How Booze Goes With Night Flying And Bad Weather

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Night flying and bad weather seem to go with drinking and flying, a Johns Hopkins study has determined. Yes, badly. Researchers found that most crashes (52 percent) involving imbibing pilots (that's about one in 200 pilots, according to testing done by the airlines) occurred at night and that in 64 percent of the alcohol-related crashes, worsening weather was also a factor. "Pilots should never mix alcohol consumption with flying because it can impair their ability to think about key functions in operating a plane," said researcher Guohua Li, a medical epidemiologist. Besides coming up with more reasons not to drink and fly, the researchers hope the study will lead to more effective programs to prevent drunk pilots from getting behind the yoke. The study team went through the medical records resulting from 313 crashes in which the pilot had more than .02 percent blood-alcohol content. The highest BAC? Someone who thought he or she could fly with .239 percent, six times the legal flying limit in most cases, and three times the most common driving limit.