Scary Situation

Imagine yourself feeling elated for securing an air ticket for a 2 hour 35 minutes (1987 km) flight for just US$66 (in a country where regular airfares are in the US$400+ range for the same route).

Now imagine that the captain flying the plane you’re in, is drunk…

That’s exactly what happened the day before in Mumbai, during a suprise check on all pilots in Mumbai airport.. an Air Deccan (an Indian low-cost airline) pilot was found drunk shortly before he was due to fly an aircraft with about 100 passengers on board! [#]

Needless to add in, the pilot was obviously not allowed to fly the aircraft, but highlights a scary situation, which is by no means the first. Here’s a list of some other drunk pilot incidents:

  • In August 2004, a Finnair flight carrying 200+ passengers, was delayed for 6 hours in Manchester airport, when the pilot was found to have over twice the legal limit of alcohol in his body. [#]
  • In July 2004, a pilot of single engined aircraft, whilst drunk, attempted to land his plane on a highway.. ended up clipping a van and then flipped upside down. [#]
  • In July 2002, the pilot of an ASA flight to Atlanta was grounded after a security screener smelled alcohol in his breath. The pilot later resigned. Also in that same month, two America West pilots were fired for drinking before a flight from Miami to Phoenix.[#]
  • and the list goes on.. a quick search on google for the keywords “drunk pilot” revealed over 3 million results!

3 thoughts on “Scary Situation

  1. It has been two years since I wrote this post, during which the occurrence of drunk pilots has only become a bit too common. [Via Reuters] Every year, about 50 pilots in India are being grounded because they had consumed alcohol up to 12 hours before taking a flight. You can read more about it here.

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