Accused ‘drunk’ LIAT pilot cleared

Antigua Observer:-The Liat pilot whose flight was cancelled when passengers accused him of being intoxicated, has been cleared, but the association who represents the pilots is claiming “disrespect”.

Last week Tuesday, a delayed Liat 769 flight from Barbados to St Vincent was cancelled following accusations of the pilot being drunk, but President of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots’ Association, Captain Carl Burke told OBSERVER media, lab result showed later that there were no drugs, including alcohol, in the pilot’s system.

He explained that the pilot went to a private lab after the police station at the Grantley Adams Airport, in Barbados, could not administer a breathalyzer test.

“What we have seen here is a total lack of respect for the crew, which was displayed by the passengers,” he said.

Burke said the passengers’ behaviour could be as a result of the recent treatment of pilots by management.

“I am not too sure if it’s because of allegations being made by management about pilots being irresponsible, being always sick, of trying to cause the company harm,” Burke said.

He said, “We heard allegations coming from a particular shareholder that during the carnival, pilots called sick and go out and enjoy themselves.”

According to Burke, Liat pilots have a reputation for taking their jobs seriously.

“For years, we have seen that these pilots have taken their jobs very seriously, and I would be very curious if that happened to any of our members,” he said.



  1. Mark Philogene
    December 19, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    No Smoke Without Fire. I,ll think twice before I fly with lIAT

  2. LucianM
    December 21, 2016 at 12:26 am

    How is taking one’s life seriously disrespect to pilots? When your thousands of feet in the air there’s little room for regrets.
    It’s still possible the pilot could have been drunk because the alcohol could have run out of his system by the time the breathalyser test was given. Who knows whether he was given water or coffee or something to sober him up after being taken off the plane?
    I say power to the passengers. Better safe than sorry.

  3. Anonymous
    February 8, 2017 at 10:54 am

    The passengers took the smell of jet oil/kerosene from the aircraft’s engines and assumed that it was the smell of alcohol from the pilot’s breath. It is possible that the passengers were drunk.