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FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt Charged with DUI

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The head of the Federal Aviation Administration is on administrative leave after being charged with drunk driving Saturday night by Fairfax City police, according to the Department of Transportation. (www.washingtonpost.com) Altro...

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b190c550
It was Babbitt’s administration that changed how a first offence DUI/DWI’S are handled by the FAA. In the past, a first offence was typically pardoned. As long as the pilot did not have 2 in a 3 year period of time, no actions were taken. Now they are much stricter. If the BAC is above .15 you will loose your medical, until you go through the H.I.M.S. program, which requires treatment and numerous evaluations from psychiatrists and psychologists appointed by the FAA (these criminals, sorry I meant Doctors get around $3,000 for the evaluation, can you say kickback money?) The whole process takes about a year, and costs about $35,000 to get your medical back. This whole thing reminds me of Larry Craig and Eliot Spitzer, fighting for ethics and morality while they are tapping their foot on the bathroom floor at airports, or screwing hookers. Thou protesteth too much. Should he catch a break? HELL NO. He better be held to the same rules and standards that he implemented.
falcon2000driver
Regardless how we feel about the FAA or Mr.Babbit,they have an enormous job to do and do a pretty good job of it,in spite of a few individuals,I just hope they give the man some needed help and he doesnt get any Special treatment because of his status.Thats all.Alcoholism is an insideous disease that doesnt discriminate,it is just unfortunate that the man leading our country in aviation has shown some very poor judgment.
CaptStephanC
Too much to ask......Yeah, it is................He was an egotistical, pontificating jerk at ALPA, and the same at FAA........Two "15 minute" periods of time, and now this one better be over, also...............
falcon2000driver
Wow,finally someonewho knows what the ....Heck, hes talking about,very informative,anymore insider info?Thx CaptStephanC
atlwatchdog
Watch Dog 0
So Capt. Stephan, are we bitter? Your remarks could borderline on the belligerent. I'd say Babbitt got under your skin. However, regardless of the names you're able to conjure up, have you ever stopped to think how you're placing these names and labels on someone?

Take a chill pill my friend. When did it ever directly affect you... really?
atlwatchdog
Watch Dog 0
Holy cow look at that post of mine. Embarrassing, and a good number of reasons not to make late night posts without having had some rest.

Allow me to clarify as what I meant to write was: /However, regardless of the names you're able to conjure up, have you ever stopped to think how you're coming across to others placing these names and labels on someone?/
CaptStephanC
A chill-pill?....Bitter?...No!...Ironic...Yes!...Disappointed?.....Yes!.....Tenure as ALPA President did not get one of the primary issues involving crewmember flight-time and duty-time limitations, and minimum rest requirements, solved. Under his tenure as FAA Administrator, these issues are still being addressed, although with his background and first-hand experience (presumably why he was appointed to this position), this should have been a done-deal by now. Safety and the FAA? But then again, "BIG MONEY", and the bottom-line (think Occupy Wall Street). Did it affect me directly? Yes...30 years Part 121, and 5 years Part 135...Every "professional" pilot, at one time, or another, has been exposed to this issue, and every "professional pilot" should be concerned!

Ironic...as I said, Yes...Why? Because he was driving down the wrong side of the road when stopped. DUI?...Blew an alcohol test over the limit, according to the media report. Guilty...Not yet, but although some have pointed out that in this country you are presumed innocent, that is not really the case. Here one has to prove innocence, before one is not guilty. The irony to me is, if he was driving down the wrong side of the road, it may have been alcohol related, or he could have been too tired. In either case, he should not been operating a vehicle (read aircraft), thus endangering others. I.E., people die because of this!......

Should he lose his job? What's the question here, if, of course, he is found guilty? In this particular instance, I think "Yes"! But think plea-bargain, think about Congress (insider trading is legal, but not for Martha Stewart), think Chappaquiddick..................................
atlwatchdog
Watch Dog 0
Holy cow look at that post of mine. Embarrassing, and a good number of reasons not to make late night posts without having had some rest.

