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More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

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More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

On the BBC there is a link to this story, and I don't see why they simply cannot be breathalysed prior to entry to the craft. It's crazy to think that these people are in charge of a plane while potentially being incapable of flying it correctly. The consequences of which are unthinkable.

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Minivanman
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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

Is it just a question of numbers or should we extend that requirement to say bus and train drivers? I take your point, but it's a real can of worms. 

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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

Last time I worked for a bus company there was a company-wide alcohol ban. Even office staff couldn't go out for a lunchtime beer. And that was a fair while ago.

It was done to treat all staff equally as the drivers were already prohibited and subject to random alcohol/drug testing.

 

Not sure what the exact legislation was then and now though, but the employers tolerance level was very low.

 

I imagine train drivers are similarly constrained by law/employers.

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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

@HPsauce - I think an alcohol ban and random testing is still applicable to current bus drivers and so it should be, but I'm not to sure what @Minivanman mean by 'a questions of numbers'.

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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

So what's changed? No need for any new legislation just throw the book at them!

I would say though that the job now is easier with the autopilots they way they are now. The pilots used to have to fly all the way now it's largely automatic
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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

Train companies run a similar alcohol ban across all staff members irrespective of their function,. And going back to the 80's so did the old NCB (National Coal Board).

As for legislation, most companies just make it a condition of your employment contract. So it is enforceable under contract law.

I know of several call centre companies who have such clauses in their employees contracts and have used it when people have had a quick lunchtime drink. Instant dismissal. You are made aware of the clause and its effect if you break it before they offer the job. And it is drummed into you in training and periodically too.

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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

I agree with you @PeterLoftus as regards the throwing of a book but not to convinced about the autopilot argument though. The pilots are there for take off and landing which is the most dangerous part of any flight and as far as I am aware is a manual process. So of they're intoxicated and make a bad decision at these times we are all too well aware of the consequences.

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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

Didn't know that about the NCB though but makes perfect sense of course. As far as call centres are concerned I can see the point of that clause, just one to many and a bun fight ensues on the phone with the first irate caller.

Minivanman
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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

Sorry, should have been clearer, but the idea that a pilot of an Airbus for example which has a passenger capacity of well over 800 souls to that of say a bus driver with around 80 being judged or controlled differently. Having said that I think it's an offence to be drunk in charge of a child - as well it should be.

I'm of the view that there should be zero tolerance of any alcohol when flying or driving anything especially where passengers are involved. Enforceable? I doubt it when even countries like Saudi Arabia with their total ban period cannot do it.   

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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

London Underground has a similar 'no drink' policy.

 

Prior to arriving at their aircraft all crew are debriefed about their journey when they are given thier routes and weather conditions etc. It would not be hard to include a breathalyser test on crew at this time.

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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

Years ago when I worked at an engineering company, employees who operated machinery would be sent home if they had a drink at the local pub at lunchtime.

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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.


Minivanman wrote:

Is it just a question of numbers or should we extend that requirement to say bus and train drivers? I take your point, but it's a real can of worms. 


As a tee-total coach driver I would be more than happy to be breathalysed before driving any vehicle.

I can however think of one or two I have worked with over the years who might not be so happy about it. I have the doubtful privilege of having "grassed up" a driver who was barely able to stumble into his seat - before he left the depot I hasten to add - I had a vested interest as he was about to drive a coach that I was going to be a passenger on to a remote start point.

He wasn't fired (lucky driver!!) but transferred to a supervised non-driving job in the company. In the fullness of time he actually thanked me.

It might surprise some that in some coach/bus companies there is very little supervision of drivers. Personally, I arrive at my depot, park my car, check a list for vehicle to drive (I always drive the same route these days), do the obligatory walk round checks, oil and water, post the checks paper-work in a box for engineering perusal, and as long as there's nothing to report or attend to drive it away. Return to depot, collect car and return home often without ever coming in contact with another staff member supervisory or management. And may not do so for weeks on end.

In theory, I am under the control of an operations manager, but this is all very routine, we exchange texts occasionally.

The situation is different if fare cash collection is involved, but in my case it isn't.

The point of this; if a driver wants to have a drink, there is very little to stop him doing so or to be found out. I is usually passengers who report it.

To be fair, I think it is very very rare.

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Minivanman
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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

I suppose the answer is that should an accident occur then the driver (or the pilot if they survive) should be hung out to dry. It's and age old problem to be sure but the repercussions should reflect the offence. No more driving and certainly no more flying should they be found to have been either drunk or drugged - banned for life, and that would be just for starters.  

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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

In a simpler age my parents had a pub near the train station and I remember steam engine crews coming in before a shift or between journeys. It was hot work and driver and particularly the fireman would loose a lot of liquid so they needed a top up!

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Minivanman
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Re: More Airline Pilots arrested for being under the influence.

A simpler age indeed, but at a guess I don't suppose that as a percentage more people travel, but most certainly they travel further than they ever did before which is why we are so alarmed at this. 

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