A pilot of Garuda Indonesia Budget subsidiary Citilink showed up strongly intoxicated for work and started a chain event within the company culminating in senior executives resigning from their post.
After that the pilot was questioned by authorities after which it was determined that he was overly intoxicated and sent to a clinic for medical examination for which reports are due to be released next week.
You can read about it in the Jakarta Post (access here).
Citilink, the low-cost subsidiary of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, has been under media spotlight following reports that one of its pilots was possibly under the influence of alcohol while on duty.
The pilot, identified as Capt. Tekad Purna, was relieved on Wednesday after passengers claimed he spoke incoherently during a flight announcement made before takeoff. Many passengers decided to disembark from the plane soon after as they were suspicious that the pilot was drunk.
The incident occurred on Wednesday morning as a Citilink flight prepared to depart from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.
Also on Friday, the airline announced that it had fired Tekad for breaching the procedures, a violation that can endanger the lives of passengers.
The pilot was reported to have undergone a medical test at a clinic in Surabaya, East Java, as well as a second medical test in Jakarta by the Flight Health Agency. The final results of the medical check will be issued in a week. …
Citilink vice president of corporate communications Benny S. Butarbutar said that president director Albert Burhan and operational director Hadinoto Soedigno had decided to resign from the company following the incident.
When such a senior figure of a company resigns that means the allegations are serious and either their personal responsibility or at least code of honor weighs heavily on them.
In the meanwhile a video surfaced that shows the captain at the airport in Surabaya, stumbling (apparently drunk) through the security checkpoint.
Under normal circumstances that alone would have been sufficient for security staff to alert authorities to check on the pilots.
Of course in some countries being a pilot and a Captain at that commands a lot of respect and maybe the security staff among other fear consequences of whatever entity if the suspicion turns out to be false.
We wrote about a number of drunk pilot incidents this year and many times the crew was actually stopped or detected by ground staff who then alerted the local authorities. Unfortunately this system doesn’t work everywhere. I find it hard to believe that the First Officer wouldn’t detect his captain to be totally blitzed and then let him get away with it. I’ve never flown Citilink before so I can’t comment on any experience with them first hand.
Nevertheless let’s hope 2017 will be the Sober Year for flight crews (I doubt it somehow). I wish all of you a Happy New Year ahead and safe travels for 2017!