 100% avoidable. We know the consequences. He made his choice. I hope he gets treatment and learns from his mistake, but we all know going into this job that there is ZERO tolerance for this particular issue.

OK, let's make things clear: I said it and will repeat, his behaviour was unacceptable.

However, those here calling for the guy to lose his job (which is what I called "being hanged in public") are going too far: he needs help and I hope he finds it and kick that demon aside.

By the way, pilot fatigue can technically be 100% avoided too.


I agree. He needs help. And I truly hope he gets it and has a healthy and productive life.

Your last sentence is 100% false. You’ve clearly never been an airline pilot. Fatigue is a near certainty on any WOCL flight. It’s doing your best to manage it, and recognizing when it has risen to the level of needing to pull the plug that is the key.
 
mm320cap
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:43 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
mm320cap wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
You know "being anything less than 100% alert" will happen much more frequently due to being tired, sick (such as a cold) or personal problems? So, what do you do for those pilots, fire them???

As others have said, I do believe help is needed for this pilot. ONCE time, not plenty times. If he relapses, he should be barred for life then.


So what you are saying then is that it’s cool for an airline pilot to show up to work over the legal limit once, but not more than that. So we should all just get a free pass the first time. Boy... that’s a lot of flights with pilots who are impaired.

Pilots battle fatigue, personal issues, health issues (check out the cancer rates) all the time. If they come to work sick, they are breaking the law (at least in the USA where you have to certify yourself for for duty before each flight). We are paid to push those things aside and focus on the task at hand. And we, as a general rule, do that quite well. Just like people drive their cars when they are tired, stressed, sun in their eyes, sick. But throwing alcohol into the mix is a completely different animal. It’s 100% avoidable. We know the consequences. He made his choice. I hope he gets treatment and learns from his mistake, but we all know going into this job that there is ZERO tolerance for this particular issue.

OK, let's make things clear: I said it and will repeat, his behaviour was unacceptable.

However, those here calling for the guy to lose his job (which is what I called "being hanged in public") are going too far: he needs help and I hope he finds it and kick that demon aside.

By the way, pilot fatigue can technically be 100% avoided too.


PS. Although we disagree on a few things here, I DO appreciate your empathy. It’s a great trait and something that is in short supply these days... at least here in the USA. Cheers
 
mm320cap
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:45 pm

cc2314 wrote:
Are breath tests a random preflight thing?
I wonder how many pilots are up there flying not at their best


In the US, breathalyzers are random. (My copilot has one last night). They usually occur after the trip lands, but I have had one between flights. I’ve never seen or heard of a random breathalyzer BEFORE a flight. If there is a reported suspicion of alcohol, then the pilot will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer.
 
chemmy
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:53 pm

FF630 wrote:
Sad, I have a friend who was in rehab. She told me there were a lot of cockpit and cabin crew folks from three different major airlines in rehab with her. This was not the first time in rehab for some of them.

I wonder if there is a higher percentage of these folks who are alcoholics than in other industries.


I dated a pilot for a brief time. Between him and the flight attendants, a LOT of drinking went on once they left the airport. I had a hard time keeping up and I was a college student. I once asked about what the rules were since I knew he had an early AM flight the next morning. He said it was technically 8 hours before, but that was more of "a loose guideline rather than a rule". We would party through the night and I'm honestly not entirely sure how they functioned the next morning. Pretty sure some of the time they weren't even hungover - they were still drunk when they reported for duty. The folks in rehab doesn't surprise me at all.
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:54 pm

mm320cap wrote:
cc2314 wrote:
Are breath tests a random preflight thing?
I wonder how many pilots are up there flying not at their best


In the US, breathalyzers are random. (My copilot has one last night). They usually occur after the trip lands, but I have had one between flights. I’ve never seen or heard of a random breathalyzer BEFORE a flight. If there is a reported suspicion of alcohol, then the pilot will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer.


that's interesting about the random breath test after the flight... if it will be done, seems like the wrong time to do so, no?
I believe these tests are mandatory before every flight in India, and I assume that the Holland (or is it all EU?) does random ones pre-flight based on the article.
 
kiowa
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:02 pm

mcdu wrote:
Revelation wrote:
mcdu wrote:
You seem bent on defending pilots showing up over the limit. You even try to defer the impact by saying it’s below the limit to drive. The fact is this pilot made a bad choice and disrupted 100’s of people’s travel plans. For that termination would be the best action. However his union will make sure he get to keep his job. If there were real consequences for pilots actions like this then the rate of offending would drop significantly. Currently there is no deterrent.

