A passenger snapped a photo as he disembarked a flight and saw a beer in the cockpit.
Steve Lewis took a picture of what appeared to be a can of Stella Artois sitting next to one of the pilots while the cockpit door was open.
“The plane had landed and the seatbelt light came off. I stood up to get my suitcase and as I did the cockpit door opened and I noticed the can in the cockpit,” Lewis told the Metro. “I turned to my partner Steven, who didn’t believe me at first, but then he noticed you could clearly see the Stella branding.”
— jon edwards (@JonedwarJon) September 20, 2017
The airline, British low cost carrier Jet2, initially claimed it wasn’t their flight. The Shaggy Defense.
Then the airline claimed “the can had been given to the pilot for safe keeping.”
“Upon further investigation of the photograph, we can confirm that it is an unopened can which had been handed to a member of our cabin crew by a customer when they were leaving the aircraft,” an airline spokesperson said.
“This unopened can was then put down in the cockpit by the member of cabin crew so that she could continue helping customers as they disembarked.”
In other word but officer, it was my friend’s pot. I was just holding onto it.
While statistically rare, pilots showing up to work in violation of alcohol rules happens more than pilots and airlines would like to admit. There were 23 reported US pilot alcohol violations in 2014 and 2015.
In the last year a Canadian 737 pilot was found passed out in the cockpit and blew a .24. A United pilot showed up late in plain clothes and went on a bizarre rant though it wasn’t immediately clear whether alcohol or drugs were involved. An Indonesian pilot stumbled through security and slurred his preflight announcements before being removed from the aircraft. At Air India 30 pilots blew positive for alcohol in 3 years.
These are incidents airlines would prefer not get much play, when I first started writing the blog a customer was cited (and had to pay a fine) for asking whether their Delta Connection pilot had been drinking only two days before a Delta pilot tested positive for alcohol.
Given the significance of alcohol in the cockpit, probably not a great place to rest a beer even temporarily. That’s optics over substance to be sure but sometimes optics matter.
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