Allow me to clarify as what I meant to write was: /However, regardless of the names you're able to conjure up, have you ever stopped to think how you're coming across to others placing these names and labels on someone?/
falcon2000driver
Wow,so much for leading by example!Thats simply amazing,wonder if they will run him through the ringer,like they would a pilot?
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 0
Just think, maybe one or a couple of you will get a dui also over the holidays. Be sure to post it here so we could call you a whiny f_ _ _!!!
falcon2000driver
Careful man,dont thinkasap would approve of that message,lol just kiddin.
wdmichael
Anyone can make a mistake. Unfortunately, Babbitt's mistake showed up in the Washington Post. I wish him the best and caution others that gloating over the man's potential loss of employment and humiliation may not be what want to do.
nbpilot
It's true that anyone can make a mistake. However, those arrested for DWI are usually not first timers that made a mistake. Usually, there is already an established pattern and they finally got caught. Regardless, as the head of the FAA, he has to set the example. Failure to do so negates the FAA and its regulations he is working to endorse.
jatherton
He will be retired on full pay which we all will cover together with all the other 'perks' to which that position is entitled.
More evidence of why DC needs to be cleansed.
upchucked
He, like ALL Federal employees is covered by the Federal retirement system. He has been on the job for less than 5 years and has no retirement benefits. He is, however, a retired Eastern Airlines captain and has whatever retirement benefits he accrued with them.
Pileits
Pileits 0
Frank Lorenzo took ALL of Eastern Airlines money, Babbit doesn't get a penny from Eastern!
ibock
Ian Bock 0
What a TOOL!
Kingair31
Kingair31 0
Disgraceful.
nbpilot
If a licensed FAA pilot was convicted of DWI, they would have their license suspended or revoked. Will Babbitt lose his license? His job? Or is the gander better than the goose? http://aviation-digest.blogspot.com/2011/12/head-of-faa-charged-with-dwi-will-he.html
vanbess
vanbess 0
oh remember the fed's don't have to obey the same laws as we do
VE9WR
Tom Wright 0
Grow up, they have the same laws as you or I have to abide by.
jeffinfwb
I am grown up Sir and no the Feds (certain holders of office or posts) do not obey rules and laws like normal citizens. Perhaps it is you who should wake up..
gkcopperdrag
Example: Members of congress are legally allowed to use inside knowledge of changes in the law to influence their decision to buy or sell company stock. For anyone else in this "land of the free" it is a felony.
mannyKhaghani
He better
upchucked
Should he be fired? I would say that he should lose his job, if he is convicted or pleads guilty to the charge. Of course, he is only ACCUSED of DWI at the moment. Remember, this is the USA and we are all innocent until proven guilty. Maybe the cop who stopped him was a pilot who lost his medical for multiple DWIs and recognized him and thought this would be cute. Or maybe the person who ran the alcohol test was a trainee and not certified on the equipment and made an error, or the equipment was faulty. There are any number of reasons why he might be found not guilty, and until he is found guilty, he deserves what anyone of us would demand, the presumption of innocence.
mpradel
Presumption of innocence would be cool to any other humans except for the guy who gets to pull your pilot privileges FIRST, for a similar slip-up.
ATCguy1
ATCguy1 0
Well if he is found guilty and loses his position, I just hope they don't bring back Marion Blakey!
dcrose1942
Diana Rose 0
Make him do community service! Pick up trash along the runway.
BenKFIT
Ben Lillie 0
It would have been funny if he had been FLYING under the influence.
alistairm
alistairm 0
Oh yes, that would have been hilarious!!!..... by the way, i am being sarcastic.
BenKFIT
Ben Lillie 0
It would be more ironic, no funny.
falcon2000driver
I realize anyone can make a mistake,but that position warrants leading by example,my point is,he needs to get the same treatment that a regular civilian would get,which is suspension of medical ,drug and alcohol counseling and treatment and a continuing screeening for this,as well as the civilian punishment,just like a citizen would endure.We all are capable of making mistakes and we pay for them also.
VE9WR
Tom Wright 0
That opening line is plan stupid; this man is not governed by restriction like pilots or air traffic controllers where they have to no drugs or alchol so many hours before flying or controlling!!

