pilot sentenced for being drunk

FO4life

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You all are skipping the most important thing! Can the FO LOG IT?
 

partypilot1

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Multiple failures here....

In a cloud of "poor judgment" the FO shouldn't have shown up for the flight. He probably did the best he could to conceal his breath and judging from his abilities to properly complete his tasks he most likely made this error before. Everybody makes poor decisions from time to time and sometimes it takes rock bottom before the trend is detected.
The captain should have made is concerns know to the FO and they would have come up with an exit strategy that didn't involve (media, tax money, courts, prison and negative perception of pilots). His inability to enquire from the FO about his competence when doubt is present only speaks his ability to "command" the aircraft. The captains' character is made known when he calls to enquire about what to do next (save his own @ss). His lack of command, character, and compassion doesn't rest solely on his shoulders, we as a society have a duty to teach our young these qualities so when they are tested, they can proceed with honor.

I don't know any of the facts of the story besides what I read in the article but in my humble opinion the FO hit rock bottom (luckily no one was hurt) and the captain has to live with how he handled the situation. Unfortunately, our legal system finds that 6 months in federal prison will "help" his problem.
 

aussieflyboy

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Maybe the captain didn't like the FO. Hated him that much...

No, NOBODY is to blame but the FO here. Stop making out like its the captain's fault this happened. This guy shouldn't even be allowed to command a tandem bicycle IMO.
 

601Pilot

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So...I'm assuming ALPA will get his job back after the 1 year off. We've all seen them get people back online that have done worse.
 

Fubijaakr

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So...I'm assuming ALPA will get his job back after the 1 year off. We've all seen them get people back online that have done worse.

Nope. He's now a felon. Can't fly OR vote.
 

JAFI

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Nope. He's now a felon. Can't fly OR vote.

Not exactly true. Some of our best felons run for office and fly....

The FO will lose all his pilot certificates and will have to take his private to Commercial all over again. His flight time will count but it will take around a year to get back to paid flying status (after he gets out of "the big house") and because he is a convicted felon - no ATP. But he can run for congress and have friends who congrssmen owe.....
 

CA1900

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Who says he's a felon? If memory serves, only specific crimes and those with sentences of more than 1 year in prison are felonies under U.S. federal law. With a sentence of 6 months, this should be a Class B misdemeanor.

Not sure if this particular crime is a felony by definition, though.
 
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whaleroast

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Multiple failures here....

In a cloud of "poor judgment" the FO shouldn't have shown up for the flight. He probably did the best he could to conceal his breath and judging from his abilities to properly complete his tasks he most likely made this error before. Everybody makes poor decisions from time to time and sometimes it takes rock bottom before the trend is detected.
The captain should have made is concerns know to the FO and they would have come up with an exit strategy that didn't involve (media, tax money, courts, prison and negative perception of pilots). His inability to enquire from the FO about his competence when doubt is present only speaks his ability to "command" the aircraft. The captains' character is made known when he calls to enquire about what to do next (save his own @ss). His lack of command, character, and compassion doesn't rest solely on his shoulders, we as a society have a duty to teach our young these qualities so when they are tested, they can proceed with honor.

I don't know any of the facts of the story besides what I read in the article but in my humble opinion the FO hit rock bottom (luckily no one was hurt) and the captain has to live with how he handled the situation. Unfortunately, our legal system finds that 6 months in federal prison will "help" his problem.

I agree with this poster. I feel bad for this guy maybe because I am a drunk but as a captain I would never throw a guy under the bus like that. Come to jesus talk, call in sick in isnt that hard to defuse this situation. CA sounds like a giant ******************************bag to me.
I hope the fo can get rehabed because that's what the prison system is supposed to do, rehabilitate people. Yeah right, after his stint he can climb right back into the cockpit because he has gone through the system. The reality is he will be lucky to ever hold a minimum wage job again. And like some earlier said he is a felon cant even vote. All rights are pretty much gone and all the ca had to do was tell him to call in sick.
 

PBRstreetgang

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All rights are pretty much gone and all the ca had to do was tell him to call in sick.
And it would have been another CAs problem, maybe it wouldn't have worked out so well. many here want to find an excuse to justify behavior on both sides. An alcoholic does not respond to "come to jesus talks" or many other inputs. For many alcoholics jail or some intervention from the judicial system is required, and even there are some who collect DUIs like baseball cards. Sorry being an airline pilot isn't some god given right, ya gotta earn it and maintain it by not screwing the pooch. He got off lucky and deserves prison, and the MickyDs grill master position waiting for him after he gets out.
No pity whats so ever.
 

"TheBigPicture"

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So...I'm assuming ALPA will get his job back after the 1 year off. We've all seen them get people back online that have done worse.

Except for the fact that RAH brand is Teamsters...he's not getting his job back, and neither ALPA nor Teamsters can fix that.
 

N813CA

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Both pilots on the NWA flight from Fargo to MSP that started all of this both got back to flying. Captain with NWA and FO with American, so don't say it CAN'T happen.
 

relief tube

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Nice Captain, why didn't he just tell him to call in sick before calling anyone.

true, but the much bigger dueche move was showing up to fly a plane with what was probably a .10 BAC.
 

