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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:54 AM   #1
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Drinking and Flying

Drunk crew delays Russian freight plane in Sweden: police

STOCKHOLM, Feb 4, 2008 (AFP) - A Russian freight plane scheduled to fly from the southern Swedish town of Malmoe to Moscow was delayed Monday after two crew members were found to be drunk, police said.

"The airport received a tip that the crew might be drunk since they had been seen partying through the night. A test was conducted and two of the eight crew members were found to be intoxicated," Malmoe police spokesman Lars Foerstell told AFP.

New tests would be conducted on the two Russian crew members, a radio operator and a flight engineer, every few hours, Foerstell said.

The plane, which had been scheduled to leave at around 0700 GMT, would not be permitted to take off until eight hours after the tests came up completely clean, he added.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #2
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Hasn't everyone been drunk on a flight before?
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Old October 20th, 2008, 06:22 PM   #3
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Pilot arrested at Heathrow on suspicion of being drunk
20 October 2008
Agence France Presse

A United Airlines pilot was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport on suspicion of being over the legal alcohol limit, police confirmed Monday.

The airline said the pilot, 44, was removed from service, adding that it would co-operate with police inquiries and was conducting its own investigation of the incident.

"At approximately 9:00 am (0800 GMT) on Sunday, officers attended an aircraft at Heathrow Terminal One and arrested a 44-year-old man," a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said.

The spokeswoman, who declined to name the man in keeping with force policy, said he had been bailed to return to Heathrow police station on January 16.

"United's alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for abuse of violation of this well-established policy," United Airlines said in a statement.

"Safety is our No. 1 priority and the pilot has been removed from service while we are co-operating with authorities and conducting a full investigation."

According to The Sun newspaper, the man was a first officer and was due to fly to San Francisco before he was arrested.

The legal limit of alcohol for pilots is nine micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, compared to the British drink-drive limit, which is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #4
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Can we say FUI Flying Under Intoxication perhaps?
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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #5
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Will it kill people to refrain from drinking for a few hours! Jeeeez!
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Old October 21st, 2008, 09:33 AM   #6
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drinking on airplanes usually makes you drunker than if you do so on the ground
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Old October 24th, 2008, 01:52 PM   #7
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Gee people, can't you get it that this thread is about pilots and flight crews showing up drunk to work, not about passangers drinking during the flight
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Old October 24th, 2008, 06:31 PM   #8
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Well there being some cases that passangers being drunk and had problems with the crew of the airplane.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 01:01 AM   #9
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Hasn't everyone been drunk on a flight before?
even I have
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Old October 25th, 2008, 01:02 AM   #10
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Will it kill people to refrain from drinking for a few hours! Jeeeez!
Some yes. Well it'll make them kill themselves more than anything.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #11
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next time i go to my country I sure that im going to spent all the flight drinking.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #12
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Too bad Porter Airlines doesn't fly where you're going; booze is free on their flights. They fly into Newark from Toronto Island Airport. Best service I've ever had. Free newspaper, pop, water, cookies, nuts, internet service, meals, cappucinos, lattes, etc. Their lounge in Toronto is really swanky too.

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Old June 29th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #13
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Drunk pilot avoids jail as bosses plead case
22 March 2009
Sunday Mail

A PILOT who was three times over the alcohol limit in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 at Heathrow was spared jail yesterday after pleas from his bosses.

Jefferson Inman, 44, was given a suspended sentence, which means he could be able to resume flying after therapy.

The American father of two was acting first officer when he was arrested on the flight deck of a United Airlines flight preparing to take off for San Francisco. Police, called by worried ground staff, breathalysed him and he was led off Flight 955 in front of stunned passengers.

Blood results revealed that he had 60mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

The legal limit for pilots who are about to fly a commercial plane is 20mg - the UK drink-driving limit is 80mg.

The flight was delayed for nearly three hours as United Airlines searched for another pilot. At Isleworth Crown Court in London yesterday, Judge Sam Katkhuda told Inman his decision to drink before boarding the plane at 9am on October 19 last year had threatened the safety of all on board.

Imposing a six-month suspended sentence, he said: ``I'm surprised your captain did not notice you had consumed so much (alcohol) because when you passed through security checks it was noticed.

``One just cannot imagine how a person of your ability would get himself into this position. Certainly to be three times over the limit would have impaired your judgment. However successful you think you may be, alcohol has a negative effect on pilots.''

Inman's barrister, Neil Fitzgibbon, said he had been "more dehydrated than normal'' and had a shorter period between flights than he was used to. He had drunk only a modest amount and had not realised he was over the limit. Two managing directors from United Airlines told the judge about the "exemplary character and behaviour'' of the former US Air Force major.