He is no different than "Joe Citizen"... your next door neighbor who drives home from his job selling suits under the influence. Doesn't matter what this guys 'title' is, he is just a human with the same faults you & I have; I'm certain there have been times many of us 'hit the roads' think we were okay but definitely were not. That doesn't mean he should be 'fired' because of an act of stupidity!!

There have been many recorded incidents of Pilots under the influence of alchol in commercial airlines. Even something as stupid as that, they too deserve a one-time warning that includes rehabilitaton. A second offence for 'drinking on the job' should have no leniency, period!!!
ibock
Ian Bock 0
He is not "Joe Citizen" though. He is a political appointee, chosen by the president, for a top post in an important government agency.
worldpilot69
Are you F**King Kidding? He sold out the Eastern, Pan Am and TWA pilots while head of ALPA. He grew up as an Eastern brat, his dad, Slim, was a Captain for 30+ years. He took his huge salary because the Delta scumbags put him on their pilot seniority list, so Babbitt could keep his cushy ALPO job and the 150% of the highest negotiated Captain salary in the industry. Babbitt sold his soul, if he ever had one, to the devil. ALPO is now on the hook for $500 million plus to the TWA pilots for "failure to represent", in their failed effort to get AA pilots back into the union.
falcon2000driver
I fully agree with Randy.
JoePru
Joe Pru 0
Some poor cop just made the No-Fly-Forever List
ibock
Ian Bock 0
And now he is taking a "leave of absence". Looks like he'll get to spend some quality time with his family over the holidays!
mpradel
what is a guy who has the Coolest tail number in the country (N1) at his disposal doing driving around alone?
ibock
Ian Bock 0
Since he has no pilot friends, he is sad, and drinks alone.
milkwood
milkwood 0
touché good 1
alistairm
alistairm 0
Way to kick a guy while he is down guys! Those with the "what a tool", "moron" and other negative comments, must be so proud of being such mature men!! Give yourselves a pat on the back! Just because he is the head of the FAA, does not make him perfect. He is only human like most of us around here. As with anyone else, i hope the law is fully applied in this matter and that he gets help.
stol701
stol701 0
Get off your soapbox, and stop supporting lame government officials. We deserve MUCH better.
alistairm
alistairm 0
im not supporting a government official, i am supporting a human being. He is a person first, a father/husband second, somebody's son and then he is a government official. I support him in getting help. I never said what he did was right or "support" what he did. He must be punished just as anyone else. Perhaps there is someone out there better suited for the job. But as it stands now, that is who heads the FAA.
AgentX
Ditto Alistair.... Like most here on this list have never got into a car after drinking.... Yes there should be no special treatment and more than likely if this is his first offense he will get spanked.
flyboy97222
Jason Rhew 0
Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.....he's a snake in the grass....
mrdedwalker
Well . . . . Here's another one for American funny names (or what!).. Now either this guy is a Randy Rabbit or he's like, sort of a loose female rabbit... Bandy (legged) Rabbit..

LOL
falcon2000driver
Alistair,i think what the topic is trying to be is a fair dealing with this topic and no special treatment just because he is top man on the aviation totem pole,or org chart if you prefer,thats what i am saying,NO SPECIAL TREATMENT,exactly treated as an average citizen and no golden escape parachute.
alistairm
alistairm 0
i agree with you. i think he should be dealt with just as anyone else would be treated, no golden escape parachute. I just can't stand the "what a tool" or "moron" remarks. Makes me think that the guys making those remarks have a few issues themselves and kick guys while they are down to make themselves feel better.
stol701
stol701 0
Well that's all nice gibberish, but the fact is that people in positions of rule making need to be held accountable. If they set "zero tolerance" than so be it. Ask Patty Wagstaff how her Oshkosh event went for her. You sharp tools are clearly the smartest of the bunch, and thanks for keeping the bar so low.
alistairm
alistairm 0
"...people in positions of rule making need to be held accountable." Of course they do, i never said they should not be. Anyone needs to be held accountable for their actions. No one, not even myself, has stated that he should be given a get-out-of-jail-free card. My only problem with the people on here who kick the guy when he is already down. What is your problem?
stol701
stol701 0
I never kicked him, and how do you know he is down? Did you ask him? Like all other power hungry loosers, he will probably only be depressed 'cause he lost all his glorious power. He deserves every bit of scrutiny because of his position of responsibility.

