Breathalysing pilots

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by L.Jones, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. L.Jones

    L.Jones Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm a university student conducting research on alcohol consumption and airline pilots (drunk flying) If you are an airline pilot, please take some time to answer these questions. these questions are for research purposes only. Any response will be useful. Thank you.

    Do pilots still attempt to fly aircraft under the influence of alcohol?


    Do you believe that alcohol consumption should be monitored more in the aviation industry?


    If the procedure of a mandatory breathalyzer came into place before each flight, what would your thoughts be?
     
  2. Captain Bubba

    Captain Bubba Pre-Flight

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    The rule is no smoking 8 hours prior to flight and no alcohol within 50’ of the aircraft.
     
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  3. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    I'm not aware of pilots attempting to flying under the influence of alcohol and if I were, I would actively stop them. There is not an alcohol problem in the aviation industry. In fact, if there's anything, there might be an anti-alcohol problem, it's bordering on never using alcohol. The culture does not accept any risk of alcohol use.

    I believe a mandatory breathalyzer is a solution looking for a problem, the detection rate would be zero. There is also a practical question of how you would "require" someone to get a breathalyzer before getting into their own airplane and taking off at a non-towered airport.

    You would be better served requiring a breathalyzer at the exit of every bar than for a pilot before every flight.

    If it hasn't been clear yet, there is not an alcohol problem in aviation. Period.
     
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  4. Pi1otguy

    Pi1otguy Pattern Altitude

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    Perhaps you might want to use a semi-private survey method.

    I can't imagine airline pilots publicly destroying their career (on the unlikely chance they drink and fly).
     
  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I WOULD support alcohol and drug testing for congresscritters before they enter their workplace. I think that’s a much bigger problem.
     
  6. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    I tend to disagree there is an anti alcohol culture or no alcohol problem in aviation. Many Pilots, like the rest of society, drink, use poor judgement and get arrested for DUI. Some get arrested for drug use. It they didn’t there wouldn’t be a HIMS, company sponsored counseling programs, and BOAF. Between 2010 and 2018, nearly 117,000 U.S. pilots were tested for alcohol, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Of those, 99 were found above the legal limit. The pilot culture does work well to greatly limit crew members under the influence reporting for duty, but like any system it does prevent all the offenders. In a free society, the goal is not treat everybody as guilty to stop all offenses
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/trav...en-an-airline-pilot-is-arrested-drinking-job/
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
  7. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm an airline pilot. Or maybe I'm not... who knows. I'm just some random dude or dudette on the internet. And if this is how you are conducting your university survey, I'm questioning your results. How do you know that your respondents are actually airline pilots. If I was an airline pilot (and maybe I'm not), I'd say reach out to various airlines, their unions (ALPA/IPA/SWAPA/etc.) or a friend who is an airline pilot to distribute your survey to their pilot population. From what I hear, airline pilots routinely get surveys like this to answer for university research projects/theses.

    If I was your professor and saw that your data came from random postings on "pilotsofamerica.com" with no vetting if the people actually replying are airline pilots, you'd not be passing the course.
     
  8. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Concur. Pilots with alcohol issues get weeded out early, either by the system or by other pilots. I don’t know any pilots that would tolerate the behavior in another pilot.
     
  9. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Give the kid a break. Lighten up. Take chill pill. Pick on someone your own size. :rolleyes:
     
  10. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    .08% positive...probably less than any other segment of society.
     
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  11. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sure. Let's coddle the "kid" who is a university student preparing an academic research paper. If this was a high-schooler doing a term paper, I'd agree with you. University level research... this "kid" needs to hear it.

    Unless you were being sarcastic. Then, disregard everything I wrote. ;)
     
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  12. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Line Up and Wait

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    I get what you're saying, but it also depends on the level that the student is at. If this is a freshman level aviation business class or something of the sort and the class assignment doesn't necessarily involve some sort of specified sample collection, then it may very well be that this particular student is actually a very enterprising individual and is trying to perform first hand data analysis. That is intimidating when you first get into it. If this were an upperclassman or graduate student then I'd take more of an issue with this kind of data collection.

    @L.Jones I think it might help if you provide some more specifics on your class level and project. PM me if you have questions. Another thing you should look into if you haven't, is IRB approval from your university since you are conducting research with human subjects, and on a topic that could be detrimental to the subject's career if they gave compromising information and were identified.
     
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  13. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Wow, that’s amazing because usually I am sarcastic, but not this time.

    it’s not your job to point out his academic shortcomings.

    That is the function of his professor.

    Answer the OP’s question, or not. Ad libbing does nothing positive. He is a young outsider and not used to the rough and tumble here.
     
  14. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  15. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    ^^^ I was waiting for that video to make an appearance!
     
  16. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Do I win sumpin fer being first? Like a get of jail free card for an evil post?
     
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  17. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ok. Fine. I told him that "pilotsofamerica.com" isn't the place to do his research. It's not even an "airline" board. He'd have a little better selection sample if he went at least to "airlinepilotforums.com". I even pointed him to better sources (airlines/unions). We frequently get requests through more official channels for academic surveys. ALPA has 59,000 airline pilots as members.

