Delta Pilot removed from boarded flight on suspicion of intoxication

jimntx

Veteran
Jun 28, 2003
11,216
3,296
Dallas, TX
www.usaviation.com
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/31/us/d...il&utm_term=0_6da287d761-8011aeb576-102574389

Pilot raised suspicion at TSA crew check when he went through the first checkpoint. He left the line upon realizing that there was a 2nd checkpoint, then came back later.

It's been awhile since we've seen one of these incidents which is a good thing. The timing is a little odd--allowing pilot to board the aircraft before taking him into custody. Now, that I think of it, I think I remember someone on here posted once that being under the influence in the airport is not a crime. Being signed in (on duty) and/or boarding an airplane with the intention of operating that airplane while under the influence is. Anybody know for sure?
 
Last edited:

swamt

Veteran
Oct 23, 2010
12,103
4,750
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/31/us/d...il&utm_term=0_6da287d761-8011aeb576-102574389

Pilot raised suspicion at TSA crew check when he went through the first checkpoint. He left the line upon realizing that there was a 2nd checkpoint, then came back later.

It's been awhile since we've seen one of these incidents which is a good thing. The timing is a little odd--allowing pilot to board the aircraft before taking him into custody. Now, that I think of it, I think I remember someone on here posted once that being under the influence in the airport is not a crime. Boarding an airplane with the intention of operating that airplane while under the influence is. Anybody know for sure?

Trying to get around TSA, 1&2 check points, in order to avoid TSA finding out about him being intoxicated is a DEAD GIVE AWAY. Hello Mr. Pilot. Good luck fighting that one thru the union.

37 years old Pilot at Delta. How sad. His career is over in aviation IF the charges are found to be confirmed.
 
OP
J

jimntx

Veteran
Jun 28, 2003
11,216
3,296
Dallas, TX
www.usaviation.com
Trying to get around TSA, 1&2 check points, in order to avoid TSA finding out about him being intoxicated is a DEAD GIVE AWAY. Hello Mr. Pilot. Good luck fighting that one thru the union.

37 years old Pilot at Delta. How sad. His career is over in aviation IF the charges are found to be confirmed.
Not necessarily. If he goes to the company and admits to being an alcoholic, he might be able to salvage his job IF (and that's big if) he goes to rehab, stops drinking, and prepare for a lot more "random" blood tests than the average pilot. In our "enlightened age" of viewing alcohol and/or drug addiction as an illness and the success of programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, companies are a lot more willing to give someone, even pilots, a 2nd chance. However, if the employee tests positive for blood alcohol and/or drugs after rehab, the general agreement with the employee is that he/she is terminated immediately.
 

swamt

Veteran
Oct 23, 2010
12,103
4,750
Not necessarily. If he goes to the company and admits to being an alcoholic, he might be able to salvage his job IF (and that's big if) he goes to rehab, stops drinking, and prepare for a lot more "random" blood tests than the average pilot. In our "enlightened age" of viewing alcohol and/or drug addiction as an illness and the success of programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, companies are a lot more willing to give someone, even pilots, a 2nd chance. However, if the employee tests positive for blood alcohol and/or drugs after rehab, the general agreement with the employee is that he/she is terminated immediately.

Maybe at your airline.
Absolute "0" tolerance at SWA.
Once the drug test is performed and a positive is the results, there is no turning back. No rehab options are given.
Now if an employee checks himself/herself into rehab, and even notifies the co. prior to any drug or alcohol testing, then the said employee is protected.

We have heard of AA's policy being a sort of second chance as long as they go thru rehab and follow all probational rules and regs. Wish we had it here as we have lost some great and smart employees over stupid mistakes.
 

eolesen

Veteran
Jul 23, 2003
15,394
9,241
Dunno, Jim, that would be a pretty big shift from how AA's worked in the past, although maybe the current's CEO's own experience with being caught under the influence has driven a softening of what used to be pretty clear lines in the sand.

In the past, you could pull the EAP alarm as an alcoholic or substance abuser without retribution, but only before you got caught.

If you show up to work under the influence and/or get caught (e.g. a random tap), the rules change a bit. You'd be able to get help under EAP and go on leave, but once you finish treatment, chances are that you'd be terminated instead of returning to duty.
 
OP
J

jimntx

Veteran
Jun 28, 2003
11,216
3,296
Dallas, TX
www.usaviation.com
E, I think you are correct. In the case I know of (not at AA), the pilot of his own volition went to the Chief Pilot and admitted to a drug and alcohol addiction. He was sent to rehab and told when he finished that he would be subject to random blood tests more frequent than usual for the rest of his career. And, he was warned that he had already had his 2nd chance. That I think is the difference between what I wrote and what swamt replied