Even with all the safety measures and aircraft systems in place on modern airliners, you still want your pilots to be healthy, well-rested, and above all, sober. The autopilot features on these planes are good, but they’re only as good as the person inputting information and commands into them. That’s why when a pilot showed up to fly and failed a breathalyzer, the flight he was supposed to be at the controls of had to be scratched.
Thanks to this irresponsible idiot, 274 passengers were stranded overnight on Saturday after the flight was delayed for 15 hours while the airline waited for a replacement pilot. I’m all for throwing a few back, but when you have lives in your hands, you have to have some self-restraint and responsibility. Bottle-to-throttle rules exist for a reason.
I can’t imagine how pissed those people were. Layovers suck. Being grounded due to maintenance or weather is one thing. You expect that. But a drunk pilot? I’d have been livid. Hell, I probably would’ve had to go to the bar in the terminal for a few drinks just to cool off.
This doesn’t bode well for the pilot’s employer, SriLankan Airlines. They’re already in a tight spot financially, and people, wrongfully or not, don’t really have a lot of trust in air carriers from that part of the world right now.
The moral of the story here, not that I should have to tell any of you, is don’t drink and fly. Hopefully the airline hooked all the passengers up with some free drink coupons. It’s the least they could do.
Image via YouTube