I think Zeke is just trying to explain the situation in terms people understand.

I think your statement about the pilot's fate are premature and probably wrong.

There will be real consequences for this pilot, be it firing, a stint in rehab, etc.


A paid stint in rehab. What are the financial consequences for this pilot? NONE. The HIMS program is a super expensive way to keep drunks working.


Interesting attitude. I hope Delta does not have the same attitude. I am not sure what the limits are in the Netherlands but they may not be the same as other countries. I know that the US differs from the UK as well as most of the mideast in what the limits for alcohol are. Professional pilots need to be aware of all the restrictions in each locality that they fly to and abide by their rules. Their country/their rules. I just hope that each country holds their own citizens to the same standards. If you are going to test pilots then you should test surgeons and anyone else who you believe to be in control of peoples lives- including congress or parliment.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:34 pm

Even if sober 0.0 % when tested for alcohol, a 'hangover' from the affects recent heavy alcohol consumption can disrupt the quality of sleep and affect the alertness one need to fly an airplane or operate any motor vehicle. That is why there is the 12 hour 'bottle to throttle' rule, to allow all the likely alcohol to dissipate and get enough quality rest.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:59 pm

ltbewr wrote:
Even if sober 0.0 % when tested for alcohol, a 'hangover' from the affects recent heavy alcohol consumption can disrupt the quality of sleep and affect the alertness one need to fly an airplane or operate any motor vehicle. That is why there is the 12 hour 'bottle to throttle' rule, to allow all the likely alcohol to dissipate and get enough quality rest.

Never heard of 12 hours, always heard of 8 hours.
 
N757ST
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:15 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
Even if sober 0.0 % when tested for alcohol, a 'hangover' from the affects recent heavy alcohol consumption can disrupt the quality of sleep and affect the alertness one need to fly an airplane or operate any motor vehicle. That is why there is the 12 hour 'bottle to throttle' rule, to allow all the likely alcohol to dissipate and get enough quality rest.

Never heard of 12 hours, always heard of 8 hours.


Some airlines impose stricter rules then 8 hours.
 
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:18 pm

chemmy wrote:
FF630 wrote:
Sad, I have a friend who was in rehab. She told me there were a lot of cockpit and cabin crew folks from three different major airlines in rehab with her. This was not the first time in rehab for some of them.

I wonder if there is a higher percentage of these folks who are alcoholics than in other industries.


I dated a pilot for a brief time. Between him and the flight attendants, a LOT of drinking went on once they left the airport. I had a hard time keeping up and I was a college student. I once asked about what the rules were since I knew he had an early AM flight the next morning. He said it was technically 8 hours before, but that was more of "a loose guideline rather than a rule". We would party through the night and I'm honestly not entirely sure how they functioned the next morning. Pretty sure some of the time they weren't even hungover - they were still drunk when they reported for duty. The folks in rehab doesn't surprise me at all.



I’ve been an airline pilot professionally for more then 15 years, I’ve never seen anyone say “8 hours is a loose guideline”. It sounds like he or she might have been a prime candidate for HIMS. I will concede though as a group pilots do tend to consume a fair amount of alcohol l, albeit especially on the road, responsibly or with a very long layover.
 
N757ST
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:24 pm

What I mean to clarify is that while on the road the vast majority are very responsible about the amount of consumption and the corresponding length of their layover.
 
LJ
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:12 pm

zeke wrote:
While he was over the limit at the time he was tested, he would have been under the limit by the time they started to taxi. Normally crew are at the airport an hour or more before departing. When he was tested it was a BAC of 0.054%, after an hour it would be 0.039% at the rate the body normally breaks it down.


The limit in The Netherlands is 0.02% not 0.04%, hence why the article is (almost) correct. In addition the "bottle to throttle" is set at 10 hours. Also note that a pilot is already in non-compliance when he/she is over the limit during the flight preparations of the flight planning (Dutch law state that a pilot must meet the legal limit at time of preparing the flight and thus doesn't care if the pilot is in the aircraft or not).

FlyHappy wrote:
The agent at AMS a) probably didn't know the exact reason for the cancellation - they need to deal with a planeload of pax standing before them . b) if they knew, would it be prudent to announce "today's flight has been canceled due to our intoxicated pilot"? - probably not.


There is probably no code for cancellation due to a intoxicated pilot in CISS (the central information systems at Schiphol), hence why they probably used the code for maintenance related cancellation in CISS. Thus no fool play on behalf of Delta, just that someone looked in CISS instead of knowing the exact reason.
 
