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12 hr drinking rules and FAA action

great cornholio

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The "mooning pilots" made it onto the first few minutes of Inside Edition the other day and at the end of the report they mentioned that the two might have been drinking inside of TSA's 12 hour rule. My question is if they were found to be drinking within 12 hours, but outside of 8 hours can the FAA enforce any kind of certificate action? Obviously if they were drinking within 8 hours then they would have violated the FARs and certificate action would most likely follow. If someone is found violating a policy in their companies GOM can certificate action follow?
 

Yudso

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I think it depends on their BAC when they report for duty.
 

BoilerUP

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The TSA has a 12 hour alcohol limit?!? When the hell did that happen?

I think the short answer is as long as an FAR wasn't violated (8hrs and .04 BAC) then no, the FAA can't pursue certificate action. I don't think a violation of a GOM would matter in this case.

Then again, I'm no lawyer...
 

indianboy7

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I don't know how TSA's manuals are written, but I believe airlines are supposed to have a heirarchy arranged when FAR's and company policies conflict. At the same time, most places have a stipulation that the most restrictive of the FAA or company rules/policy are the ones that take precidence.

If TSA's manuals are written like this, then yes, the pilots can possibly have certificate action put on them from the FAA.
 

Erlanger

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The "mooning pilots" made it onto the first few minutes of Inside Edition the other day and at the end of the report they mentioned that the two might have been drinking inside of TSA's 12 hour rule. My question is if they were found to be drinking within 12 hours, but outside of 8 hours can the FAA enforce any kind of certificate action? Obviously if they were drinking within 8 hours then they would have violated the FARs and certificate action would most likely follow. If someone is found violating a policy in their companies GOM can certificate action follow?

They didn't violate any FARs, so no FAA action but would probably get fired from TSA for violating company policy.
 

Erlanger

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I don't know how TSA's manuals are written, but I believe airlines are supposed to have a heirarchy arranged when FAR's and company policies conflict. At the same time, most places have a stipulation that the most restrictive of the FAA or company rules/policy are the ones that take precidence.

If TSA's manuals are written like this, then yes, the pilots can possibly have certificate action put on them from the FAA.

That's not how it works. If company policy is more restrictive then the FARs then the company can penalize you in whatever way it deems (considering labor law, union contracts, etc) but there is no FAR violation. If they had broke the 8 hour rule they still couldn't be violated by the FAA unless they stepped onto airport property which would show intent to fly.

Now I've also heard that just putting the uniform on could be enough to show intent. So if you're driving to the airport and get stopped a block away and get busted for failing a breathalizer can the FAA violate you if they could show that you would of shown up to work within 8 hours of drinking if you hadn't been stopped?
 

submachXJ

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I still think the FAA can get you because the manual is a "FAA approved document". Although kind of a mute point because the required background check for any 121 carrier would show the violation or violation of drug and alcohol policy.
 

great cornholio

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I still think the FAA can get you because the manual is a "FAA approved document". Although kind of a mute point because the required background check for any 121 carrier would show the violation or violation of drug and alcohol policy.

I could see both sides of the argument. On one side there was no FAR violation so there should be no certificate action. On the other side I have heard that since the GOM is signed off and approved by the POI which represents the FAA then the GOM is as "enforceable" as the FARs. I haven't seen anything in writing or references as to what would happen FAA wise in a situation where someone broke a GOM policy that is more restrictive than an existing FAR although the FAR was not broken.
 

indianboy7

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I could see both sides of the argument. On one side there was no FAR violation so there should be no certificate action. On the other side I have heard that since the GOM is signed off and approved by the POI which represents the FAA then the GOM is as "enforceable" as the FARs. I haven't seen anything in writing or references as to what would happen FAA wise in a situation where someone broke a GOM policy that is more restrictive than an existing FAR although the FAR was not broken.

I'm pretty sure none of us want to find out the technicalities when it comes to any of this.

I'm sure the FAA could force their case against a pilot breaking their company's FOM/GOM/whateveryoucallit. When the government flexes, it's hard (and expensive) to overcome....
 

FSIGRAD

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I don't think the Feds can or will do anything. As has been stated, they never actually reported for duty. What actions the company takes is another story.
 

AJE

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On another note but still related-

All of the DOT Ptests and breathalizers I have taken have stated .02% as DOT max. Never been an issue, but I have always wondered what would happen if I fell somewhere between the DOT and FAA limits???
 

Erlanger

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On another note but still related-

All of the DOT Ptests and breathalizers I have taken have stated .02% as DOT max. Never been an issue, but I have always wondered what would happen if I fell somewhere between the DOT and FAA limits???

Let me tell you a story. At my company about a year ago, we had a pilot who showed up at the airport that smelled like alcohol. A TSA agent discovered this and reported him. The airport police made him take a breathalizer test and while I don't remember what the exact result was, I do know that he was below FAA limits but was above our company's more restrictive limit. An investigation proved he had not had a drink within the FAA and company 8 hr rule. So his only violation was breaking the company policy of blowing too high a breathalizer score.

So what happened. He was fired by the company but a statement by our FSDO (the statement was published in the newspaper; I read it) was that he didn't break any FARS; he broke a company rule and it was a company matter so the FAA wasn't going to pursue it.


Originally Posted by great cornholio
I could see both sides of the argument. On one side there was no FAR violation so there should be no certificate action. On the other side I have heard that since the GOM is signed off and approved by the POI which represents the FAA then the GOM is as "enforceable" as the FARs. I haven't seen anything in writing or references as to what would happen FAA wise in a situation where someone broke a GOM policy that is more restrictive than an existing FAR although the FAR was not broken.

So tell me; You have a Fed in the jumpseat and your company SOP (FAA approved, right) says you're suppose to climb out at a certain speed but you climb at a different speed and violate company policy. There's no way unless you break a FAA speed restriction (ie: more then 250 below 10, ATC instructions or crossings), that a fed could violate you for that. A check airmen could whack you on that, on a linecheck or a checkride but there's no FAA violation here even though the FAA signed off on the SOP.

But then there's that "careless and reckless operation" thing they could get you on in certain circumstances I guess. But I think you all get the point.
 
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Freight Dog

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If I remember correctly, FAR 121 is written as a "generic template" to model your GOM/FOM. If your company has a more restrictive policy, then that becomes your "custom" FAR 121 and I believe that Feds can violate you based on that.
 

asayankee

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If I remember correctly, FAR 121 is written as a "generic template" to model your GOM/FOM. If your company has a more restrictive policy, then that becomes your "custom" FAR 121 and I believe that Feds can violate you based on that.


Again though.....they never reported for duty. It doesn't matter if they were drinking up unitl 4 hours prior to duty-in, if the called in sick they can't do anything...the never reported for duty. Now, there may be some sort of behavioral/morality clause in the company manual that they could get them on, but unless they actually went to work over the limit they can't get in trouble for that. ALPA has fought that battle numerous times and gotten many folks there jobs back with lost pay.
 

dojetdriver

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I'm sure the FAA could force their case against a pilot breaking their company's FOM/GOM/whateveryoucallit. When the government flexes, it's hard (and expensive) to overcome....

I see it that way too. Although they may not be able to get you on the company's 12 hour rule, that's not to say they may not try pursuing a wreckless/careless charge.
 
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