Drunk Delta Pilot

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by VWGhiaBob, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    It’s only a grey area because we don’t understand where the dividing lines are.
     
  2. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    It doesn't really. And I don't understand why people are having such a hard time believing this is illegal. Here's at least one Minnesota penal statute he violated: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/360.0752
     
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I can show up to work drunk, and not have broken any laws.

    FAA has defended its “turf” of being the singular agency responsible for air commerce vehemently for decades. One could argue that a State law regarding aviation could be shot down in Court (again). Also note that this law says he has to have actually operated the aircraft.

    This is why FAA puts so much “value” on DUI arrests (even if not convicted). It’s a solid paper trail to deny a medical to keep a drunk from flying, when the rest of the law’s surrounding drunken flying require someone to actually do it, to break a law. Proving “intent” is more difficult than proving someone actually did it.

    Even saying he had “intent” just by walking on board, well... his lawyer will just tell him to shut up, and drop the possibility that he was just going on board to notify the other pilot that he was calling in sick. He won’t say he WAS doing it, just that he MIGHT be. And as long as the accused shuts his pie hole, that puts a tougher path ahead of the prosecution, since their laws say he has to have actually operated the aircraft.

    The prosecutors also know in the end the think we’ve already talked about, that the recovery option will be automatically offered by the company at the request of the union, and he’s headed for a program that’ll be a solid yes or no for his medical. Participate and cooperate, yes. Decide not to follow a single rule in the program, bye. They know this guy is “taken care of” one way or the other.

    Unlike say, me in my scenario. Nobody’s showing up to sit me down and outline my one and only recovery and job saving option. I’ll just be fired.

    Interesting that aviation is one major job sector that will do something for a drunk employee nearly automatically. One could argue it’s thanks to unions, but the program is there for any pilot and a company refusing to hire someone after a solid program like HIMS would probably face a pretty solid lawsuit if they refused to hire a rehabbed pilot.

    Nothing like that in the vast majority of the rest of the workforce.
     
  4. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    A) It doesn't. You may want to read it again.
    2) Note the definition of operate.
    iiii) I don't know why it's so hard for people to believe this is illegal.

    P.S. Many (most? all?) codes define attempt to commit an offence as an offence, even when not explicit as it is here.
     
  5. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I did read it.

    ‘"operate" includes the acts of all crew members with responsibility to operate the aircraft;’

    Nice and vague.

    And it says he had to attempt to operate it. All I said is that they’ll have to PROVE that he did.

    Walking on board is NOT an attempt to operate an aircraft. Sitting in the seat is not an attempt to operate an aircraft.

    Did he touch the controls? Will the co-pilot testify?

    All sorts of crap there a prosecutor won’t even bother with, knowing he’s headed directly for a very well documented and strict rehab program sponsored by his employer and union.

    Waste of their time to charge him in the legacy carrier 121 world. No need at all. Only thing it accomplishes is maybe adding a few days of community service to his life before or during his paid or unpaid time off during the rehab process.

    Not to mention again that prosecuting under a State law like that which reaches over the line into FAA’s jurisdiction runs a significant risk of getting the entire law tossed on appeal.

    It’s not Minnesota’s job in our legal system to write laws about flying airplanes and FAA will ignore it until there’s a case, but then be filing friend of the court briefs saying it needs to be tossed out or even actively fighting it. They don’t like their jurisdiction tampered with and haven’t for decades.

    Any when remotely bright prosecutor knows all of the above. Even a few dumb ones will.
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    18 USC 342 makes it a felony at the federal level. Many state DUI laws aren't specific to ground vehicles, and their is no federal preemption here, so he can be charged with DUI at the state level as well. But it looks like while your average Cessna might fit into the definition of a vehicle for the DUI statute, an airliner probably does not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  7. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    You actually said they have to prove he operated it. Which he did. But they don't. Attempting to operate the aircraft is enough. Did he preflight? Is that an act of a crewmember with responsibility to operate the aircraft? Did he check the weather? Did he board? Did he sit in the cockpit?
    Disagree.
    "Attempt" is a well-known concept in the law. People are tried and convicted of attempt crimes every day in every jurisdiction in America. The Minnesota penal code defines criminal attempts:

    [Quite]Did he touch the controls? Will the co-pilot testify?

