Against better judgment, I’m sure that many of us have gotten into a car with a driver that probably had one too many drinks. But an airplane? A line must be drawn somewhere, and 30,000 feet in the air seems to be a good place to draw it. According to The Huffington Post, two pilots, two-co-pilots, and a flight attendant working for Aeromexico were suspended after it was discovered that they operated an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol.
There were two separate incidents, one in which three crew members (pilot, co-pilot, and flight attendant) flew from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City, and the other on a flight scheduled to fly from Costa Rica to Mexico. The latter flight never took off and was canceled. In this article, it’s reported that the pilots who were flying 101 passengers between Costa Rica and Mexico were reported by cabin crew members on suspicion of drinking. Media reports out of Mexico are claiming that the two pilots partied 7 hours before the Costa Rica flight, a violation of civil aviation rules.
[Image: eheçåtzin :: ::. / Flickr]
How common are pilots under the influence? Perhaps more than we’d care to know. We came across this forum post at the Professional Pilots Rumour Network. Referenced is an article from The Times of India that reported 57 pilots were found to be drunk between January 2009 and November 2010. One member, a professional pilot, stated that pilots in India are tested before almost every flight, whereas when he was working in the US, he was only tested six times in 19 years of flying. So perhaps they just catch more in India.
In any case, not the most comforting news.