BA Puts Bottle to Throttle Rule to Test

davetheflyer

New Member
From avweb.com:

November 17, 2003

Bottle To Throttle -- As One Pilot Is Put To The Test

By Russ Niles
Newswriter, Editor

A London newspaper put a retired RAF transport pilot in a simulator after a night on the town (click "More" below) following an incident involving three British Airways crew members whose alleged partying left their passengers with the hangover. The 55 passengers were transferred to other flights after the pilot, first officer and a female flight attendant were suspected to have been drinking before showing up late to take the flight from Oslo to London. Someone reported the trio to Oslo police and the flight was cancelled. The actions are supported by the results of the London paper's experiment: one part drunken retired RAF transport pilot, one part simulator ... shaken, not stirred. The night prior, Richard Parry, downed a bottle and a half of wine, at least three mixed drinks and an undetermined number of pints of beer. His beleaguered liver was only able to get his blood alcohol level to .087 by the next morning when he was put to the test. His first approach and landing in the simulator put the Trident on the runway but only after the warning horn reminded him to drop the gear. Mixed with a healthy crosswind, things got more interesting. Even though his alcohol level had dropped to .027, Parry couldn't keep the virtual airplane on the runway and almost hit the terminal. "There seemed no way to keep the plane straight -- every time I tried to compensate for the gusts of wind the aircraft seemed to overreact," he said. "If this had been a real airline situation we could have been looking at a serious tragedy." BA officials didn't need the convincing. The crew members involved in British Airways' latest incident were immediately suspended pending an investigation. "We have a zero tolerance for any alleged abuse of our rules," said a spokesman.


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I was recently called upon to submit to both drug and alcohol tests. I felt insulted and was steaming as I drove to the off-site medical test center. As I steamed, I realized that I shouldn't be mad at the FAA, the company, or the doctors. The people that we should hold responsible for the indignity of random testing are the jerks like this BA crew who don't have the discipline to separate work and pleasure. If we were all responsible people, then there wouldn't be a need for testing. However, because pilots have been caught drunk in the past, and continue to try to fly drunk, we all have to suffer.
 

shooter13

New Member
Why did you have to drive somewhere? They can't do the tests right there in the company office? Was it a breathalizer and urinalysis?
 

davetheflyer

New Member
For us, the testing is done off site at a medical office. This may be different at different bases, but I believe that the testing at BOS is off site as well.

Yup, breathalizer and urinalysis. The double whammy.
 

shooter13

New Member
I have no airline knowledge. In the Navy we do it all here in the office. All of our urinalysis is sent off for analysis where as you guys probably get it done at the lab right away.
 

mtsu_av8er

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]

I was recently called upon to submit to both drug and alcohol tests. I felt insulted and was steaming as I drove to the off-site medical test center.

[/ QUOTE ]

They suspect you of being under the influence, so they ask you to DRIVE to the testing facility? Assuming that you have been drinking - are they setting you up for double-failure?
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
You know life sucks when...

...you are pulled from a flight for a drinking accusation and get a DUI on the way to the medical center.

 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]

For us, the testing is done off site at a medical office. This may be different at different bases, but I believe that the testing at BOS is off site as well.

Yup, breathalizer and urinalysis. The double whammy.

[/ QUOTE ]

isn't that a little bizarre though? your being tested for drugs/alchohol, yet they want you to DRIVE off site for the test.. had you really been drugged or drunk - wouldn't that be a problem???? and wouldn't them telling you to get in a car and drive off-site be considered an "accessory to a crime" if you get into an accident and had been drinking or what not????
 

I_Money

Moderator
My question is how current is this guy?? Is says he is an Ex-RAF guy - if he has not flown airline category stuff in a year or 2 he will be behind the aircraft drink or no drink.
 

davetheflyer

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
They suspect you of being under the influence, so they ask you to DRIVE to the testing facility? Assuming that you have been drinking - are they setting you up for double-failure?



[/ QUOTE ]

I hadn't thought about that. I had wondered about the fact that everyone I know who has been tested has done so after a full day of flying. If they are positive, then they busted a reg. If they were positive that morning, they might not be positive now.

There is a big difference between positive for flying and driving. The difference is about .08 BAC depending on where you are.
 

TheWife

New Member
Is the current rule no flying till 8 hours since your last drink? I thought I heard that somewhere...So were you acting goofy or something? Lol, why did they think you were drunk? Or was it a random check? They have those little devices they put in cars that won't start the engine if you can't pass a breathalizer, but I don't know if those were ever put in to use. I wonder if they would ever do the same for pilots? Does any one know what the statistics of drunk pilot accidents are?
 
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