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Saturday November 07, 2015 20:54

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The Texas Pilots Association,

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ABC News - 'What Would You Do?': Drunken Pilots


Do NOT Drink & Fly!


Barbiturates and Planes Do NOT mix!


Do NOT let a pilot -or any cockpit crew member- under the influence fly; even if you are not flying with them, you can still become their first victim.




If you see an intoxicated cockpit crew member about to go flying, you are already involved;  do not confront them, but do not hesitate and immediately report them to the authorities to protect your life and that of others!




Dangers of Piloting an Aircraft Under the Influence

Pilots under the influence of drugs or alcohol are simply playing with the lives of their passengers and crew members and pose a risk to other aircraft and people on the ground. It is more difficult for pilots under the influence of alcohol or drugs to process information, assess situations, and make good choices-all of which are of the utmost importance when operating an aircraft.

Alcohol is a depressant and slows the functions of the central nervous system. Normal brain function slows, and the pilot is unable to function normally. Alcohol retards the pilot's information processing skills and hand-eye coordination.

Alcohol also reduces a pilot's physical performance abilities, leading to a lack of balance and coordination and decreased reaction time. Nearly all aspects of the pilot's vision are impaired, the effects of which include:

  • Decreased peripheral vision.
  • Reduced depth perception.
  • Decreased night vision.
  • Poor focus.
  • Difficulty in distinguishing colors (particularly red and green).

Operating an aircraft is very demanding and requires special knowledge and abilities and perfect vision. For a pilot to be successful, he or she must demonstrate high levels of cognitive functioning and psychomotor skills, both of which are impaired by alcohol and drugs.

Pilots are required to be skilled in tasks such as working in three dimensions, navigating, and communicating. Regardless of blood alcohol content, these skills are all the more challenging to master when conducted in an environment with decreased partial pressure of oxygen, making clarity of mind an absolute necessity.

Aircraft travel at much faster speeds than automobiles, boats, or any other mode of transportation. This means that pilots must be alert and able to demonstrate excellent judgment, decision-making skills, and memory. Alcohol affects the body in ways that impair these crucial piloting necessities.



Intoxicated pilots are NOT FUNNY, they are EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!

If you see one:




Disney Chanel Show, Seeking Young Female Pilots


Dear Members, and all aviation enthusiast,

I’ve been approached by a television producer who is working with Disney Channel on a project with short segments that profile young people who have made a difference in their community, excelled in special areas and exemplify Disney values. The goal of the program is to motivate viewers to achieve their dreams, increase awareness of various issues and to inspire others to become active and make their own mark on the world.

For an upcoming episode, we they are looking for young girls between the ages of 5-16 (in North America,) who are active pilots and dream big. If you can recommend any girls to be featured on their Disney Channel show, please contact The Texas Pilots Association at .

If you are working with any kids you think would be a good fit for the program, please ask them if they would like to be nominated, and get back to me with their story and contact information as soon as possible.   

These spots will air as 2-3 minute mini-documentary pieces all over the Disney Networks and online for about a year.

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone else you know whom you think can help spread the word.

Thank you very much.

Raéd M.Alexander Ayyad

President, The Texas Pilots Association


Travel Etiquette


-At the Airport:


Arrive early. If travelling commercial, the security lines get longer closer to the departing time.


Make sure that you have all your travel documents ready at hand.

Don't be easily offended. Relax. Listen carefully and follow instructions. Never try to joke about terrorists, bombs or weapons. You will end up in a holding room.

Be courteous to the airport employees and security officers. Thank them for caring enough to perform their jobs well.

Be prepared. If travelling commercial, remember that the TSA follows the 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons.

Be ready at the X-ray scanning machines, when travelling commercial aviation, and remember that if you carry a laptop to place it in a separate bin than those that contain your other carry-on items.

When travelling commercial, dress for today's travel world.  Avoid wearing clothing containing metals that can trigger detectors and slowdown security lines. Also, take keys, coins, etc. out of your pockets and place them in an x-ray bin before walking through security scanners.

When travelling commercial, wear shoes that are easy to remove and wear, and always wear socks or hosiery. From a hygiene perspective, you do not want to stand barefoot on the same floor others may have walked barefoot on too.

Once at the gate -or passenger lounge at a GA airport- please use one chair per person! Do not force others to stand  because you are taking-up seats for your belongings. Place your things near you or under your feet.





-On the Plane:





Piloting an Aircraft Under the Influence

Regardless of the type of aircraft being flown, whether it is commercial or private, any pilots under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be charged with an flying under the influence (FUI). State, federal, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations regarding this offense are very severe. For this reason, the FAA has drawn up explicit rules that regulate alcohol consumption by crew members of commercial and private aircrafts.

It is strictly prohibited for anyone to act as a crew member if he or she is under the influence of alcohol. The FAA states that it is illegal for crew members to consume alcohol within 8 hours prior to a flight and to have a blood alcohol content level of 0.04% or higher. Pilots or crewmembers who violate these rules face serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and the revocation of their pilot licenses.

