Sri Lanka Airlines Suspends "Visibly Drunk" Pilot Before Flight From Frankfurt To Colombo

Tyler Durden's picture

In what may have prevented yet another tragic flight crash, today Sri Lanka's national carrier Sri Lanka Airlines suspended a "visibly drunk" airplane captain who failed a breathalyser test just before he was due to fly 274 passengers and crew from Frankfurt to Colombo, the airline said Sunday. 

"Upon receiving the results (of the test) SriLankan Airlines took immediate steps to suspend the services of the said captain and took alternative measures to operate the flight to Colombo," the airline said in a statement.

An airline source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Flight UL554 was held up at Frankfurt airport for more than 15 hours on Friday as staff scrambled to find another captain for the Airbus A330, according to France 24.

The crew raised the alarm after noticing that the captain was visibly drunk, the source, who has direct knowledge of the matter, told AFP. The airline said an internal investigation was underway into the incident and it would cooperate with any probe by German authorities.

The cash-strapped airline is due to stop its flights to Frankfurt from October as it slashes routes to European destinations. It is also planning to lease out some of its A330 planes to other airlines in an attempt to raise cash. Suffering from an accumulated $1-billion loss, it is seeking a foreign partner to take over its management.

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Bunghole's picture

You want to see drunks.  Go check out railroad engineers.

Airline pilots have nothing on those bastards

Déjà view's picture

8 hours from bottle to throttle...

There are old pilots and bold pilots...not any old bold pilots...

thatthingcanfly's picture

Not sure about the civilian sector, but the military changed the old "bottle to throttle" maxim more than 20 years ago to the more stringent "bottle to brief."

"Brief" meaning the commencement of any preflight planning - including the crew briefing. The commencement of which must begin no less than 8 hours since your last drink AND when you are "free from the effects" of alcohol. So, if you pound a bunch of tequilla shooters 8 hours before your crew briefing time, and you're hungover as fuck, guess what?, you're still in violation of the policy, despite the fact that 8 hours have elapsed.

Manthong's picture


What do you old rotary guys know about flying fixed wings anyway?

Hell, I could fly that jet blindfolded even after a liter of Stoly.

And I understand the rules……

No drinking within 50 feet of the aircraft and no smoking within 24 hour of the flight.

Please don’t take offense… just having fun.


heck, if a rag head with zero hours of flight time can make a 270 degree corkscrew decending turn in a heavy airliner and glide it into the Pentagram Budget Office I can fly the same thing dead drunk, too.


johngaltfla's picture

Don't worry, Delta will hire him.

jeff montanye's picture

p.s. not sure about the sri lanken pilot but the rag head noted was kind of cheating as he had training wheels provided by the good rabbi dov zakheim.

thatthingcanfly's picture

Manthong, you'll appreciate this:

When I was at Navy Personnel Command, I read a case file involving a P-3 driver who was out getting blitzed in Italy the night before he was to sign as Aircraft Commander on a 10-hour patrol mission. This dude, a LCDR, was out drinking until 2 or 3 in the morning, before a 0700 flight brief! As I recall, someone had to help him back to wherever he was staying, he was so trashed. Many on the crew knew about this. When he was still visibly drunk climbing into the aircraft, the OpsO was called and, well, you know the rest. I think we AdSep'ed him with a General discharge when he turned in a resignation in lieu of a Board of Inquiry.

The joke then became, "How many Navy pilots does it take to fly a P-3? Two and a fifth."

Manthong's picture

Thank you for that.

but I think the fifth is more likely to sit in the middle off the font end of a P-3  : -)

I spent some hours in Naples, Aviono and Sicily.

I did a bunch of  hours in EP-3Es.and then P-3As.

..after I did a bunch of hours in EC-121 M’s.

I have many stories to tell.

..generally, it was the guy or two in the back that we had to pour into the plane.

..and oh.. the racks in the back of the sub hunter P-3s are not particularly comfortable, but, if you dazzle a civilian girl and sneak her on to the base… they work.

