High-flying JetBlue pilot

It was a cold morning yesterday in Buffalo, NY.

I’m sure that the JetBlue passengers were not happy about the 4-hour delay to their Floridian destination.

That is, until they learned that the delay was cause by the detention of their pilot, who had attempted to board the flight to take command while drunk (at more than four times over the FAA’s blood-alcohol limit).

I wonder what would have happened if the TSA agent had not noticed the pilot’s drunkenness. What if a flight attendant had noticed? Would he have spoken up? What if the co-pilot had noticed? Would she have spoken up? I expect they would, given how safety-focused everyone is in the aerospace industry.

Well, not everyone, evidently.

I also wonder if airline employees receive training on how to respond when they see a pilot willing to operate the aircraft under the influence? I wonder, because that type of training is not commonplace in most organizations. We tell employees about the importance of reporting, and we remind them of the channels available, but we rarely tell them exactly how to report. It’s an important gap, especially when the wrongdoing is committed by an intimidating person in authority, like a pilot or an executive.

No one has the right to infect other people

In most places on the planet, you can’t drink and drive.

The rule doesn’t exist to protect the driver, although it does that too. The rule exists to protect the life and property of other people. A drunk driver is very likely to get into an accident, to damage property, to hurt people, or to kill them. We simply won’t allow it.

I wasn’t around when the “drive sober” laws were put in place but I don’t believe that people took to the streets to protest against them. I don’t think anyone barked like an enraged dog at their elected official to maintain their “right” to drive drunk. If that did happen, please send me a link.

Today, the world watches as a minority of egocentric and selfish citizens insist on not wearing face masks and on defying physical distancing rules, thus prolonging the very pandemic giving rise to their madness. Each day that they ignore common sense, they risk hurting and killing more people.

In recent years, about 10,000 people/year have died from drunk driving in the United States. The drivers are considered criminals and sent to jail. Year-to-date, nearly 150,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States. Just yesterday, over 47,000 people became infected. All potential killers.

And some of them are marching in the streets, yelling “My body, my choice”, without masks, spreading the virus.

We need more ethical leaders.