Society

Drunk Pilot Tries To Fly Plane, Passengers Take Action (Video)

| by Kathryn Schroeder

An Indonesian pilot for Citilink, a low-cost subsidiary of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, was fired for allegedly reporting to work drunk with the intention of flying an airplane (video below).

On the morning of Dec. 28, Captain Tekad Purna, 32, was scheduled to fly from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, The Jakarta Post reports.

Passengers claimed he was slurring his words and speaking unclearly during a flight announcement before takeoff, which prompted many to disembark from the plane because they suspected he was drunk or under the influence of drugs, The Associated Press reports.

There were originally 154 passengers on the Airbus A320, but some decided to cancel their reservations when a new pilot was assigned to the flight.

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Video footage of Tekad going through airport security shows him unsteady on his feet, unable to stand up straight and dropping his belongings. 

A clinic and Flight Health Agency performed two separate medical exams, and the results are pending, according to The Jakarta Post.

Citilink previously denied reports that Tekad was drunk, stating initial alcohol and drug tests were negative, AP reports.

An investigation into Tekad’s actions is ongoing, and Minister of Transportation Budi Karya banned him from flying pending the outcome. If he is found guilty of being drunk or under the influence of drugs while on duty, then his license will be revoked.

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On Dec. 30, Citilink announced that Tekad had been fired for breaching procedures, a violation that puts the lives of passengers at risk.

Two executives of the company, President Director Albert Burhan and Operational Director Hadinoto Soedigno, resigned from their positions that same day because of the incident, according to The Jakarta Post.

“The pilot had committed serious violation of standard operation procedure that endangered passengers,” Burhan said, AP reports. “We apologize for the discomfort. I have to be responsible for that and therefore I and my production director resign.”

Citilink Vice President of Corporate Communications Benny S. Butarbutar told The Jakarta Post that Burhan’s resignation must be approved by the company’s board of commissioners and its parent company.

Sources: The Associated Press via WTSP, The Jakarta Post, Juanda International Airport/YouTube / Photo credit: Juanda International Airport/YouTube

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