He might be eligible to fly for the airline again in a year if he passed a range of medical and psychological tests. This would not have been the case if he had been jailed.

Captain Curtis Hughes told the court Inman was currently suspended but had undergone an "aggressive'' program of treatment.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #14
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Arrest of United Airlines pilot is the latest in series of pilot drinking episodes
11 November 2009

DALLAS (AP) - The arrest of a United Airlines pilot this week for allegedly drinking too much before entering the cockpit is the latest in a series of incidents involving airline pilots and alcohol.

The United pilot, Erwin Vermont Washington, was about to take off from London's Heathrow Airport for Chicago with 124 passengers on board. Instead, he was removed from the aircraft, suspended by his airline and now faces up to two years in a U.K. prison if convicted on criminal charges. He is the third U.S. pilot arrested in 13 months on alcohol-related charges.

Monday's arrest raises more questions about what goes on in airplane cockpits. It follows the distracted flying incident in the U.S. last month, where Northwest Airlines pilots overshot Minneapolis by more than 100 miles because, they said, they were using their laptop computers.

In May an American Airlines pilot was arrested at Heathrow and charged with being under the influence of alcohol. Another United pilot was arrested on the same charge in October 2008. And a Southwest Airlines pilot was suspended in January after allegedly showing up for his flight in Ohio reeking of alcohol. He's back on duty.

In 2008, 13 pilots violated the Federal Aviation Administration's alcohol-related rules. Pilots can't fly if they have a blood-alcohol level of 0.04 percent or higher, half the legal driving limit in most states. They are prohibited from drinking any alcohol in the eight hours before reporting for work, a provision known in the profession as the "bottle-to-throttle" rule.

British law is even stricter with a 0.02 percent limit. That level can be reached with about one regular beer.

The number of incidents involving alcohol is tiny compared with the thousands of flights each day around the world. But when it happens it's usually up to passengers or crew members to spot a pilot who isn't fit to fly.

The FAA checks pilots' backgrounds for alcohol-related offenses such as drunk driving, But Barry Sweedler, a former National Transportation Safety Board official who worked on alcohol-related issues, said in a recent interview that the FAA does little enforcement. "They rely on other people to find the bad apples," he said.

U.S. regulators have approached the issue by encouraging pilots with a drinking problem to identify themselves and seek treatment. They are tested periodically and can regain their license, usually in about a year. Sweedler estimated that there are hundreds of airline pilots who are alcoholics and take part in a federally sanctioned treatment program that includes periodic monitoring.

"It's the guy who thinks he can get away with it that's scary," Sweedler said. "I'm sure there are pilots over the limit who are flying every day."

Critics have pressed for a zero blood-alcohol level standard.

In the latest incident, a United co-worker turned in Washington. Experts say that's rare. In other recent cases, passengers were the cops.

That's what happened in Ohio. Passengers told security screeners that Southwest Airlines pilot David P. Shook smelled of alcohol. Shook dashed into a bathroom, took off his uniform jacket and called in sick, according to airport police. The airline put the 11-year veteran on leave. The co-pilot, who accompanied Shook to the security checkpoint, said he didn't smell alcohol.

The president of the pilots' union at Southwest, Carl Kuwitzky, said then that nervous fliers often accuse pilots of drinking, especially after a highly publicized incident.

"Ninety-nine percent of (the accusations) are completely unfounded," he said.

Sweedler said he can't remember any U.S. airline crashes attributed to alcohol. A 1961 crash in Finland that killed all 25 people aboard was blamed on pilot error, with drinking and fatigue of the two pilots being a contributing factor, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

Since the 1970s, the FAA has backed an alcoholism-treatment program run by the Air Line Pilots Association and the airlines.

Dana Archibald, an American Eagle pilot and the union's national chairman for the program, says 90 percent of the pilots who volunteer complete the program successfully. He says 4,300 pilots have returned to active duty after becoming sober.

Archibald says pilots can become alcoholics just as easily as doctors, lawyers and congressmen. He says the program encourages pilots to deal with their alcoholism rather than "going underground."

"I went through the program myself," Archibald says. "It not only gave me my job back, but it saved my life."
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Old November 14th, 2009, 06:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Too bad Porter Airlines doesn't fly where you're going; booze is free on their flights. They fly into Newark from Toronto Island Airport. Best service I've ever had. Free newspaper, pop, water, cookies, nuts, internet service, meals, cappucinos, lattes, etc. Their lounge in Toronto is really swanky too.