You obviously have no clue to the disgusting behavior that goes on every day in the FAA, it should be privatized because WE DESERVE BETTER. If you want to console poor Randy, do it with your money, not mine. And yes. tool is the perfect description.
BoeingFan59
Ah the good ole money talk! This goes back all the way to the Indians when they wanted gold and such.
Vectorer
Vectorer 0
Disgusting behavior? Every day in the FAA? Do tell! You seem to know it all, Jim...let's hear more! Enquiring minds, etc...
stol701
stol701 0
Gee Dave, you obviously can't figure it out yourself so it be waste of time to try and explain it.
Vectorer
Vectorer 0
You made an allegation, Jim. We've got the time... Back it up. Let's hear what you know about disgusting behavior.
ibock
Ian Bock 0
He's not "down". A guy that loses his job, and can't afford to feed his family is "down". Babbitt, and others that drive under the influence are no different than a guy walking through downtown firing a weapon indiscriminately.
AgentX
Ian guess your a teetotaler....
ibock
Ian Bock 0
No, nice try. I drink. I'm just not dumb enough to get behind the wheel after I drink. For me, ONE drink is too many. Too bad he didn't have the same philosophy, he would still have his job, among other things.
ibock
Ian Bock 0
Well, he is a tool. Anyone who drives under the influence is a tool, at best. At worst, a murderer of innocent people.
atlwatchdog
Watch Dog 0
Anyone who is willing to stoop to calling others names in such a childish manner must lack intelligence or possesses a limited vocabulary. I don't have to call someone a tool, moron, or any other name that can be described as childish.

I think that is the point Alistair was making. No one is saying he should come away from this unscathed, but it fruitless to stoop to name calling.

You can express an opinion of the man and the situation in an adult manner. Is that too much to ask?
ibock
Ian Bock 0
You are right, I'm not the smartest guy in the world. Plus, my vocabulary is limited. I guess when you put down others with big words, it makes you a better person than one who puts down with smaller words? What makes you any different than me, watch dog?
stol701
stol701 0
Your name says it all....watchdog. It IS too much too ask....I will say whatever is on my mind in the way that I want to....or are you the watchdog of this forum? He should be held to the fire because of his oath to his country. All you "look the other way" people have allowed these creeps to get away with things like this forever. Grow a pair.
VE9WR
Tom Wright 0
Statler, you are full of it; no where in the 'oath to his country' is this stated!! When he leaves his office at night or for the weekends or holidays, that is his time and his business!! Even having a drink over a business meeting that too is okay (I don't like that) that unfortunately is how many deals are consumated.


What you say should apply to every Employee at any job in the country regardless; you mention "grow a pair", well it seems like you did but they got so huge they shut off the blood flow to your head - the upper one!!!!
art234
Was he with Doug Parker by chance?
adambear8
adambear8 0
What?
Why would Doug Parker be drinking with the head of the FAA. Maybe the owner of AMR.
chiphermes
The joke is that Doug Parker has multiple DWIs, one being as recent as 2007.
jetlagged
My grandmother was killed by a drunk driver in 1955, so I just wonder why we still put up with this. Babbitt must go down in shame.
falcon2000driver
Yeah,sometimes we are not dealing with the sharpest tools in the shed.
acamma
Drunk drivers deserve what they get when they get caught. I have to wonder though. How many of you Mr. perfect guys text, twit or play with your cell phone while driving. That's just as bad if not worse than driving drunk.
wksracing
Paul Cline 0
It's good that he is off the road and didn't hurt anyone...driving on the wrong side is nasty stuff....however, its time for him to retire and get some help....definitely flown too many missions (with or without a helmet!).
gkcopperdrag
Example: Members of congress are legally allowed to use inside knowledge of changes in the law to influence their decision to buy or sell company stock. For anyone else in this "land of the free" it is a felony.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57323527/congress-trading-stock-on-inside-information/
VE9WR
Tom Wright 0
So what, he got caught driving under the influence; his job does not restrict his performance like say a pilot or air traffic controller who deal in real-life situations; he was just another paper pusher. Really he is just another person not bright enough to heed the recommendatons - that is not grounds for dismissal or any other action by the FAA.