    No, it's not my job to point out the academic shortcomings, but I'm trying to save him a headache later when his survey has less than optimal results and his professor has to point them out.
     
  18. Tools

    Tools Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Flying impaired due to alcohol is RARE, and has NEVER been listed as a causal factor in part 121 flying accidents or incidents.

    Airline pilot alcohol consumption does not need to be monitored more closely.

    Pre duty period BAC testing has a lot of merit to mitigate this irrational fear of drunk airline pilots. As the system stands now, normal line pilots are randomly tested AFTER flying, so that’s not very useful... Pilots identified with alcohol problems are tested 14 times a year minimum, OFF DUTY. So that’s not very useful.

    As I don’t see a problem, I don’t think it needs bolstering, but if you’re gonna do it, do it when it makes sense. There have already been comprehensive research papers written on this very subject.

    There IS a Prohibitionist movement in the FAA. They have administrative policy that defies all medical protocol that effectively diagnoses pilots and then prevents them from drinking forever. If that’s not Prohibitionist, I don’t know what is. You can’t play the safety card, as pointed out, simply doesn’t make sense.

    Suicidal pilots HAVE killed lots of people. But pilots with alcohol problems who profess suicidal ideology get a pass, no ten year waiting period, just a month or three of alcoholism treatment and they’re good to go... The whole program is disfunctional.

    Illicit drug use HAS been cited as a causal factor in part 121 accidents, again, 28 days of treatment and they’re good to go.

    More food for thought. By FAA standards, probably 90 percent of the pilots are alcoholic. Trust me, 20 years of observation and waaaaay more HIMS indoctrination than I ever wanted, so this isn’t just a hunch... By their own admission really only 10 percent are alcoholic. Ok fine. But only 10 percent of them are identified yet we have no accidents from the 90 percent of unchecked alcoholic pilots running around. Again, indicative of there not really being a problem.

    If you want to study a problem, look at how many accidents are caused by airline pilots not really knowing how to fly, or being fatigued. Part 117 rest rules did NOTHING. And duty days and block hours went UP! Block hour maximums for part 121 require historical route data to determine legality. Does that sound like a system trying to alleviate fatigue problems?!!
     
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  19. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I wonder if @EdFred will introduce the OP to @Nomex
     
  20. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    [[ Insert very very large like button ]]
     
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  21. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    [​IMG]

    Yer welcome.
     
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  22. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Why are people so excited to solve problems that don't exist?

    I think every pilot should have a psych eval no less than 15 minutes prior to every flight. Because you never know when someone's mood might change, and depressed pilots are crashing planeloads of people every minute in this country alone.

    Think of the Children!
     
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  23. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    because it’s easier than solving real problems
     
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  24. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    True that.
     
  25. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    That is precisely what the airport bar is for.
     
  26. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    I support drug testing for politicians. Give the a weekly shot of sodium pentothal and ask them, "What laws have you broken in the past week?"
     
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  27. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    You realize it's not about flying inebriated, it's about bad judgement. I can't think of a better measurement of displaying bad Judgment than driving drunk.
     
  28. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm for drug and alcohol testing university students. Random testing, on demand.
     
  29. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Do you know the difference between a NorthWest Airlines pilot and a FedEx pilot?

    The NW pilot gets hammered before he gets on the plane. (Told to me by a FedEx pilot whose father flew for NW).
     
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  30. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    Flying and driving are two different things. I have zero problem jumping in to a car after a couple glasses of wine (or up to five but that's nothing to me) but I will never fly after a single drink. Never have, never will.

    On the flight simulators I start crashing after a couple drinks. Good enough for me.
     
  31. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    No they aren't. I'd argue you could get away with impaired flying easier than you could impaired driving. Either way, all pilots know their certificate is in jeopardy whenever they drink and drive. Those who continue anyway do so at their own jeopardy.

    Thankfully the younger generation hasn't normalized drinking and driving in a way that the generation of many of the pilots here have.
     
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  32. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well ... a drunk pilot might be the least of your worries:

     
  33. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    well, let’s be fair. Measuring someone’s choices after they have been drinking isn’t really cricket. I once drunk texted my ex and I 100% assure you I know better, even then.
     
  34. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    PSA in da house!
     
  35. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    but you made the choice to drink, yes?
     
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  36. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    In India all pilots are alcohol tested before each flight (maybe first flight of the day, I don't exactly remember).
     
  37. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Maybe we need breathalyzers as a standard installation in anything with an engine.
     
  38. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Of course.

    If I stall/spin and auger in on the base to final, was it because of a poor choice to fly?
     
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  39. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    This survey is VERY problematic. I see no indication of informed consent. If the students professor receives even a dime of Federal money, or if his institution receives even a dime of Federal money the guy in charge is in some pretty serious trouble if this gets back to the wrong people.
     
  40. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    not even close to being similar