FSIGRAD

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Over 8k hours, mostly PIC jet, airlines, etc, would NEVER throw a guy under the bus like that! Yes, the FO was intoxicated, but, give him a chance to bow out before you destroy his life. Now, if you give him a chance and he still acts stupid, that's another story. People do stupid things and much worse things in life with much lesser consequences, so while he was definitely wrong, you don't destroy someone's life like that. Compasion is something missing in today's world.

I have flown with Rob (the captain) several times. He is an absolute stand up guy. There is much more to this story, accusations where made to the company from 3rd parties well before he became involved. If he had the ability to handle this as a crew I'm sure he would have but the situation was out of his hands before they landed in DEN. I don't know the FO but I imagine he was a high functioning alcoholic to show up to work in this condition.
 

NEDude

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I agree with this poster. I feel bad for this guy maybe because I am a drunk but as a captain I would never throw a guy under the bus like that. Come to jesus talk, call in sick in isnt that hard to defuse this situation. CA sounds like a giant ******************************bag to me.
I hope the fo can get rehabed because that's what the prison system is supposed to do, rehabilitate people. Yeah right, after his stint he can climb right back into the cockpit because he has gone through the system. The reality is he will be lucky to ever hold a minimum wage job again. And like some earlier said he is a felon cant even vote. All rights are pretty much gone and all the ca had to do was tell him to call in sick.

Yes the captain could have diffused the situation...for that one day. What about the next time the guy shows up drunk? What happens if the guy showed up drunk on the next trip and crashed and killed people? Can you imagine the fallout? Not just for the crew and passengers involved, but for the company and the rest of the industry? How would you like FAA mandated drug and alcohol screening prior to the start of every work day?

The simple fact is the FO has a serious problem, AND committed crime that endangered people, AND violated FARs, AND violated company policy.

It is one thing to advise a guy to call in sick at report time if you think he stayed at the bar too long. It is another to try and protect a guy who just flew while hammered.

Perhaps I am harsh, but I have lost family to a drunk driver. By most accounts the drunk driver was a nice guy who just made one bad choice. But that one bad choice meant two of my cousins grew up orphans. I find it hard to have much sympathy for someone who so carelessly endangers the lives of many people.

Bravo on the captain. To those who think the captain should have tried to protect the FO, I think you need to seriously examine your priorities.
 
S

sunlitpath

This is an interesting thread. Some folks say 'help the FO, and give him break". Others say, "the Captain fulfilled his professional obligations to the passengers, the company, and even himself". Hypothetically speaking, if the offending crewmember is a personal friend, then the actions of other crewmembers may be more accommodating. It seems that many pilots believe that merely being a pilot entitles them to amnesty from other pilots holding them accountable. Pilots who subscribe to this brotherhood mindset are often the first to fall, because at some point they encounter an individual who doesn't share the same "clan mentality". Some guys and gals have very high standards of behavior and personal integrity that do not permit looking the other way when someone crosses the line. An employee who shows up to work intoxicated at a factory job should expect to be fired. A pilot who shows up to work intoxicated should expect to be fired and also expect to go to prison. If by the grace of God or the friendship of other crewmembers the offending pilot escapes an unpleasant outcome for his actions, then he his very fortunate. If however, the offending pilot is discovered and held fully accountable for his actions, he has only one person to blame. Himself
 

jonjuan

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Idiotic way to destroy your career!!

This is a career? Prob best thing that could have ever happened to him. His career earnings and QOL just shot way up.
 

LongBeachTrijet

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Multiple failures here....

In a cloud of "poor judgment" the FO shouldn't have shown up for the flight. He probably did the best he could to conceal his breath and judging from his abilities to properly complete his tasks he most likely made this error before. Everybody makes poor decisions from time to time and sometimes it takes rock bottom before the trend is detected.
The captain should have made is concerns know to the FO and they would have come up with an exit strategy that didn't involve (media, tax money, courts, prison and negative perception of pilots). His inability to enquire from the FO about his competence when doubt is present only speaks his ability to "command" the aircraft. The captains' character is made known when he calls to enquire about what to do next (save his own @ss). His lack of command, character, and compassion doesn't rest solely on his shoulders, we as a society have a duty to teach our young these qualities so when they are tested, they can proceed with honor.

I don't know any of the facts of the story besides what I read in the article but in my humble opinion the FO hit rock bottom (luckily no one was hurt) and the captain has to live with how he handled the situation. Unfortunately, our legal system finds that 6 months in federal prison will "help" his problem.

You say you don't know the facts, yet you question the Captain's character, ability to command and compassion? Really?? It's easy to be the Monday morning quarterback isn't it?

I agree with other posters that had the FO's intoxication became known in the hotel van or at least prior to flight, then yes, perhaps insistence to call in sick and a peer flogging would have been prudent. However, the FO operated an airplane while unquestionably intoxicated. With a BAC level of .094 after the 1.5ish hour flight, the FO's BAC was undoubtedly much higher at the beginning of the flight.

IMHO, the Captain should have no problem living with how he handled the situation.
 
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paid4training

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Sooooo this is why you get asked this related question during the interview process because it's preparing you for the real world... Got it!!!! Great industry!!!! What about professional standards? Could they have played an effective roll in this situation?
 
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