Armed AirTran Pilot Accused Of Drunkenness, Fired
Add guns to drinking, and you have worries, but add flying too, and you have potential disaster. Thus when a federal security screener at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, Nev., smelled alcohol on an armed AirTran pilot last Wednesday, police quickly descended. They questioned him, gave him a breath test and removed him from the cockpit. Oliver Paul Reason Jr., 37, was fired from his flying job and also suspended from his duties as a federal flight deck officer. Tracy Price, an airline pilot and an advocate for guns in the cockpit, told reporters the greatest danger is not a drunk pilot with a gun, but a drunk pilot with an airplane. "The issue is making sure a pilot who is irresponsible with alcohol is never, ever given access to an airplane," said Price. "Between the airplane and the gun, the airplane is many times more dangerous." All federal flight deck officers are volunteers trained by the TSA and are required to pass psychological tests. AirTran told The Washington Post it never liked the idea of pilots carrying guns in the first place. "We want the pilots to focus on flying and not on guns or security or anything else," spokesman Tad Hutcheson said.