Government-owned Air India is a basket case. Air India crew often do as they wish whether it’s evading alcohol checks and refusing to fly unless they’re paired with their preferred co-workers.
There’s certainly fertile ground for improvement as the airline wishes to regain control of its operation. One place they may want to start is with whom they put in charge of training pilots for safety.
The Air India pilot who is responsible for safety and training at the airline was stopped from flying London – Delhi today after failing not one but two breathalyzer tests.
A senior pilot who is also director of operations for Air India, and has had responsibility for flight safety and training, said he was told by the carrier he failed two breathalyzer tests on Sunday before a flight to London from New Delhi.
Last year he was suspended for 3 months after refusing to take a breathalyzer before and after flying Bengaluru – New Delhi. Despite the refusal he flew the plane. After that he was promoted to his current role.
In last year’s incident he claimed he was “set up” although it’s not clear how that would even be possible.
This time he says he wasn’t even drinking, and suggests the tests make no sense since the second one was even more over the limit than the first (of course alcohol takes time to register in the blood, so it’s perfectly consistent with someone who drank recently). His defense is, essentially, that he was so far over the limit that he couldn’t have been drunk.
Sure, when an American pilot was arrested a reader asked whether that meant the airline was back to serving pre-departure beverages and I laughed. But it’s serious. Even seeing alcohol in the cockpit is serious.
— jon edwards (@JonedwarJon) September 20, 2017
George Burns once said, “Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or fourteenth.” He could have been a pilot for Air India.