Canadian, Tyler Brule, owner and founder of Wallpaper Magazine, does image consultation for them.
cubana airlines also has free booze if you can order in spanish! but they only serve Cuba, and their airplanes are HORRIBLY uncomfortable, especially for someone 6'4" like me
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Old November 15th, 2009, 05:53 AM   #16
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cubana airlines also has free booze if you can order in spanish! but they only serve Cuba, and their airplanes are HORRIBLY uncomfortable, especially for someone 6'4" like me
Well, as long as the pilots stay sober, then that's fine. Plenty of airlines serve alcohol in-flight.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 06:38 PM   #17
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Drunk Pilots Have Path Back to Cockpit
14 November 2009
The Wall Street Journal

The United Airlines pilot arrested this week in London for alleged drinking before taking the controls of a 767 jetliner to Chicago might have his pilot licenses revoked and could spend two years in jail.

The pilot, Erwin Vermont Washington, also could wind up back in the cockpit, through a rehabilitation program run by the Air Line Pilots Association union and a long but well-trod route to redemption blazed by a number of pilots over the years.

UAL Corp.'s United declined to comment about the status of Mr. Washington, a 51-year-old aviator from Lakewood, Colo. The airline said it couldn't make him available. The union wouldn't comment on him, either. Mr. Washington faces a criminal proceeding in London next week that will determine whether he will receive a fine, jail time or both.

Instances of pilots operating airplanes under the influence of alcohol are rare. The National Transportation Safety Board says it knows of no U.S. airliner accident involving drunk pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration conducts 10,000 to 11,000 random alcohol tests on the nation's 100,000 commercial pilots each year.

So far this year, eight pilots have failed random or for-cause alcohol tests, the FAA says. Violations bring stiff consequences: medical certificates and pilot licenses are automatically revoked and pilots have to wait a year to reapply. Those who drink and fly can face a year or more in prison.

Last year, 13 pilots were caught violating alcohol rules. FAA policies prohibit pilots from drinking liquor for eight hours before taking the controls, and draw the line at a blood-alcohol level of 0.04% or higher. In the U.K., pilots can't have a blood-alcohol level of 0.02% or higher.

Drunk driving by motorists is a much larger problem. More than 1.46 million drivers were arrested in 2006 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Many states impose fairly light penalties for first-time drunken driving, unless the accident causes injury or death, and drivers are able to return to the road soon.

Two of the most infamous pilots who flew under the influence resumed their careers after prison. Northwest Airlines Capt. Norman Lyle Prouse and Joseph Balzer, the flight engineer, along with the first officer, in 1990 piloted a 727 to Minneapolis from Fargo, N.D., following a drinking bout. After landing safely with 91 passengers aboard, all three failed Breathalyzer tests and were fired.

Mr. Prouse underwent in-patient substance-abuse treatment and served 16 months in prison. With the strong advocacy of ALPA, Mr. Prouse eventually was rehired by Northwest in a ground job, and later was allowed to return to the cockpit. He retired in 1998 as a 747 captain.

Mr. Balzer got sober and after a year in prison regained his flying licenses. He then built up his hours flying for small air-freight operators before landing a job at AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, where he has been for the past decade. His book, "Flying Drunk," a story of his battle for redemption, was published this summer.

In 1974, two airline pilots and ALPA's medical director created a drug and alcohol assistance program tailored to commercial pilots. The program, called Human Intervention Motivation Study, or HIMS, is funded by the FAA, administered by ALPA and has 32 participating airlines.

HIMS, which focuses on education, referral and advocacy, says 4,300 pilots have been successfully treated for drug or alcohol abuse and returned to the cockpit under close monitoring since the program began.

Dana Archibald, an American Eagle pilot for 21 years, is one of those success stories. Eleven years ago, he says, his alcohol addiction "dragged me down so far that I didn't show up for work." He says, "I didn't call in sick. I didn't show up." Finally, he took a look in the mirror, called his boss and said he needed help. The boss "stuck his neck out," and put Capt. Archibald on medical leave instead of terminating him.

The pilot then went through an inpatient addiction-recovery program and extensive outpatient counseling. Then he reapplied for his FAA medical certificate, which was suspended during treatment. After being judged ready to fly again by the FAA, rehabilitated pilots are monitored once a month for at least three years.

Now Capt. Archibald, in addition to his flying duties for Eagle, is the chairman of HIMS for the pilot union. He says 98% of the pilots who go through the program volunteer for it.

William Hendricks, a pilot and former accident investigator for the NTSB and FAA, says rehabilitation of addicted pilots has been a resounding success. He doesn't recall any incidents where a newly sober aviator caused a problem. But, he adds, "they only get one shot."
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 09:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Drunk Pilots Have Path Back to Cockpit
14 November 2009
The Wall Street Journal

The United Airlines pilot arrested this week in London for alleged drinking before taking the controls of a 767 jetliner to Chicago might have his pilot licenses revoked and could spend two years in jail.

