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  • Alcoholism Among Professional Pilots


    The federal government of America is very strict about operating aircrafts. No one under the influence of alcohol or any drug should operate an aircraft. Anyone with alcohol content of 0.04 percent and above should not be allowed to operate an aircraft. A lapse of eight hours before a flight is the minimum allowed time for pilots that drink. This important period is commonly referred by professionals as the bottle to throttle. Some airlines are however more strict and have their set rules. Pilots that have had alcoholic drinks in the past twelve hours are not allowed to fly planes. Such airlines include the USAir and United Airlines. Research has shown that alcohol-related accidents are not very prevalent. This does necessarily mean that pilots do not drink. The management in the airports is however very strict. Pilots are subjected to drug tests every time before they head to the pit. Current laws are however lees strict on alcohol as they do not allow for pilots to be tested for alcohol. This is even after incidents.

    The Extent of Pilot Drinking

    Though there are not many cases of alcohol-related accidents, drinking among pilots is greater than expected. In The USA, only sixteen cases of accidents have been related to alcohol since the year 1983. However, from the same time sixty-one pilot licenses have been cancelled because of flying crafts under the influence. Of all these cases, none of them involves a major airline and most of the pilots involved are in the private aviation. This shows you that the problem of alcohol among pilots is more than we imagine. Statistics shows that 10, 300 driving licenses of pilots across The USA were suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol. Still most of the pilots whose licenses were cancelled were from the small and private aviation institutions. The government and managements of airlines have special programs that are aimed at helping pilots and other workers in airlines that face the problem of alcoholism.

    Alcohol Impact on Flying

    The worst effect of alcohol on pilots is the problem of impaired judgments. Pilots are sometimes required to make speedy decisions depending on instances. Alcohol has an adverse effect on judging of situations. Also, alcohol hangover affects the reaction time of a pilot. Very low level of alcohol content or traces in the blood will cause a big impact on the response time. This is why pilots are not supposed to take any alcoholic drinks eight hours before a flying. However, this time is not enough is not sufficient.

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