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From the associated press:

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Nov 25, 2001
>>WASHINGTON (July 4) - Two America West airline pilots lost their licenses Thursday after trying to fly a jetliner while drunk.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that emergency orders taking away the licenses of Porter Cloyd, 44, and co-pilot Christopher Hughes, 41, are effective immediately.

Both pilots had blood-alcohol levels above Florida's legal limit of 0.08 after they were ordered to return their Phoenix-bound plane carrying 124 passengers to the gate Monday morning.

A security screener alerted authorities after noticing that Cloyd and Hughes smelled of alcohol.

Hughes initially told police it was ''merely mouthwash,'' according to police reports.

Federal regulations prohibit pilots from operating an aircraft or performing other safety sensitive functions within eight hours of consuming alcohol or if they have an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher, said FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown. America West's policy is 12 hours.

Brown said Cloyd and Hughes will be able to reapply for licenses after a year by meeting the same requirements they faced when they first applied.

The two pilots were charged with a felony count of operating an aircraft under the influence and operating a motor vehicle under the influence. They were released on $7,000 bond each late Monday and returned to their Arizona homes.

Arraignment was set for July 22. The pilots could face five years in prison if convicted.

A spokesman for the Cloyd's family, Steve Hicks said, ''We're saddened by the occurrences and the allegations made against them.'' Efforts to contact Hughes were unsuccessful.

Arizona police records show that Cloyd has been arrested twice for alleged alcohol-related offenses while at his home in Arizona.

Two years ago, Cloyd was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct after allegedly harassing his downstairs neighbor. He told police he had been ''drinking a lot'' before he shouted obscenities, pounded on her door and stomped on his floor, records show.

He was sentenced to two years' probation.

In 1998, Cloyd had been drinking when he was arrested for misdemeanor domestic assault at his home in Chandler, Ariz., near Phoenix, records show. He admitted he spit on his then-wife and shoved her into a refrigerator.

Prosecutors dropped the assault charge after Cloyd took an anger-management class, said Carla Boatner, administrator for Chandler Municipal Court.

FAA policy requires pilots to report if they have been charged with certain alcohol-related offenses, such as driving under the influence. Their pilot's certificate is suspended after a third offense.

In 2000, the last year for which a detailed breakdown is available, nine of 10,419 airline employees randomly screened for alcohol tested positive, the FAA said. Nine pilots also failed last year.

So far this year, seven have failed, not including the America West pilots.
It's good that there are finally some statistics quoted in a news stort, albeit towards the end. Although nine is still too many, hopefully it says something for the profession.

I guess it really doesn't say anything for the profession, since upon closer examination it reads "airline employees", which I would interpret to include rampies, gate agents, mechanics, etc.

Not to disparage some of the hardest (physically) working members of the team, but it seems more likely those nine were members of groups other than flight crewmembers. Some of these folks have some pretty low standards of professionalism.

Perhaps we should start testing our accountants as well. They seem to be causing lots of problems lately. ;)

I wonder what jobs qualify as "safety sensitive" and require random screening?

I guess it really doesn't say anything for the profession, since upon closer examination it reads "airline employees", which I would interpret to include rampies, gate agents, mechanics, etc.
It cant include them because in ATL, we loose way more than that a day due to piss tests. Must just be the pilots. I think we are doing a good job.
Small Percentages

That's the kind of reporting we should have had up front. Still too many, but not as many as you'd think. It puts the whole event into perspective. Hopefully the public will not think that airline pilots are a group of drunks after this report is disseminated.
Pilots flying drunk, shootings at the ticket counter. Next thing you now it will be full security shake-down complete with sobriety test before even coming on airport property. It never ends....I wonder if I could change to a sailboating career.
We'll open a T-shirt shop on the beach.

Have your wife bring her music student.


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