.. and Willie drivers always had three tails.


um.. how comfortable are the sleeping accommodations on a Huey or a Chinook?





thatthingcanfly's picture

I wouldn't know about Hueys or Shithooks. But in the back of the 53, there were usually two rows of those canvas troop seats set up. You could stretch out in one of those; and the vibs from that 7-bladed rotor system would rock you to sleep in about a minute.

Of course, one would never doze off in the pilot's seat. That would never happen.

Manthong's picture


Gee, I have missed out on something in life.

The thought of not having a cutie under the chop of a Stallion is depressing.




oh and gosh.. why the pergorative of the really big thing that can’t fly with the dual rotors?




ACES FULL's picture

Whats the officer,Problem? I'm not drunk,are you?

Manthong's picture

awshit.. sometimes, but I suspect you might be a bit more of the problem than the solution,

no personnel problems at this end..

some of my best friends have been officers… curiously though, not generally  above O-5’s.

however (comma) maybe there should  be some fragging on two sides of the Potomac.

StagStopa's picture

I dragged pilots out of bars plenty of times flying heavy lift. One guy I knew had no drivers license due to a DUI. Still had his commercial multi engine ticket.


Trusted those guys drunk over some sober slant eye...



Déjà view's picture

Golden Age Of Aviation...

Heard a story...after crew disembarked they met FAA employees and headed over to airport lounge for cocktails.

Known a few were booze & engine mixture earned a few unwanted wings and a harp.

8 hour rule is a glass of wine or 2 not DRUNK. Better do that 24 hours in advance or not at all before a flight. Impared judgement and getting behind very bad combo.

Manthong's picture

back in the days of the recips


it was referred to as leaning the mixture.

East Indian's picture


But in their defense, they do no take off or land, nor they use a steering, and signals are automated. If they jump a red light, train will come to stop automatically. 


Vageling's picture

Wait... So the end of this monetary bullshit game is coming to it's end? Sounds to me they are expecting a crash. 

peddling-fiction's picture

In October the IMF is officially including the Yuan in their SDR basket.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Too late.  They've been attacked and invaded already.

By leftist Liberals and Muslims.  Viel Spass, viel Glueck!

LMAA (Lach Mein Arsch Ab)

thatthingcanfly's picture

They told him to drive back home.

Vageling's picture

With all due respect. Is this new? This happens a lot lately. Mumbles something with budgets, stress, etc...

Treason Season's picture

OT Makow's got a decent joke posted recetly and it's Sunday.


Dear Auntie Agony,
 My husband hasn't worked for the last 14 years. All he does is get  dressed in the morning and hop in his fancy car to visit his cronies .  I know he`s cheated on me many times with young girls  who could be his granddaughters.  I know because he brags about this to  me. He smokes fancy cigars and drinks the most expensive Champagne day and  night. We sleep in separate beds because he`s always telling  me he knows I`m a lesbian and my varicose veins and ugly face turn him off!  Should I clobber him with my frying pan,  or should I leave him?> Your advice would be appreciated .                                                                  Mad as Hell
 Dear Mad as Hell,
 You don`t have to take that kind of treatment from any man. I suggest you pack your bags and move out a.s.a.p.! Don`t resort to clobbering him with the frying pan, but try to act like a lady!  Remember, you`re running for President of the United States, so try acting like it!  Good luck.                       Aunt A.
buzzardsluck's picture

Taking off is easy and he had plenty of time to sober up, damn killjoys.

Déjà view's picture

Would have had plenty of time to sober up flying for ALITALIA...


Always Late In Takeoff Always Late In Arrival

Francis Marx's picture

And they wonder at times why these jet wander off and never make it to their destinations.

Thoreau's picture

Suspension hell... that should be a FELONY!

LetThemEatRand's picture

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your stewardess speaking... We regret any inconvenience the sudden cabin movement might have caused, this is due to periodic air pockets we encountered, there's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you enjoy the rest of your flight... By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

blue51's picture

As WBanzai would say,  just an Extremely Careless intent to get shitfaced. Carry on

Yen Cross's picture

  Lol, I could just see the headlines.  Airline pilot arrested for flying aircraft inverted for three thousand miles, then doing loops before landing.

Manthong's picture

..but only after three consecutive barrel rolls


my head is still spinning from that concept.....

but then again, maybe it's the morning's first few slugs of Jack.

