In a bizarre twist of events, a Singapore Airlines pilot was stood down after he allegedly failed an alcohol test on the morning he was due to fly an international flight - from Melbourne to Wellington.
The airline was forced to cancel the flight from Melbourne to Wellington in New Zealand on Saturday morning and the return flight the same day.
The last minute cancellation was confirmed by a spokesman of the airline, who simply explained that "operating crew member being deemed unfit to fly". He went on further to say "The Civil Aviation Safety Authority officials undertook a random drug and alcohol test of all crew prior to them starting their pre-flight check".
The pilot had reportedly flown in from Singapore and had a day or two layover in Melbourne prior to the scheduled flight.
Following the incident, the pilot was stood down, suspended from all duties and has since returned to Singapore, where a full investigation will take place.
It is important alcohol and aviation DO NOT tangle! Alcohol affects the eyes, brain and the inner-ear, which are all vital faculties for a pilot. Being under the influence of alcohol means the brain isn’t able to make efficient use of oxygen, impairing reaction time, and too much alcohol can cause double-vision and difficulty focusing.
Add to that, dizziness, reduced hearing, sleep-deprivation, muscular incoordination, slurred speech and fatigue, and you have a pretty dangerous cocktail of symptoms for an individual in charge of hundreds of lives.
This is why there are several measures set in place by aviation regulatory bodies to prevent such incidents, like that of Singapore Airlines flight SQ247, from occurring.
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