It is also important to note that a drunk driving conviction can affect a pilot's flying privileges. Pilots are required to report any previous DUI convictions to the FAA, as well as any penalties imposed upon them due to the conviction. A pilot's flying license can be suspended, and aspiring pilots can be denied licenses if his or her driver's license has been suspended two times in the past three years.

Piloting an aircraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an illegal and very dangerous activity. Many of the laws that apply to driving under the influence also apply to FUI. In addition to state and federal laws concerning alcohol consumption and flying, pilots also have to follow Federal Aviation Regulations, which are determined by the FAA.

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the body's central nervous system, impairing a person's judgment, vision, balance, and coordination. Impairment of these abilities while piloting an aircraft increases the probability of an accident.

To identify possible FUI offenders, the FAA requires random alcohol testing to be performed on pilots. The FAA also requires alcohol testing for any pilots involved in accidents to verify whether alcohol was a contributing factor. Furthermore, pilots have to undergo background checks for past convictions, specifically for driving under the influence.

Recreational pilots do not operate a plane everyday, whereas in the United States, many people use their land vehicles on a daily basis. Naturally, this makes FUIs particularly dangerous as a result of their inexperience. Also, pilots work in an environment with decreased partial pressure of oxygen and at velocities that well exceed the capabilities of cars, boats, or any other mode of transportation.

Penalties for Piloting an Aircraft Under the Influence

Pilots are expected to be aware of all the laws concerning flying under the influence and are subject to severe penalties for transgressions. In addition to state and federal laws concerning alcohol consumption and flying, pilots also have to follow Federal Aviation Regulations as determined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Many of the penalties for FUIs are similar to those of DUIs. Common repercussions of FUI convictions include:

  • Jail time.

  • Fines.

  • Required attendance at lengthy alcohol education programs.

  • Flying safety classes with an additional alcohol education component.

  • License suspension or revocation of flying privileges

The penalties depend on the circumstances of the offense, the offender's police record, and the state in which the incident takes place, since FUI laws are partially determined by each state. The severity of the fines and penalties are also determined by the pilot's blood alcohol content level, whether or not people were injured, and if there was property damage.

If a pilot is asked by law enforcement officials to be tested for drugs or alcohol, he or she must submit to the test according to the implied consent law. Whether in a car, boat, or aircraft, the person operating the vehicle agrees to be tested if suspected of driving, boating, or flying under the influence. Pilots who refuse to take the test automatically have their license suspended or their flying privileges revoked, which lasts over a year in some states.

Furthermore, pilots are required to report any previous DUI convictions to the FAA, as well as any penalties imposed upon them due to the conviction. A pilot's flying license can be suspended, and aspiring pilots can be denied licenses if his or her driver's license has been suspended two times in the past three years. If a pilot fails to report a previous conviction, he or she faces a $250 000 fine, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

If a pilot reports having a prior DUI conviction, it does not mean that his or her license will be automatically suspended. However, upon learning of such a conviction, the FAA usually requires the pilot to undergo substance abuse or psychiatric evaluations. Upon completion of the evaluation, the pilot may be required to take part in substance abuse treatment programs or random drug and alcohol tests.

-Source: DUI Foundation



From The News Headlines:



  • A drunken flight navigator contributed to the plane crash that killed 47 people

(The Moscow Times and other media sources -September 20, 2011:) The Tu-134 jet belonging to the airline RusAir (RusAir Flight 9605 -also RusLine Flight 243) slammed into a highway just minutes before it was to land June 20 at Petrozavodsk airport in northwest Russia. Five people survived.

A drunken flight navigator contributed to the plane crash that killed 47 people, with his authoritative instructions leading a less-experienced pilot to attempt a fatal landing in heavy fog, investigators said Monday.

On Sunday, state television channel Rossiya said experts believe the navigator, who was among those killed in the crash, had consumed about a glass of vodka shortly before the flight took off from Moscow (navigator’s blood alcohol level was 0.8‰).


  • Drunk man runs into propeller of Vietnam ATR-72

(AvHerald and other media sources -Oct 14th 2011) A Vietnam Airlines Avion de Transport Regional ATR-72-500, flight VN-1600 from Banmethuot to Hanoi (Vietnam), was about to taxi off its parking stand when a man jumped over the barrier onto the apron and ran towards the aircraft. Although the captain recognized the danger and shut the engines down the man was sucked into the right engine's propeller. By shear luck and the quick reaction by the captain the man sustained minor injuries only.

The aircraft needed to be examined and was able to depart for Hanoi with a delay of 3 hours.




Flying in real-life is not like flying a simulator... You CANNOT "undo" or "pause", and you CANNOT restart the game.

Keep it real! It is a literal matter of life and death!




Safety in Aviation






From your friends at

The Texas Pilots Association,

we wish you safe & fun flying!





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