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America West Airline crew arrested KMIA

TMMT

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Pilot, First Officer Arrested Just Before Take Off - Ground Crew Members Say They Smelled Of Alcohol

Posted: 3:05 p.m. EDT July 1, 2002

Updated: 4:42 p.m. EDT July 1, 2002

MIAMI -- Police arrested a pilot and first officer just before take off from Miami International Airport. Miami-Dade police made the arrests Monday afternoon after ground crew workers reported smelling alcohol on the pilot and officer.

The America West flight was preparing for take off from Miami to Phoenix. The tug was still attached to the plane as it was being moved into position.

Federal Aviation Authority officials say that they are aware of the complaint against the pilot and first officer, and have begun an investigation.

The plane was grounded at MIA as part of the investigation.

Watch Channel 10 News beginning at 5 p.m. for more on this developing story. If you can't be near a television, watch the 5 p.m. news live on Click10.
 

avbug

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Mistakes can happen; people can be misidentified. Wouldn't it be a shame if a perfectly innocent crew got railroaded with publicity and investigation over something they didn't do?

I don't know if this crew was drinking. I don't know anything beyond what was posted. I do know that a drink might be spilled nearby, or someone might set a uniform coat inadvertantly on a chair or table where a drink might be spilled. The smell permeates the air around the wearer...one might mistakenly assume that the individual has been drinking.

BAC tests will be done. The crew questioned. The "system" will do it's thing. Hopefully it can happen before crewmember names get plastered on the front page in an effort to extract sensation from someone's life, at the expense of their career.

Certainly if the ground crew had reason to believe that the flight crew was intoxicated, they should have reported the matter (although I would submit that there are better and worse ways of going about it). However...where does one begin and end in such situations. In most such types of situations, I'd sooner see it handled at the company level than via the law enforcement or the FAA.
 

BigFlyr

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Just heard it on the news... Looks like they were tested for alcohol and tested above the legal limits... Already facing major charges against them. OUCH!
 

avbug

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A loyal pet monkey would have bitten the arresting officers, thereby defending the hapless crew against the immediate effects of their own stupidity. Unless of course it was the monkey that was drunk. I've known more than a few cockpit crew who could be confused with a monkey.
 

Vandal

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8 inches bottle to throttle I guess...
 

mikecanfly

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just saw the story on NBC nightly news....not good for any of us!!

My question, not being an airline pilot, how would the FA's missed this? Don't they have to directly communicate with the pilots about SOMETHING before every flight?

Thanks

Mike
 

eaglefly

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... I thought the rule was 8 bottles per throttle ?
 

Tim47SIP

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Nope, the official rule is no drinking within 50' and no smoking within 8 hours. ;)
 

chperplt

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http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/3581922.htm

Pilots already identified in the paper.

Two pilots arrested after allegedly being drunk in the cockpit
By Luisa Yanez
lyanez@herald.com

Two pilots who allegedly were about to fly 124 passengers to Phoenix while drunk were ordered back to the gate, removed from the cockpit of an America West jetliner at Miami International Airport Monday morning, then arrested.

Police said both had enough alcohol in their blood to flunk a drunk driving test. They were about to take off in an Airbus 314. They were charged with three counts each of being inebriated behind the wheel of an aircraft.

They were identified as XXXXX, 45, the pilot, and and co-pilot XXXXX, 41, both of Gilbert, Ariz.

With the crew hauled away, the passengers were left stranded on the Tarmac for over an hour. They were eventually flown by America West and other carriers to their destinations.

The pilots' destination was the Miami-Dade County Jail
 

flx757

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Well...let's see...an Airbus 314? And arrested for being drunk behind the wheel of an aircraft. I believe that they have a solid defense on that charge. An Airbus has no wheel.
 

TMMT

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Airbus 314?

One of them Media "Aviation Experts" no doubt...

:eek:
 

FlyinBrian

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I'm a little surprised that everyone is making light of this situation. This is a really sad day for our profession. Two supposed professionals were about to carelessly and recklessly put the lives of their crew and passengers in remarkable danger. This at a time when it is everything the industry can do to hold itself together.

I just don't see anything at all funny about this situation.
 

azpilot

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FlyinBrian -

I think it is funny that these guys are so stupid to throw their careers down the toilet. Thankfully they got caught if the evidence proves to be true. 2 pilot positions are now open at HP. Maybe those who will hold their jobs in higher regard will fill them.

Maybe pilots will learn from this for a few years. A.K.A Northwest Airlines. How soon we forget.
 

aceshigh

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Hmmmmmmm........

perhaps these guys were following the example of Adam and Jimmy from The Man Show???

Seriously, though, did anyone think that maybe they were only smelling the Listerine that these guys just gargled with? I know that's a consideration, albeit a longshot, when asked in an interview what you'd do if you smelled alcohol on the Captain's breath. And Yes, Listerine will shoot a breathalyzer through the roof as it is about 50% alcohol. I think we need to be careful about condemning these guys before they get a fair shake, even though I myself am inclined to believe that they may have been under the influence. Posts higher up have already made light of media inaccuracies a la the A314RJ. that is now flooding the market. If nothing else, this is going to be a good learning experience for everyone, involved or not. Enough of my conspiracy theories and left field rants. I'm out for now. Back to my own bottle of hooch.

Aceshigh

P.S. One more theory......Maybe it was an Al Qaeda plot to eliminate airline pilots two by two through intoxication therefore taking advantage of our heightened stateof alert. It's not so farfetched considering the quality of security people. I'm just surprised they could smell liquor over their own funk.:p
 

LR45JI

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Note: It take 15-25 minutes for the alcohol in Listernie and other mouth washes to disipate. If you "claim" to have just taken Listerine just a few minutes before your blow test - you are put into isolation and have to blow again. It's pretty simple :(
 
3

350DRIVER

I am very skeptical of the media due to their "ignorance" and lack of knowledge of aviation as a whole so I won't subject myself to "one sided" stories about this report- "IF" this plays out to be true then it is once again a black eye and a very sad day for commercial aviation however it is very easy to jump on a bandwagon that is moving at a high speed at the present time so I guess be patient and wait till the "facts" are brought out by the FAA and law officials, I sure hope this is not true as many have said.


I just find it highly unlikely that any flight crew would do such a thing after it took them years to "earn" that pilot position- (go figure)

C H E E R S

3 5 0
 

SpiderMan

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Listerine to hide my 100 proof breath. Why didnt i think of that.
 

sdpilot

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I think TIM47SIP and EAGLEFLY are both incorrect...

Check the FAR/AIM but, I believe the reg reads...."if you can't throw a beer bottle more than 8' from the aircraft you are considered unfit to excerise your authority as Pilot in Command or a Required Crewmember".......

And to think all that CFI training was wasted...
 
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