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Forget Drunk Passengers, Allegedly Drunk Pilots Arrested Before Flight

Lately, drunk passengers seem to be coming up in the news more often.

Grandma (not my grandma) was jailed after she went off on a drunk tirade in flight.  Oh, and she was swigging from a bottle of vodka too.

Lamar Odom got way too drunk off whiskey and beer in the Delta lounge and… er… soiled first class.

Gary Leff from View from the Wing uses these incidents as examples of why drinking should be banned in flight.

But I strongly disagree and think you shouldn’t ban all alcohol on flights.

But this led to me wondering–are emergency landings due to drunk, belligerent passengers the crew’s fault?

This specific incident was the crew’s fault.  Mostly because it was the crew.

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From the Washington Post:

The airline (Air Transat) confirmed the pilots arrested in Scotland have been suspended at least until the end of an internal investigation.

Jean-Francois Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, were detained at Glasgow Airport on Monday shortly before they were to fly an Airbus A310 with about 250 passengers from Glasgow to Toronto.

The flight (“July 18 flight from Glasgow to Toronto”) was cancelled and the passengers were compensated $600 for their troubles.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a one off-strange situation.  At least in the United States, the FAA has found a surprising number of incidents.  At least once a month, they find someone trying to fly while inebriated through random checks.

According to FoxNews:

An American Airlines pilot flunked two sobriety tests before a 7 a.m. flight out of Detroit.  An Alaska Airlines pilot flew a commercial plane from California to Oregon and back again, all while allegedly drunk.

Part of the problem is that alcohol doesn’t always get our of your system by the morning, and the legal limit for pilots is much lower than drivers (.04).  Of course, you still shouldn’t have 15 rum and cokes the night before you fly.

 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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