Two-Martini Lunch

by Capt. Ken Kahn

This event took place after the merger with Flying Tigers. I was in Los Angeles for training. It was early afternoon and I was standing just inside the front door of the hotel. Capt. TP (tall pilot), a Seaboard colleague, came out of the elevator, saw me, and called out across the lobby, "Hey Ken, you won't believe what those idiots, did, ha ha ha." The word he used was not idiots. Every head turned in our direction and I could tell from his demeanor and the wild look in his eyes that he was rather sloshed, a condition not unprecedented for him. As he got nearer, he repeated, "those idiots, ha ha ha." Again, the word was not idiots. I asked what happened and he told me he had gone to the training center that morning for a checkride in the simulator. The check pilot (CP) asked to see his papers and TP showed him his license and medical certificate. The CP then asked to see TP's FCC radio license, a document we all got early in our careers by filling out a form. Mine was probably photocopied when I got hired but nobody ever looked at it again. TP checked his wallet and told the CP that he must have left it at home. The CP told TP to go back to New York, reschedule the check ride, and bring the radio license with him next time. Apparently, someone higher up in the training department was not amused to learn that the CP was going to cost the company the price of another round-trip ticket between New York and LA, extra hotel expense, and more days when a captain would be unavailable for duty. The CP called TP, telling him that the company had a photocopy of the radio license and that he should come back to the training center for an afternoon checkride. TP told the CP that he would like to but that he had just had a "two-martini lunch." The CP must have really been under the gun to get the checkride done because he replied, "We'll take that into account."

Capt. TP took the checkride under the influence. Capt. TP passed the checkride.


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