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Drunk Pilot tried to Fly Plane with 100 Passengers

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posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 09:52 AM
Now this is worth a laugh... .reut/index.html

MUMBAI, India (Reuters) -- An Indian low-cost airline suspended a pilot after he was found drunk shortly before he was due to fly an aircraft with about 100 passengers on board, officials said on Wednesday.

The surprise Tuesday check at Mumbai airport -- India's busiest -- threw up several minor violations of safety norms by airlines, including an instance of a pilot in another low-cost carrier trying to fly in a T-shirt because his only uniform had gone to the laundry.

While aviation officials let most offenders off with a warning, Captain N. Ronaldo, a South American pilot flying an Air Deccan aircraft from Mumbai to the eastern city of Kolkata, was referred for "action" after being found drunk on duty.

"We have suspended the pilot after a breath-analyzer showed he had alcohol beyond the permissible levels," Air Deccan spokesperson Vijaya Menon told Reuters.

Click the Link above for the full story

Beyond the permissible level? What?

They allow their pilots to have alittle alcohol in their system? Note to self, cancel flight on that airline.

This guy shows up in a t-shirt ready to fly the plane and they let him off with a warning, only to find out later he's half in the bag.


Hes suspended, not Fired! Suspended!

Talk about good publicity for these guys.

posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 10:01 AM

That dude probably said "permissable levels" and then thought to himself "DOH!!!!".

Dude's probably looking for another job this morning.


posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 10:25 AM
I would hope so.

What would you think if your in the front row of the plane and see the pilot staggering on in a dirty white T-shirt. I would be either asking to get or a double straight up.

Or better yet, just ask for whatever he's had.

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 02:31 PM
In reference to "permissable levels" the FAA has a similar rule:
From FAA Website:

Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 91.17
The use of alcohol and drugs by pilots is regulated by FAR 91.17. Among other provisions, this regulation states that no person may operate or attempt to operate an aircraft:

- within 8 hours of having consumed alcohol
- while under the influence of alcohol
- with a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or greater
- while using any drug that adversely affects safety

Seems a bit contradictory, at first glance... but:

If it's been less than eight hours since you drank, regardless of your current BA level, or level of alcohol 'influence', etc. - No Flying.

While under the Influence - This pretty much covers all the bases. Even if you have a BA level of 0.01, if you are 'influenced' by the alcohol - No Flying.

BA at 0.04% or higher - self-explanitory - No Flying.

"Any drug that adversly affects safety" - If the bottle/prescription has a warning - No Flying.

So, even though there may be a 'permissable' level of alcohol, there may also be other factors that contribute to where you are violating a rule / placing the safety of others at a greater risk.

If a pilot follows these rules, there is virtually no way a pilot could fly drunk. Of course, if everyone followed all moving vehicle laws, there would be no drunk driving. Problem is, when people break the rules...

As for suspension... I'm pretty confused about what exactly the FAA would do to someone caught drunk while in control of an airplane. Obviously, I would hope that person would lose their pilot license until they can 100% demonstrate alcohol is not a problem for them, perhaps permanently. The FAA appears to work off the premise of 'not guilty until proven guilty' - which provides rights to appeal, etc, although the specifics escape me.

Unfortunately, the FAA is somwhat limited in their ability to enforce the rules they make, as they are not a 'police' type of agency. You can find a ton of information about FAA alcohol policies by searching the FAA website but unless you really like legalspeak, you'll may end of just as confused as me.

In the end, I think India probably has a fairly decent system for dealing with drunk pilots, as these guys were caught in a random type of inspection. The article referenced says that India bars flying for anyone drinking within 12 hours, so that rule is actually MORE STRICT than the FAA rule.

It's unclear who gave the inspection, but it sounds like it was India aviation authorities. In the USA, the FAA leaves the duty of inspection up to the airline... As it turns out, most pilots in the USA reported drinking have been turned in by security personnel at the airport, or by suspecting passengers, not the airlines left to enforce the rule... Wonder why.

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