A United Airlines pilot was yanked off of a flight for being a drunk-ass , and that is absolutely a good thing . That dude should have one shot at rehab , and if you fail , you go to jail . Period .
But there is a current issue right now that concerns me more than a dude getting apprehended for neglecting his duties . After a couple of pilots nodded off and overshot a runway by a bunch of miles , the FAA is considering ALLOWING pilots to NAP on flights. British Airways and Qantas allow one pilot at a time to catch a nod when they are coasting over vast oceans , and while I don't think it should be going on , nothing major has happened because of it . But the thing is , the US is NOT a vast ocean , etc, etc - it is a country that is a transit point for tons of International traffic . The US is the PCH and the Ocean is a backroad . I mean there ARE 2 pilots , but a lot of these dudes are in the prime demographic for heart attacks - sedentary , middle aged , stressed dudes with shitty airport diets . I mean , WHAT would happen during the inevitable if pilot #2 is catching some zzzs and pilot #1 has a medical emergency?
Think on this for a wee second and then tell me ...
...would you rather have a drunk pilot or a sleeping one?