While i’m usually happy to have a drink or two at the airport lounge or bar before a flight, it has never crossed my mind that the pilot on my flight could be doing the same.
Just imagine the beer guzzling guy sitting beside you at the bar later in the cockpit of the aircraft you’re on.
This may sound bizarre and unlikely, but judging from figures released by India’s civil aviation minister recently, some pilots are definitely boozing it up before their flights.
From January to March this year, 14 pilots and 31 cabin crew members in India failed the pre-flight breath analyzer test.
Last year, 17 pilots were “found drunk” before a flight. The number was 23 in 2010.
Under Indian regulations, pilots who
fail the breath analyzer test for the first time will be suspended for three
months. If he fails a second time, he will then be suspended for five years.
These numbers may not seem huge given the number of pilots in the country. But still, shouldn’t all pilots have the professionalism to take their job seriously, and the decency to turn up for work sober, considering how hundreds of passengers’ lives are in their hands on each flight?