It is all too common to see drunk folks who celebrated the end of the year to an excessive degree. It is more chilling when those people are pilots. In two separate incidents, pilots were caught in the cockpits about to take off more loaded than their cargo bays. In the case of an Indonesian pilot, he was caught on videotape stumbling through security and staggering on to the plane.
What is incredible about the Citilink pilot is that the security officers Juanda International Airport in Surabaya help him pick up his repeatedly dropped items but do nothing to stop the clearly drunk pilot from going to his flight:
Even if they were unsure whether he was piloting the flight, they should have held him to be sure where he was going in such a condition. Captain Tekad Purna, 32, was allowed to board the plane and was only stopped reportedly by passengers (not the flight crew) after they heard him over the PA.
Caitlin is the cheap carrier for Garuda — Indonesia’s national carrier. In the aftermath of the controversy, two executives with an Indonesian budget airline have resigned. However, those resignation only occurred after the airline denied passenger allegations that the pilot was drunk — only to be proven wrong by this videotape. President director of Citilink Albert Burhan and operational director Hadinoto Soedigno resigned.
Then on New Year’s Eve, a 37-year-old Sunwing pilot after being found intoxicated in a plane that he was about to fly out of Calgary airport. It was 7am and the pilot was reportedly stumbling drunk and may have passed out in the cockpit. In this case, the flight crew altered authorities. He was arrested and found to have more than three times the authorized amount of alcohol (0.08 percent in Canada) in his body two hours after his arrest. He was about to take a Boeing 737 into the air with 99 passengers and six crew members.
The stories do show a contrast however. The crew in the Sunwings controversy appears to have acted appropriately while there is no indication that numerous security and airline staff acted to stop the Indonesian pilot (and then denied allegations that he was drunk).