The pilot, Erwin Vermont Washington, also could wind up back in the cockpit, through a rehabilitation program run by the Air Line Pilots Association union and a long but well-trod route to redemption blazed by a number of pilots over the years.

UAL Corp.'s United declined to comment about the status of Mr. Washington, a 51-year-old aviator from Lakewood, Colo. The airline said it couldn't make him available. The union wouldn't comment on him, either. Mr. Washington faces a criminal proceeding in London next week that will determine whether he will receive a fine, jail time or both.

Instances of pilots operating airplanes under the influence of alcohol are rare. The National Transportation Safety Board says it knows of no U.S. airliner accident involving drunk pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration conducts 10,000 to 11,000 random alcohol tests on the nation's 100,000 commercial pilots each year.

So far this year, eight pilots have failed random or for-cause alcohol tests, the FAA says. Violations bring stiff consequences: medical certificates and pilot licenses are automatically revoked and pilots have to wait a year to reapply. Those who drink and fly can face a year or more in prison.

Last year, 13 pilots were caught violating alcohol rules. FAA policies prohibit pilots from drinking liquor for eight hours before taking the controls, and draw the line at a blood-alcohol level of 0.04% or higher. In the U.K., pilots can't have a blood-alcohol level of 0.02% or higher.

Drunk driving by motorists is a much larger problem. More than 1.46 million drivers were arrested in 2006 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Many states impose fairly light penalties for first-time drunken driving, unless the accident causes injury or death, and drivers are able to return to the road soon.

Two of the most infamous pilots who flew under the influence resumed their careers after prison. Northwest Airlines Capt. Norman Lyle Prouse and Joseph Balzer, the flight engineer, along with the first officer, in 1990 piloted a 727 to Minneapolis from Fargo, N.D., following a drinking bout. After landing safely with 91 passengers aboard, all three failed Breathalyzer tests and were fired.

Mr. Prouse underwent in-patient substance-abuse treatment and served 16 months in prison. With the strong advocacy of ALPA, Mr. Prouse eventually was rehired by Northwest in a ground job, and later was allowed to return to the cockpit. He retired in 1998 as a 747 captain.

Mr. Balzer got sober and after a year in prison regained his flying licenses. He then built up his hours flying for small air-freight operators before landing a job at AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, where he has been for the past decade. His book, "Flying Drunk," a story of his battle for redemption, was published this summer.

In 1974, two airline pilots and ALPA's medical director created a drug and alcohol assistance program tailored to commercial pilots. The program, called Human Intervention Motivation Study, or HIMS, is funded by the FAA, administered by ALPA and has 32 participating airlines.girona airprort

HIMS, which focuses on education, referral and advocacy, says 4,300 pilots have been successfully treated for drug or alcohol abuse and returned to the cockpit under close monitoring since the program began.

Dana Archibald, an American Eagle pilot for 21 years, is one of those success stories. Eleven years ago, he says, his alcohol addiction "dragged me down so far that I didn't show up for work." He says, "I didn't call in sick. I didn't show up." Finally, he took a look in the mirror, called his boss and said he needed help. The boss "stuck his neck out," and put Capt. Archibald on medical leave instead of terminating him.

The pilot then went through an inpatient addiction-recovery program and extensive outpatient counseling. Then he reapplied for his FAA medical certificate, which was suspended during treatment. After being judged ready to fly again by the FAA, rehabilitated pilots are monitored once a month for at least three years.

Now Capt. Archibald, in addition to his flying duties for Eagle, is the chairman of HIMS for the pilot union. He says 98% of the pilots who go through the program volunteer for it.

William Hendricks, a pilot and former accident investigator for the NTSB and FAA, says rehabilitation of addicted pilots has been a esounding success. He doesn't recall any incidents where a newly sober aviator caused a problem. But, he adds, "they only get one shot."
First of all i will apreaciate you that you always come up with great sharing and hats off to you.as far as this is concerned I think one should not take others lives into ones hand .Flying is little tricky business and some time one small mistake can lead to a disaster.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:42 AM   #19
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How exactly does this happen anyways?

I don't show up at my job drunk, and Im sure nobody else here does either. Otherwise I'd be fired and forever have to explain how I lost that job when asked. So if you fly a freaking airplane for a living, why?
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Old November 24th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #20
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I really doubt both the pilot and the co-pilot can be drunk at the same time, but every now and then we hear an incident. Maybe in a few years pilots need to pass the breath test before boarding?
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