Our office building has a little cafeteria that I will use from time to time.
A CPA in the building eats lunch there every day. He knows Steve is a pilot, so he will always ask about airline news when I am down there. The CPA likes the airlines Steve works for, and is a good guy.
Yesterday I was getting lunch, and CPA and I were talking a bit. Another guy, a familiar face, joined in the conversation and almost immediately made some comment about drunk pilots.
"Oh, that doesn't happen very often" I told the familiar face.
"Yeah, maybe not drunk but they are all on some sort of pills," familiar face responded.
"Actually, no I don't think so...none of the pilots I know are addicted to pills," I said, annoyed. I think I also added something about random drug testing.
CPA looked at familiar face and said, "you know, her husband is a pilot." And that ended the conversation.
Why is it that people always bring up drunk pilots? Ok, so in recent news there have been, what? two or three pilots that have been busted for booze. Yet, it is something that ALWAYS comes up. I swear! Just like I get sick and tired of people telling me I am so tall, Hello Captain Obvious, I am sick and tired of the drunk pilot thing.
There are bad seeds in every company. Yet, to some people, these two or three bad seeds equals all pilots are drunk. Maybe it is just that people don't know what else to say, yet they have to say something, so they just say what they think is funny.
I don't think it is funny. Steve takes his job very seriously. In fact, I am sure that all pilots take their jobs seriously. The .0000000985% of pilots that have screwed up does not mean that all pilots drink on the job. I understand if, as a passenger, you are concerned about your safety and I respect that. But, these drunk pilots never even operated the aircraft. They were all caught before the flight even left. The passengers were never in danger.
Steve and I have talked about the whole drunk pilot thing before. He said that if he ever thought his CA was drunk he would take care of things well before the flight. Meaning he would advise the CA to call in sick or something like that. And just to clarify, Steve has never had to do this. He has just thought through this scenario before since drunk pilots make the news.
Just a vent. Sometimes it just feels good to get things off your chest.