    All sorts of crap there a prosecutor won’t even bother with, knowing he’s headed directly for a very well documented and strict rehab program sponsored by his employer and union.[/quote]
    Unlikely a prosecutor doesn't charge in a case like this that's made the national news.

    Have similar convictions been overturned based on preemption?

    This is not the type of law that's preempted. And it's fully in accord with the relevant federal law.
     
  8. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff

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    i never said I didn't believe it. If you look I believe I asked more than once what law he was arrested for violating. And the only responses I got were along the lines of citing the code of federal regulations. You don't get arrested for violating the CFR, you get arresting for violating laws and I wanted to know if there was a law and is so what that law said. You have answered that. Thank you.
     
  9. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Each pilots signs the release independently. I as the Captain am responsible that I am fit for duty and have reviewed pertinent weather, NOTAMs and the flight can be safely executed given the information in the release. The FO signs ONLY that he/she is fit for duty aka isn’t fatigued or impaired. That’s how it works at my shop. I mean I guess I could get in trouble if I knew the FO was impaired and didn’t say anything or tell him to call in sick but when the FO signs the release he is signing that he is fit for duty in accordance with FAR 117
     
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  10. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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  11. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff

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    Glasgow again...wow...and United and both Captain and FO...
     
  12. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff

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    AFE4D83D-86AE-495A-A03D-ADA49557FC35.png This may be an understatement from United
     
  13. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

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    I thought it was 8 bottles to throttle, no?
     
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  14. Goliath737

    Goliath737 Filing Flight Plan

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    After reading endless posts on several accounts I would like to chime in and ask how my case compares. It’s really difficult to understand how someone who knows better is pardoned while someone like myself new to aviation suffers the consequences severely. I’m a 27 yr old Student working on my medical certificate for a third class in order to pursue my PPL and Beyond. In 2016 (24yrs old) I had two 2duis during that summer (it was a rough one) ...I filed for a medexpress by the end of 2017 in which inevitably was denied for making a big mistake on having a local AME take on my examination. I’ve got in touch with Dr. Bruce Chien in which has provided me a path to fulfill. I understand my faults have owned up to them however the FAA is making me dance one long song I don’t think I got the moves for. Any advice would help calm me nerves...
     
  15. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    They’re certainly not pardoned. Lost income for a couple of years with probably much the same hoops to jump through as you.

    Good luck, and do exactly what Dr. Bruce says. You’ll get there.
     
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  16. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Unfortunately, it’s the FAA’s way, or no way at all.
     
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  17. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    They’ll be doing the same “dance” which really isn’t a dance, it’s documented participation in an ongoing support program, complete abstinence, a “we call you pee” random test program, and assessment by a phych professional. Unlike operation of a motor vehicle, FAA can’t be quite as lax in who they can allow to fly aircraft as that “catch and release” system where full blown alcohol tolerant drunks are driving again in days.

    This ^^^. If ya want to fly, Bruce and other HIMS AMEs know the path to it. And it’s the one singular path through the OKC bureaucracy. Many have walked it.

    The initial mistake of just going to the AME locally without knowing the medical will be approved before applying is a common one. Don’t feel bad about that. Happens to people all the time. People don’t realize the AME corps is not necessarily their medical advocate like their other doctors.
     
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  18. Goliath737

    Goliath737 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the positive outlook.
     
  19. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    8 bottles per hour, I think.
     
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  20. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Right now you have a better shot at a medical than I do, and a documented path to it. :)

    It’ll be a couple of years before I know if I can apply.

    You’ll be flying before I am if you get on it!
     