Manthong's picture

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the co-pilot speaking…..

You may have observed that the horizon out your window is moving up and down by more than 60 degrees and that occasionally the surface of earth seems overhead…

This is just normal flight operation…   and please return your seat backs and tablet tops to the full and upright position…


And oh… please give your barf bags to the flight attendant who has her gravity boots on and is proceeding along the aisle or overhead bulkhead.   

Manthong's picture

You will probably like this, too.

Most folks don’t know that Boeing used B-52 tech when developing the 707.

.. and the chief test pilot knew how well it was built..

,,but he pissed off the execs when the original demo was done.

Yen Cross's picture

  That was cool...Thanks... The USAF is still flying re-engined 707's to spy on Russia and China.

 Those motors are from L-1011's and DC-10---MD10's. The L1011 was a far superior aircraft to the DC-10. You could trim it out beautifully.

 Lockheed had enginge issues so Douglas hit the contracts from airlines first. In the end the L-1011 was a much better airframe, and is still flown by private interests.

  Lockheed L-1011 TriStar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  I used to fly on TWA L-1011's as a kid back in the day. They were wide bodied, and a lot of fun. It was so kool to watch them taxi up to the gate.

Manthong's picture

pop quiz time

speaking of Lockheed.. think of the Skunk Works...

so the guy who helped design  the Super Constellation was also instrumental in another bird….

What color was it… ?


And when just prior to Boeings release of the 707 and Douglas’s near simultaneous release of the DC-8.., Lockheed had an interesting turboprop passenger plane, what was it?  Why did a number of them fall out of the sky.. how did they fix the problem and what happened to make them a financial success for Lockheed?


ok, this a bit of challenge so I will give a hint... prop synchro phaser.

..and none of you youngsters will likely understand this hint: "No Highway in the Sky".


and.. WTF..   Why was the F-117 "Stealth Fighter" which was not a fighter, it was a bomber mis-designated  and  painted black??? 

another hint.. it had nothing to do with it's alleged stealthyness.


..and I sat out on the deck for a bit last night and watched a number of Dragon Flies zipping back and forth with incredible speed and distance.

I thought to myself that these guys are going to have some airspace contention issues when the NSA’s micro-drones move in.



Déjà view's picture


Kelly Johnson

Electra with short wings like 'Widow Maker' B-26

Orion $$$$$

Strengthened wing box


For you...

Which greenhorn error cost Eddie Allen his life?

Which operational bomber looked absolutely stunning (not surpassed to this day) w.o. stilettos. Hint: Bendix Trophy (not 70, 71)

Déjà view's picture

L1011 had extra features/redundancies which DC10 did not have or cost extra...

AA191 DC10 crash of 1979 is worst in U.S. history. Had it been a L1011 it would not have happened because slats would not have retracted on left wing after engine fell off after V1 rotation.

In hindsight AA and Continental were using a forklift (not approved by MD nor FAA) to remove engine-with pylon to save 200 man hours. Crew had airspeed and lift on L wing...then went by book going for altitude over airspeed and rest is history. 

robertocarlos's picture

What happened to laws that said you have to do harm before you can be punished. So he 'drove' drunk. As long as he didn't crash he did no wrong. Is it better if he was sober but still fucked up and crashed?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

What's the problem?  They got an Autopilot anyway, to compensate for the underpaid Oughtapilot.

Anopheles's picture

How to drive when you're stoned  -- From Heavy Metal



Atomizer's picture

Pilot reply using FBI bullshit points. 

  • Extremely careless
  • Should have known
  • Especially concerning
  • Still obligated to protect it
  • Generally lacking
  • Hostile actors
  • Sophisticated adversaries

Insert rhetoric based on FBI Director. 



Manthong's picture

Here is the Gold Medal...

"Did not intend to to get way F'd up"

Atomizer's picture

Double post



grunk's picture

Instead of yelling ‘Allahu Akhbar,’


The pilot was heard yelling 'Allahu Minibar.'


Atomizer's picture

Couldn't experience a mile high bathroom experience with a burka babe. 

I Write Code's picture

He should have known better, and not started drinking until he was in the cockpit and the door was closed.