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:14 pm

LJ wrote:
There is probably no code for cancellation due to a intoxicated pilot in CISS (the central information systems at Schiphol), hence why they probably used the code for maintenance related cancellation in CISS. Thus no fool play on behalf of Delta, just that someone looked in CISS instead of knowing the exact reason.


There certainly is crew related code, however.
No need to say maintenance when the issue is essentially a missing required crew member for the flight.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:18 pm

N757ST wrote:
I’ve been an airline pilot professionally for more then 15 years, I’ve never seen anyone say “8 hours is a loose guideline”.

It's even a rule for lowly private pilots. I've been at glider retreats and we've shut down the party before midnight just to keep everyone in compliance. I've seen pilots self-impose a day off from flying due to the after effects of late night partying.
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IPFreely
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:19 pm

LJ wrote:
There is probably no code for cancellation due to a intoxicated pilot in CISS (the central information systems at Schiphol), hence why they probably used the code for maintenance related cancellation in CISS. Thus no fool play on behalf of Delta, just that someone looked in CISS instead of knowing the exact reason.


There may not be a code for ”drunken pilot” but I’m sure there is a code for “crew availability”. No excuse for providing false information.
 
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zeke
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:47 pm

mcdu wrote:
The European limit is ZERO. He wasn’t driving a car so that doesn’t count.


That is not correct, under EASA a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) should not exceed the lower of the national limit or 0.2 grams (200 milligrams) of alcohol per litre of blood, whilst performing duties related to operating an aircraft, including flight preparation.

Alcohol should not be consumed within 8 hours of performing duties related to operating an aircraft, including flight preparation. However, it should be noted that 8 hours ‘from bottle to throttle’ does not guarantee that the individual’s BAC/BrAC will be below the limits. It is, therefore, recommended to abstain for longer than 8 hours, as appropriate, in order to take into account the quantity of alcohol consumed.

It is entirely possible for someone to stop drinking 8-10 hrs before their duty and not metabolize what they have in their system to below the limit, many people have been caught by this.

If over the limit we are supposed to report unfit, however at the limit margins where this pilot was found when tested we cannot make a reliable self assessment as to what our BAC actually is. Our own self assessment is even more unreliable when the self assessment is made during the window of circadian low such as this case where it would have been 3am body clock for them.

I don’t drink but as the captain you need to be aware of the rules and be prepared to pull people off a flight if you think it’s warranted.
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kiowa
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:57 pm

LH748 wrote:
At the security check they should just introduce an alcohol breath test for all crew members and stop anyone who's not fit for duty


I would hope that the security people would be required to take the same test before they are allowed to work but neither one is going to happen.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:39 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
Even if sober 0.0 % when tested for alcohol, a 'hangover' from the affects recent heavy alcohol consumption can disrupt the quality of sleep and affect the alertness one need to fly an airplane or operate any motor vehicle. That is why there is the 12 hour 'bottle to throttle' rule, to allow all the likely alcohol to dissipate and get enough quality rest.

Never heard of 12 hours, always heard of 8 hours.

Test pilots have a 12 hour rule as do all criteria flight test positions for prototypes.

We were once allowed to drink after a successful test flight. Management came in and demanded we fly ten hours later. I looked at the clock, took a drink and said "No, meet at 7:10am.". The manager started to argue with me, so I took another drink (same serving), looked at the clock "7:15am". Thankfully an executive came in and ordered the aircraft parked for normal flight test inspections that we're past due.

But this is different. This was a scheduled flight.

The pilot needs help.

Is it just me, or are more pilots being caught? Has testing increased?

Lightsaber
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FlyHappy
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:51 pm

kiowa wrote:
LH748 wrote:
At the security check they should just introduce an alcohol breath test for all crew members and stop anyone who's not fit for duty


I would hope that the security people would be required to take the same test before they are allowed to work but neither one is going to happen.


the security folks aren't flying you and hundreds of others from a sealed cockpit at 40,000ft , with only one other qualified person available.
why exactly do you feel ground security personnel would be required to meet the same standard?
 
bennett123
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:02 pm

Apparently, he made it to the Airport. How close was he to taking the controls.