Our Regional Manager a decade or so back got so drunk on a flight home, caused a major disturbance both on the plane and in the airport.

He was treated leniently (because of his Aviation position) that is until he arrived home. Security tried to convince him to take a 20-min taxi ride home but he gave the Security the slip, but was spotted leaving his 'secured' parking spot at the airport.

Security called the police who stopped him, gave him a free night at the Crowbar Hotel when his blood/alchol level far exceeded .08. Lost his license for 3 months plus high fines.

Moral of the story, he was transferred to HQ and a bigger job responsibility involving the entire country!!
pbgray
Paul Gray 0
Under 14 CFR 61.15, all pilots must send a Notification Letter to FAA’s Security and Investigations Division within 60 calendar days of the effective date of an alcohol-related conviction or administrative action. In 14 CFR 61.15(c), alcohol-related convictions or administrative actions refer to motor vehicle actions (MVA). For more detailed information go to: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/investigations/airmen_duidwi/duidwi_reporting/
MANBOI
MANBOI 0
QUESTION: Should Babbitt resign and/or be fired and why?
ibock
Ian Bock 0
If he wanted to man-up and resign, that would be the best. He might even get a little respect. You cannot lead effectively when something like this comes out. He lost most, if not all, of his credibility by getting behind the wheel. Lack of good judgement is not a good trait to have in a leader.
VE9WR
Tom Wright 0
You mean the Roosevelts, Esenhower, the 'fab' Kennedy never had drinks (oops Teddy). Guess the few Presidents I mention were poor leaders in you mind.

So many have commented with the 'holier than thou' attitude; I would guess 75-80% of those people better not being living in a glass house because at some point they did something illegal like drunk driving.

I can't believe there continues to be so many people still thinking they can consume and get behind the wheel in this day and age. It is unbelievable this continues almost unabated but "it can't happen to me" syndrome is alive and well. Smart, stupid, it doesn't matter; we all have human failings; just look in the mirror you'll see one everyday.
ibock
Ian Bock 0
Where did I say having a few drinks makes you a poor leader?
ibock
Ian Bock 0
Drunk driving is not an accident. It doesn't just "happen" to you. So no, "it can't happen to me" is true. I will NEVER drive drunk. I stand by my comments.
VE9WR
Tom Wright 0
Ian you stated 3 days ago ("Lack of good judgement is not a good trait to have in a leader.")

If it is not a 'good trait to have in a leader' then that makes him "a poor leader"!!
ibock
Ian Bock 0
Well, okay.
AgentX
Ian ...No one is perfect and WE all make mistakes. Since no one was injured lets take it easy and not hang the man. He politically might have done that already.
ibock
Ian Bock 0
True, we all make mistakes. We are also accountable for them. However, a DUI is not a mistake, it is a deliberate act.

No one was injured by the backpack bomber in Spokane's MLK day parade last year, should we have just let him go?
stol701
stol701 0
HA! That is the governments finest at work. A shining example of good judgement. Just another moron up for promotion now. Inexcusable.
linbb
linbb 0
Old news already posted look before you post
BoeingFan59
This guy is a total joke this whole thing is a joke what would make it better if he was drinking with a TSA Agent! Now that would take the cake!
Jmfoley52
Mike Foley 0
Sleeping in control towers; drunk driving; what next?
npog99
npog99 0
Not good. Really bad exercise of judgement to get behind the wheel. Looks so bad as to have him resign. Who knows what other decisions he makes while drunk, or hangover (which is just as bad).

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