Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

From Bottle to Throttle

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web

When do you personally stop drinking before flying?

  • 24 hours or more

    Votes: 29 16.5%
  • 12 hours

    Votes: 78 44.3%
  • 10 hours

    Votes: 19 10.8%
  • 8 hours

    Votes: 36 20.5%
  • 6 hours

    Votes: 4 2.3%
  • The keg is in the jump seat.

    Votes: 10 5.7%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Well-known member
Apr 23, 2002
When do you personally stop drinking before flying?
Sub-question: Have you ever flown with someone who was drunk or not flown for the same reason.
I have never operated an aircraft under the influence of alcohol. If I have to fly in the morning, I take it easy the night before and make sure that I leave a buffer of at least what is required by regulation or company policy.

I think this is probably normal behavior for 95% of the professional pilots out there.
Like avbug I don't drink, so problem solved. Also I would never fly in an aircraft where someone that is drunk could reach the controls.
Bottle to throttle

I am not flying at present and I no longer drink. I guess, as Jesse Jackson said on Saturday Night Live, the question is moot.

However, when I flew I did drink occasionally. And, I gave myself a good buffer and/or planned it for a time that I was not flying the next day. It was absolutely unthinkable for me to even consider being near airplanes after drinking alcohol.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of my Riddle flight students had a few the night before a flight with me. But, I don't remember at all observing any of the telltale signs of drinking in any of my students before or during a flight.
Last edited:
The closest I've been to the controls of an airplane while intoxicated was when I woke up curled up in the baggage compartment of a Beech Sierra. I was 17, and the previous night was my first experience with alcohol. Apparently I had fallen asleep (passed out?) at some point during a party our flying club had, and a couple of CFI's decided that it'd be funny to squeeze me in the back of one of the club planes.

Boy was I confused when I woke up.
Of course, with the way I fly, alcohol would probably only improve things. Heh!

Seriously, I don't drink heavily the night before if I'm planning on flying the next day. If I have only one or two drinks, then I'll wait 12 hours.

I'm curious what percentage of aviation accidents are alcohol related? I'd bet a VERY small percentage. Not to trivialize the idiocy of the two pilots that were arrested, but it seems to me that this really isn't a problem. I'd look at fatigue long before I'd look at drugs or alcohol.
bigD said:
I'd look at fatigue long before I'd look at drugs or alcohol.

You've hit one nail squarely on the head. However, pilot fatigue doesn't make good media sensationalism. Passengers don't know about it, management won't let them find out and Connie Chung doesn't cover it.

Pilot fatigue is the enemy of the ATA, the RAA and the management of all airlines, therefore it never happens for to admit it and remove the cause would cost $$$.

For years and years the FAA, charged with the conflicting interests of aviation safety and economic considerations, ignores every scientific study demonstrating the dangers of fatigue, doesn't enforce its own rules and will do nothing to update them even though the scientific evidence is overwhelming. Yet with no scientific evidence at all to support it, the same FAA makes all airline pilots drop dead at age 60 even when it prefect health.

We'll be hearing about these two errant pilots for years, but we will hear or do nothing for the regional pilot, the freight pilot, the mainline pilot, the air taxi pilot or the corporate pilot who has to shoot an approach to minimums after 16 consecutive hours on duty.

Truck drivers, dispatchers, etc. have better rest rules. In the eyes of government and aviation managers, pilot fatigue is "not an issue".

Surplus 1,

Absolutely 100% correct. The minor blurbs and buried news stories of the NTSB citing fatigue as a contributing factor in the AA Flt 1420 accident at LIT is proof that fatigue doesn't make good media sensationalism.

Too bad. Fatigue is the number one threat to aviation safety, but no one wants to hear about that.
Last edited:

Latest resources