Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pilots reporting drunk for work on Indian carriers

Looks like quite a few pilots on Indian carriers report to work in high spirits - literally! Should be grounds for instant dismissal. Not just de-rostering - it is not enough of a deterrent!

Shrugging off months of daily threats of job losses and paycuts, pilots of Indian carriers seem to have ushered in the festive season in style, this time. Every year, around Christmas and New Year eve, a number of pilots are caught reporting drunk for duty at Indian airports. But this year, a commander of an Indian carrier was found inebriated before his flight out of Heathrow to India, as early as Sunday last. Unlike India, where a pilot is merely de-rostered for a while by way of punishment, Heathrow authorities take a more stern view. Such pilots are taken to a special area where they are kept in custody till the airline informs British Airports Authority of the action it will take against their employee.

Last New Year eve, at Mumbai alone, five cockpit and cabin crew members were found reporting drunk for duty. At least four more pilots went to the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport for operating flights but fled when they got to know that strict alcohol tests were being conducted there. Shockingly, one pilot was reportedly able to dodge medical examiners and slip into the cockpit to fly out! In end 2006, two drunken pilots were caught in Chennai.

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