Who needs terrorists when we can have drunk pilots?

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yahoo.com, July 2, 02


Fla. Police: Pilots Were Drunk

By ALEX VEIGA, Associated Press Writer

MIAMI (AP) - A Phoenix-bound jetliner was preparing for takeoff with 124 passengers aboard when officials called it back to the terminal and arrested both pilots for allegedly being drunk in the cockpit.

Airport security screeners said they noticed a whiff of alcohol on two America West pilots Monday morning when they got into a dispute over cups of coffee they wanted to bring through a checkpoint.

The screeners at Miami International Airport alerted officials who called police. But by the time officers arrived, the plane had already left the gate and was headed for takeoff.

The flight was called back to the terminal and the pilots were given a cursory sobriety test, said Miami-Dade police Detective Juan DelCastillo.

Breath tests revealed both pilots had blood-alcohol levels above 0.08, Florida's legal limit for operating machinery.

Pilot Thomas Cloyd, 44, and co-pilot Christopher Hughes, 40, were each charged Monday with a felony count of operating an aircraft under the influence and operating a motor vehicle under the influence.

Cloyd had a 0.091 blood-alcohol level, while Hughes registered 0.084, DelCastillo said. Federal Aviation Administration rules prohibit pilots from drinking alcohol eight hours before flying a plane. America West's policy is 12 hours.

The two men were released on $7,000 bond each late Monday. Arraignment was set for July 22.

The pilots have been suspended with pay pending an investigation by the airline, said Patty Nowack, an America West spokeswoman.

"We are indeed conducting an investigation," Nowack said. "If these pilots did have alcohol in their system, they will be terminated."

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident to determine whether to take action against the pilots, which could include having their licenses revoked or suspended, spokeswoman Laura Brown said.

No attorneys were listed for the men with the county clerk's office. There was no listing in South Florida telephone directories for Thomas Cloyd. Several calls to a listing for Christopher Hughes went unanswered Tuesday morning.

Cloyd has worked for America West since 1990. Hughes joined the airline in January 1999, Nowack said. Both pilots have good working records, she said.

The flight, which was to have taken off at 10:38 a.m., was canceled and America West put the passengers on other airlines, Nowack said. It was the pilots' first flight of the day, she said.

-- (roland@hatemail.com), July 02, 2002


ACLU filing suit against America West claiming that pilot's civil rights were violated by this invasive and degrading test.

-- (roland@hatemail.com), July 02, 2002.

"Shay, Chris didya see this bull shit?"

"Naaa, shay babe pour me another martoonie, hee heee"

-- (rotate@wot.speed?), July 02, 2002.

Roland, why do you have to make up lies like that? ACLU filing suit against America West claiming that pilot's civil rights were violated by this invasive and degrading test.

The ACLU doesn't even do that for drunk drivers, No one wants a drunk on the road, and especially in the air. There has been a zero tolerance rule for pilots for half a century.

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 03, 2002.

Cherri, if my memory serves me correctly, the ACLU fought successfully the spot checks for drunk drivers which were being done in Montgomery County MD when I was living there. Said the founding fathers never intended that kind of invasive snooping (as against the standard argument which I subscribed to, that having a driver's license was a privilege and not an inherent right).

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), July 03, 2002.

"Roland, why do you have to make up lies like that?"

Cuz he's a lyin nigga pug, dats why.

-- (repugs@always.lie), July 03, 2002.

Peter, It was the (Random) spot checking, not the test itself. I do not know the circumstances in the case you are referring to, but there have been similar cases which were based on the criteria being used in deciding who to stop. I may be wrong, but hasn't it been many years since the situation you are referring to occurred?

I know the ACLU has gone to ridiculous extremes in some cases, to the point where even liberals came out against them. Even given those cases, the ACLU has done a decent job of protecting individual rights and righting many social wrongs.

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 03, 2002.

The ACLU's official position seems to be (who can tell but a Philadelphia lawyer?) that in critical occupations (like airplane drivers) which affect public safety, screening of "performance" is OK but invasive screening like pee-pee testing is not.


From this ACLU link-----

Q: But shouldn't exceptions be made for certain workers, such as airline pilots, who are responsible for the lives of others?

A: Obviously, people who are responsible for others' lives should be held to high standards of job performance. But urine testing will not help employers do that because it does not detect impairment.

If employers in transportation and other industries are really concerned about the public's safety, they should abandon imperfect urine testing and test performance instead. Computer-assisted performance tests already exist and, in fact, have been used by NASA for years on astronauts and test pilots. These tests can actually measure hand-eye coordination and response time, do not invade people's privacy, and can improve safety far better than drug tests can.

-- (lars@indy.net), July 03, 2002.

I spotted this one in the paper today.

Q: How many America West pilots does it take to fly an airplane?

A: Two and a fifth.

-- Little Nipper (canis@minor.net), July 26, 2002.

I like drunk pilots, it makes the flight more exciting.

-- (up down @ all. around), July 26, 2002.


-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), July 27, 2002.

Drunk pilots are actually safer. Mohammed Atta was stone sober.

-- (Andrei Codrescu @ Exquiste.Corpse), July 27, 2002.

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