It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!

My wife has just emailed me a report in the British Daily Mail newspaper concerning a US pilot jailed in Britain.

A pilot who turned up so drunk at Heathrow that he didn’t know where he was supposed to fly his transatlantic passenger plane has been jailed for six months.

George La Perle was stopped by security officers because he was reeking of alcohol, Isleworth Crown Court was told.

He told them he had just had a few beers the previous evening and that he was scheduled to fly to New York. His destination was in fact Detroit……..

Flying regulations allow pilots a maximum of 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood – La Perle was found to have 89. [my bold][1]

US school bus drivers are permitted ZERO milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Does this mean school bus driving is considered a more responsible job than flying a Boeing 767, with around two hundred and fifty passengers, four and a half thousand miles across the Atlantic?

[1] “Drunk pilot didn’t know where he was meant to be flying his plane” Daily Mail, January 24th 2011

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4 Replies to “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!”

  1. Maybe it’s because school buses don’t carry a co-driver, as planes carry a co-pilot?

    Dunno though – we watched a film on HBO last night, based on a true story, “Catch Me If You Can”. In it a real-life con-man, Frank Abagnale, who now works for the FBI, masqueraded as a co-pilot for Pam-Am when he was in his teens. No training whatsoever!! And he got away with it.
    Not much about the USA surprises me any more.

  2. Twilight – you sound as disillusioned with the country as I am.

    WWW – I do wish you’d stop using all this internet slang. You weren’t brought up that way. ‘Stat’, indeed! I have to keep looking these terms up. 😉

    As for a raise, I’d bet drunken Delta Airways’ pilots make a lot more than the $15 an hour of school bus drivers.

  3. Could it be that, once you are in the air, there’s a lot less to hit than when you are driving a bus? (really, there’s only other planes, and the ground… 😉 ) And a pilot doesn’t have to deal with the distractions of 30+ screaming kids…

    I believe that blood alcohol should be 0 whenever you are in charge of a motorised vehicle, but then I’m a bit of a puritan when it comes to that sort of thing!

    (As a teenager, I drove once when I was slightly over the limit – a friend who had come out to my local pub with me decided at 11.30 that she was too scared to walk home, my family were all in bed, and I was too much of a chicken to wake my dad up and ask him – it was the scariest journey of my life (not for fear of being caught, but the knowledge I wasn’t in control), and I’ve never driven after drinking again!)

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