Also not clear if the Police stopped him, or if someone called them.
 
eal46859
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:38 pm

Many years ago I was working departures at SFO. The flight that had just left was a 727 and the inbound was an A300. We had not adjusted the jet way up for the arrival yet. Two pilots arrived at the departure desk and asked for the door to be unlocked so they could get down to OPs. As I watched them proceed down the jetway as they bounced off the walls since it was so steep. I called Ops and said I think the pilots for the outbound MIA flight are drunk. They were relieved of their duty, dead headed back to MIA and sent to rehab ultimately. But not fired. The Station Manger persuaded the inbound pilots to take the flight back to MIA. Maybe they had enough hours to do so; I don't know.

The next week a FA reported for a flight , also wobbly, but from pain meds as he had been mugged downtown. He looked like he had been beaten badly. But he was fired, on the spot. I'm not sure how he got back home.
 
chicawgo
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:44 am

robsaw wrote:
chicawgo wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Thankfully, you're not the one making the decision.

Nothing is black and white in life. Sometimes, grey needs to happen.

Lastly: remember this conversation next time someone gives you a "get out of jail free" card, and be thankful they didn't fire/throw you in jail at the first offence when there is an acceptable alternative.


Do you not consider the difference between being responsible for the lives of hundreds of people versus working in a 9-5 office position? One of the main reasons aviation has become so safe is precisely because of the institution of black and white regulations. Sterile cockpit rule. Cockpit resource management. Hell, even standard checklists.

Grey areas combining have been the cause of far too many accidents. Aviation is not an industry for grey areas.


The regulations may be black & white but the consequences aren't typically summarily draconian - why not? Because a safety culture that focuses on punishment rather than correction is proven to result in a less safe outcome, not a more safe outcome. If people know they are "toast" they will tend to hide and coverup rather than admit an error. That doesn't mean there aren't consequences, it just may mean the consequences are measured.

This case has its own specific circumstances and perhaps even arising to criminal, which will impact the options available in terms of consequences.


That is true when looking at punishment from a macro level but We’re talking about a job with a lot of human responsibility here! We’re not talking about societal punishment for crime in general. Jobs have fireable offenses. And that is what generally discourages people from doing those things. Because they know their job is at risk. I totally understand that alcoholism is a disease and I’m sympathetic to it. Two of my closest friends have suffered from it seriously and since recovered. But this is a job where there should be no accommodation. FA? fine. Pilot? No
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:52 am

There is no grey area in aviation.

There are rules, limits, policies...very militaristic...for a good reason.

If he was at the controls drunk, he is a goner...no HIMS. Not my take or opinion, it is a criminal act and that is the way it is.

If it was before that, he has a fighting chance for HIMS.

This publicity doesnt help though.

As for Alcoholism the disease.

Showing up drunk doesnt make you an alcoholic. It could mean you have a problem...or it could mean you had a little too much a little too late the night before.

Dont confuse the two

Either way, at the controls drunk leads to same result because you endanger a jet worth north of 50 million USD and the lives of 250 people.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:56 am

You can bet the pilots would be picketing if the airline cut 10 minutes off of their overnight and claim it was an unsafe practice. But I guess they turn a blind eye to drunk coworkers reporting for work.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:03 am

jfklganyc wrote:
There is no grey area in aviation.

There are rules, limits, policies...very militaristic...for a good reason.

That's why, when you ask the same question to several FAA Inspectors, you get as many answers as the number of people you asked the question to...

Aviation is very strict, very regulated; but is also still subject to interpretation, because, after all, we all are humans.
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:30 am

BobbyPSP wrote:
In the US, are crew still protected in their jobs if the self declare a problem BEFORE an incident like today? Working with the company, go to rehab etc


I'm not sure if that's the case on the federal level, but I know that in Washington state, if an employee goes to their employer to disclose a substance abuse problem and says that they to seek help (i.e. rehab), their employer is required to allow them to return to work in the same position that they held.
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
N757ST
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Re: Delta AMS-JFK Cancels for Drunk FO

Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:37 am

jfklganyc wrote:
There is no grey area in aviation.

There are rules, limits, policies...very militaristic...for a good reason.

If he was at the controls drunk, he is a goner...no HIMS. Not my take or opinion, it is a criminal act and that is the way it is.

If it was before that, he has a fighting chance for HIMS.

This publicity doesnt help though.

As for Alcoholism the disease.

Showing up drunk doesnt make you an alcoholic. It could mean you have a problem...or it could mean you had a little too much a little too late the night before.

Dont confuse the two

Either way, at the controls drunk leads to same result because you endanger a jet worth north of 50 million USD and the lives of 250 people.


Not entirely true. Some airlines have a strict zero tolerance policy and if you reach the airport or controls you are done. Some airlines allow HIMS and reinstatement after an incident.

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