Another instance of an apparently drunk airline pilot reporting for duty has made the news cycle recently. In the latest case, an American Airlines pilot was arrested on the tarmac of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport Saturday, March 26th after he failed a Breathalyzer test… as stunned passengers looked on. His flight- 736- was promptly cancelled. According to reports, a TSA agent was the first person to spot the pilot acting suspiciously. Airport police were called just minutes before the flight was scheduled to take off.
There have been numerous, though sporadic, instances of inebriated pilots showing up to captain their airships over the years. The old Northwest Airlines famously had several issues of this kind over a short period of time back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
In the spirit (spirits?) of high flying, I hereby offer ‘the Top Ten Things Recently Heard in an American Airlines Cockpit:’
#10) “We’re at 25,000 feet, but I’m even higher!”
#9) “Crap, I’ve spilled my cocktail on the auto-pilot controls”
# 8) “That damn stewardess charged us full price again on this round, Bob!”
#7) “Hey, we’re running low on pull-tabs, here…”
#6) “Look, there’s a moon over my Manhattan!”
#5) “You take it, Ed, I’ve gotta throw another leak”
#4) “Do we get 3.2 or strong up here?”
#3) “Dammit, she knows I get three olives in my martinis!”
#2) “Who put their cigarette out in my Budweiser?”
And, drum roll please…
#1) “Why don’t they have sick bags hanging over us?”