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  21. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

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    Ahhhh. Thanks for the clarification. :D
     
  22. Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer Line Up and Wait

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    FWIW the United FO was released with no charges. That didn't make much of a headline, though.
     
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  23. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I thought it was no bottles within 50 feet of an airlpane.....
     
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  24. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Actually, in jets you can drink right up to V1 because until that point you’re planning on not flying.
     
  25. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yep. People who don’t get it don’t get it. These folks are not making a conscious decision to drink before doing XyZ. They have a disease.
     
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  26. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    The Cap’n can be drunk as long as the FO is PIC. Capn still gets to pick the meal though.
     
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  27. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've always had a problem with the disease label for addiction. Its as serious as a disease for sure, but it just doesn't really tick the boxes that a disorder needs to tick in order to qualify as a disease. There is no infection, there is no biologically degenerative condition nor any pathological biological process. Its a disorder and serious one, but calling it a disease is an insult to both diseases and addiction IMO.
     
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  28. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Funny I was thinking similar. I don’t know what word to use, but disease isn’t right for a behavior pattern they brought upon themselves, and then got trapped in by repetition and eventually actual chemical dependency... unless we’ve found a genetic marker for alcoholism and I’ve missed it in the news. But disease seems wrong.
     
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  29. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    Instead of making another new word, why don't we just call it an addiction?
     
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  30. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Because “disease” makes it not their fault.
     
  31. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff

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    Which is why the practice of labeling addiction that way came about. Because the perception was if you were addicted, you were just a bad person. That perception did nothing to help those who were addicted nor the way those who were addicted tended to be treated by their peers. So changing that perception became important and I get that.

    But we're a long way from the 1950's and I think those who are addicted and their peers are capable of a world were we label addiction accurately and still treat each other as good people who deserve respect.
     
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  32. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Therein lies the real problem, IMO...people making the assumption that being addicted makes one a bad person. And we all know what happens when you assume...you look like a ****ing idiot.

    But we’ve taken it to the other extreme...good person or not, no one is responsible for their own actions.
     
  33. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    And that’s the important part, right? Apportioning blame and meting our punishment.

    Your argument is rhetorical, not medical.
     
  34. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah, hard to imagine how we got there, right? (See above)
     
  35. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I’m all for respect if someone’s trying to extract themselves from addiction. I have no respect for those who won’t, including myself when it comes to caffeine and nicotine. Ha.

    It’s a character flaw. Both the vices and the intolerance. Ha

    But how it works out for me in practice is...

    “You get one shot of Narcan. After that, you don’t get it again. That way you know for having woken up mad at the paramedics that your high was busted that you have a problem but the next time they let you die. Get sober.”

    Society isn’t ever going to agree with me in that regard, but just sharing where I stand. Not impressed with frequent flyers to the ER wasting society’s resources on their habit that they chose to start.

    Of course there’s an engineering problem with my idea also... no good way to track who’s had a Narcan pop and who hasn’t when the paramedics roll up. Well, the paramedics often know they’ve seen this dead body and revived it before, but a documented paper trail that can give a red light to them to not administer fast enough to work. Hahaha.

    I’m probably evil for thinking this way. Dunno. Lots of addicts are trying to escape worse hells than addiction and overdose that our society can’t fix. Probably a good thing the paramedics and society have more compassion for it than I do.

    Short version: Don’t put a Nate in charge of Narcan use. A bunch of addicts will die. LOL.
     
  36. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    But it is their fault. Nobody else's. This is nothing new and shouldn't be a surprise. Everyone who drinks/snorts/smokes/etc. knows the consequences. These are addictive substances that are bad for you. Nobody to blame but themselves because they knew they were taking an addictive substance.
     
  37. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff

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    And this is why we still have to call it a disease even though its not. :rolleyes:
     
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  38. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff

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    A lack of compassion for those who are different than you doesn't make you evil.
     
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  39. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    But if they’d call lack of compassion a disease, there’d be no question.
     
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  40. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    That and since it's considered a disease, insurance has to pay for treatment
     
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