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    Thish aircraft is ready for departure

    It’s something of a dark relief to read that JAL isn’t alone in having some safety concerns recently:

    Eight flight crew members and five of their bosses have been punished after most of them were boozing and partying past the time permitted before they were supposed to be on a domestic flight from Akita to Tokyo, All Nippon Airways said.

    All 13 were given a reprimand of some sort, with the eight actually drinking — the flight captain, a co-pilot, a co-pilot trainee and five flight attendants — served with written warnings. The five others — the bosses of the crewmembers — were verbally reprimanded.

    ANA regulations forbid flight crew members from drinking within 12 hours of their duties, but the group partied on until just 11 hours before the flight.

    Okay, in practice, that’s not so bad. 11 hours is more than enough time to sober back up. For those who don’t know, this gives an indication of how Japanese people put it away:

    The flight captain drank two large jugs of beer and two flasks of sake. Together, the eight members of the flight crew went through two bottles of wine and more than one dozen jugs of beer.

    When the captain returned to his hotel, he realized they had been drinking past the time permitted by company regulations. Early on the morning of May 5, he notified ANA staff in Tokyo and the replacement crew were sent up.

    So the captain adhered to the letter of the law and followed protocol, even though everyone was probably fine to fly. That’s nice to hear, given the way misjudgments by transportation crews have become so prominent in the public mind lately. It’d be even nicer if it were my airline.

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