Armed pilot Arrested for being drunk

Old Jan 13, 05, 9:15 pm
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Armed pilot Arrested for being drunk

I feel so much safer after having read this.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/13/int....ap/index.html

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) -- An armed AirTran Airways pilot was charged with operating an aircraft under the influence after a federal screener at McCarran International Airport smelled alcohol, authorities said Thursday.

Las Vegas police arrested Oliver Paul Reason Jr., 37, in the cockpit of the AirTran plane shortly after he passed through an airport checkpoint Wednesday night, according to the Transportation Security Administration, police and the airline.

Orlando-based AirTran Holdings Inc. issued a statement Thursday saying the airline followed its safety procedures to ensure the Atlanta-bound aircraft was held at the gate.

"The captain neither took command of the aircraft nor was the aircraft operated in any manner," the airline said. It apologized to the 60 passengers inconvenienced by the canceled flight and said it is cooperating with authorities.

The pilot has been suspended from his duties as a federal flight deck officer, which had allowed him to carry the firearm, the TSA said.

If the Federal Aviation Administration finds that the pilot was intoxicated on the job, he will be barred from flying, FAA spokesman Donn Walker said.

The pilot, who has worked for AirTran since 1994, has been suspended indefinitely pending further investigation, airline spokesman Tad Hutcheson said. He added that police told airline officials that Reason had failed a Breathalyzer test.

Reason was being held Thursday at the Clark County jail. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer.

After the terrorist hijackings on September 11, 2001, pilots' unions lobbied for permission to carry guns in the cockpit. Federal lawmakers granted approval the next year.
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Old Jan 13, 05, 9:41 pm
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This is ridiculous. The TSA has no right to interfere with my right to have a drunk pilot.
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Old Jan 13, 05, 10:07 pm
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Isn't it ironic that the pilot's last name is "Reason?"
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Old Jan 14, 05, 6:09 am
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That's why the rule should be:

NO GUNS ON THE PLANE. PERIOD.
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Old Jan 14, 05, 7:32 am
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Exclamation Interesting logic

That's why the rule should be:

NO GUNS ON THE PLANE. PERIOD.


Interesting logic. Using this reasoning (no pun intended), let's also search today's papers for drunk cops, drunk air marshalls, etc.

What the guy did was wrong, period. Nonetheless, I think we can still safely say that anyone bringing a box cutter to a gun fight would have been met with dramatically different results on 09/11.

(I hold a CDW license that's valid in 26 states and I'm currently looking into getting an NYC permit. )
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Old Jan 14, 05, 7:38 am
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Oh, I'm fine with that option too.

If air marshals and pilots can carry guns, then I should be able to do so too.

Either anyone can carry or no one can carry. I don't care which we choose, but letting only certain individuals carry is a disgrace.
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Old Jan 14, 05, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff
That's why the rule should be:

NO GUNS ON THE PLANE. PERIOD.

In other words, an unarmed drunk pilot would be okay?
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Old Jan 14, 05, 9:10 am
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Having been around this business for a long time, I can say that pilots 'tip the glass' quite abit more often than gets reported...the only way around it is a mandatory breath analyzer before every flight...it's rather unfortunate, but it does happen...I believe more so in the regional airlines that drive their crews pretty hard.

On the issue of guns, I have a very reasonable argument why pilots should not have guns - the 1st commandment of the post 9/11 era is the flight deck door should never be opened, never ever ever. In order for the pilot to use his gun against a 'terrorist', he would need to open the flight deck door, thus opening himself and the copilot up to being attacked. As long as that door is closed and secure, and the proper reinforcements and kevlar are in place, he/she can maintain control of the flight regardless of what is happening in the cabin - and priority #1 should be to maintain control of the aircraft and land as soon as possible.

No one is going to benefit from exposing the flight deck and having a shootout at the OK corral.
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Old Jan 14, 05, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff
Oh, I'm fine with that option too.

If air marshals and pilots can carry guns, then I should be able to do so too.

Either anyone can carry or no one can carry. I don't care which we choose, but letting only certain individuals carry is a disgrace.
Damn right.

Though my preference would be for an entirely weapon free environment, "air marshals" included.
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Old Jan 14, 05, 10:27 am
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Thumbs up

priority #1 should be to maintain control of the aircraft and land as soon as possible.
Absolutely agree. But when the gates are breached, a weapon is a handy thing to have.
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Old Jan 14, 05, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by Dovster
In other words, an unarmed drunk pilot would be okay?
No, it means that we seem to place a lot of faith in background checks or other equally stupid means of determining who is a threat and who isn't. TSA employees don't get shoe harassment, or for that matter, much harassment at all if they don't alarm at the WTMD. TSA management can bypass the WTMD, or at least not get checked out if they alarm at the WTMD. And thousands of airline/airport employees bypass the checkpoint entirely each day.

The point is that we harass travelers needlessly but give guns to those who could turn on us at any moment by blowing a fuse or showing up drunk.

It's time to stop the hypocrisy.
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Old Jan 14, 05, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by LEX-LGA Commuter
Absolutely agree. But when the gates are breached, a weapon is a handy thing to have.
I'm a pilot (private SEL/IFR and working on the multi) and a pretty good pistol shot. I cannot imagine trying to land a transport-class turbine aircraft and survive an armed standoff at a range of less than 2 meters (in a pressurized tube, no less) at the same time.

Arm the air marshalls and armor the cockpit door. The FFDO program is a problem waiting to happen.
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Old Jan 14, 05, 11:50 am
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I don't see the relevance of his FFDO status to the issue here (other than media sensationalism) -- he was under the influence of alcohol. He should not be at the controls of an airplane or part of the flight decision making process (other than to remove himself from command, which he did not).

An accident that comes as the result of an alcohol-induced reduction in motor skill, judgement, or reaction time has far graver ramifications than the sidearm isse! Doesn't anyone here see that? Which is more dangerous? A drunk with a loaded gun and 10 rounds of ammunition or a drunk at the controls with 100-200 people in the back?

Don't forget, Mr. TSA pants, pilots have crash axes in the cockpit too! Look out, they're sharp and pointy!
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Old Jan 14, 05, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by ClueByFour
I'm a pilot (private SEL/IFR and working on the multi) and a pretty good pistol shot. I cannot imagine trying to land a transport-class turbine aircraft and survive an armed standoff at a range of less than 2 meters (in a pressurized tube, no less) at the same time.

Arm the air marshalls and armor the cockpit door. The FFDO program is a problem waiting to happen.
And don't forget the likely willingness of the pax to help perform a beat-down on the bad guys if at all possible. There's no way I'm going to stay seated and wait to die unless the flight officers or a FAM tells me to. Big-n-tall JPT will be happy to help beat the snot out of the bad guys and then stow them neatly in the overhead compartment.

BTW, I completely agree with your post, ClueByFour. Y'all stay in there and get us safely back on the ground. I'll be out in the cabin trying to make the bad guys eat a beverage cart.
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Old Jan 14, 05, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
On the issue of guns, I have a very reasonable argument why pilots should not have guns - the 1st commandment of the post 9/11 era is the flight deck door should never be opened, never ever ever. In order for the pilot to use his gun against a 'terrorist', he would need to open the flight deck door, thus opening himself and the copilot up to being attacked.
Agree!! Not only leaving the cockpit door open is a big "NO NO", what happens if the armed pilot has a change of heart and becomes a terrorist himself/herself.

Last edited by Rejuvenated; Jan 14, 05 at 12:30 pm
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