American Airlines Pilot Fired Over Botched Drug Test

American Airlines Pilot Fired Over Botched Drug Test

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An American Airlines pilot was fired and had his pilot license revoked by the FAA after a botched drug test situation. He’s now getting some justice in court.

American pilot didn’t take drug test intended for someone else

Airline pilots are subjected to random drug testing, which is totally fair when you consider how much responsibility they have. Here’s a case where someone got fired over a drug test situation, even though they had nothing to hide.

DeWitt Ingram, who is now 64 years old, spent 21 years flying for American Airlines. Unfortunately his career ended abruptly in August 2020. He had just landed in Miami after working a flight. An employee for Eulen America, the ground services company that does drug testing for American Airlines, asked the flight attendant at the door for a pilot named “David.”

Since random drug testing is performed by the contractor asking for a specific employee, Ingram informed the person that his name wasn’t David, and at that point he walked up the jet bridge and into the terminal.

The following morning, Ingram awoke to several voicemails from American Airlines’ flight department, expressing shock that he refused to take a drug and alcohol test. The contract worker performing the test had allegedly marked him as having refused to take the test.

Given that he was upset by this misunderstanding, he scheduled tests, including a blood test, which showed he had no drugs or alcohol in his system. Admittedly alcohol might have been out of his system at that point, but we have no reason to believe that was an issue, since the test was random (and not due to any suspicion).

Despite that, American Airlines fired him two months later, and the airline requested that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revoke his license.

Unfortunately this incident has completely changed his life. As Ingram explains:

“That night was the end of all pay and benefits. I’ve exhausted my 401K and sold stock and two cars to survive. Never in my worst nightmare could I have dreamed my happy world of personal and professional achievement and pride could end so disastrously as it did. It’s been a long dark hole in the ground prison — alone and told repeatedly to never tell anyone so as to protect me.”

Airline pilots are subjected to random drug tests

Court sides with fired pilot

While this incident happened over two years ago, details are only now emerging, as this case is being heard in court, where Ingram is getting some vindication.

A judge has ruled that the FAA took away Ingram’s license illegally. Furthermore, a judge is allowing his lawsuit to proceed in order to get compensation, as he is suing both American Airlines and Eulen America, the company that performed the drug test. The two companies were seeking a dismissal.

American Airlines and the FAA essentially took the stance that his failure to complete the test constituted a refusal, while the pilot repeatedly and consistently insisted that he had never been notified that he was selected for a random test, since the contractor said it was for someone named “David.”

Unfortunately even with a judge ruling in favor of Ingram, he’ll never be able to fly for an airline again. He’s turning 65 in January 2023, which is the retirement age for pilots.

What a terrible, cruel story…

This is one of those situations where you almost have to wonder if there’s more to the story that’s not known. However, with a judge having now ruled on the case, it seems pretty clear that this is roughly what happened.

How is it possible that a pilot not only gets fired but has his license revoked by the FAA over what amounts to a miscommunication? You might assume “well maybe he had something to hide,” but clearly that’s not the case, because he then volunteered to take a test, and had no drugs in his system.

Also, how was the union not able to do something to help? Isn’t this one of the main purposes of unions, to defend employees in situations like this?

Now, of course in retrospect, I think it’s worth acknowledging that there might have been a better way to handle this. Airlines take drug testing very seriously, and have zero tolerance with this kind of stuff.

If a contractor came up looking for a pilot who wasn’t on the flight, it might make sense to stick around and take some time to clarify, rather than just walking off and moving on with your day. Did the contractor just pronounce the name incorrectly (I could see how “David” could sound like “DeWitt”), or was the name verified in writing, and didn’t match?

At least that seems like a good way to cover your rear. But I guess hindsight is 20/20, so…

What a sad way to end your career as a pilot

Bottom line

In August 2020, an American Airlines pilot was approached by a contractor to take a drug test. The issue was that the drug test was allegedly for someone else, so the pilot didn’t take it. Two months later, he was fired from the airline, and even had his license revoked by the FAA.

This case is just now going through court, and the pilot is finally getting some justice. A judge ruled that the FAA illegally revoked his license, and he can now proceed with suing both the airline and the company behind the drug test.

I hope this guy gets a nice settlement for all the pay he lost, and then some…

What do you make of this American Airlines drug test story?

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  1. jankes Guest

    sure he knew they were asking for him

  2. Carolyn Walter Guest

    He will be well compensated for both mistakes SHAME SHAME SHAME on you AA

  3. Bret Konsavage Guest

    Monica: "What kind of loves are pilots living"

    Victim shame much? That girl didn't deserve to get raped but what was she doing being alone at a party.

    Go fuck yourself, Karen.

  4. Curtis Guest

    He needs to be well compensated. Both the testing company and the airline need to pay an amount that they will learn and remember that if they are unjustly negligent with an employes well being that they will be the ones to ultimately pay. and not the employee.

    It would be nice if the individuals responsible were made to pay also.

  5. Tom Towers Guest

    I agree that they both screwed up. I'm an FAA Airman too. I've duked it out with their lawyers. Their heads are thick as a brick. I've been exactly there. I worked at AAL for 11 years. Quit. My FAA incident was long before I went there. But I experienced the worst racial harassment in my 40 +years in the aviation industry there. Far worse than anything I ever knew after many years at UAL....

    I agree that they both screwed up. I'm an FAA Airman too. I've duked it out with their lawyers. Their heads are thick as a brick. I've been exactly there. I worked at AAL for 11 years. Quit. My FAA incident was long before I went there. But I experienced the worst racial harassment in my 40 +years in the aviation industry there. Far worse than anything I ever knew after many years at UAL. At AAL the racism was advocated in the most back stabbing way by the union officials. Worse yet AAL managers sanctioned it wholeheartedly and aggressively. To think that I thought AAL was the pinnacle of airlines at one time. Now I keep my friends close but my enemies closer. Lessons learned. Hope pilot's lawyers torch AAL. It may not be easy. Good luck to you Captain.

  6. Anil Patel Guest

    So sad he should get all back pay he is not guilty until proven aa should have better known guy with 21 years service no bed record both aa and drug testing companies must pay up and get his license back. Good luck

  7. Carmela Guest

    Although I agree with the testing asking for a person and it was the wrong person should have been noted somewhere in the testing company notes all the things that happened to cthis pilot was an avoidable situation I’m happy he took it to court and the ones who blessed up are held liable

  8. Stephen Guest

    I would’ve thought the pilot would’ve stay there and try and find out who this David was or if it was him with a typo mistake. I’m a retired Bus driver who also got drug tested. Anyone in the transportation field needs to have random drug and alcohol testing

  9. Mav Guest

    There isn't a pilot's union that's worth a Damm at America Airlines. If the company doing the random drug testing for the airline can't get a pilot's name correct, why would you trust them to be able to get the chain of custody correct with your testing sample. There's red flags all over this case, yet the union's leaders couldn't see through the paper bags they constantly are wearing over their heads!

    Good grief!

  10. Stu Guest

    I have also worked for American Airlines and give random tests over 30 years, The paperwork necessary to test has 1st and last name... And under it by standards agreed by the unions and the FAA... There are 3 checkmarks.
    One is for preflight
    One is for post flight
    One is for postflight International
    If the request is incorrect By name or by checkmark......
    Then the request is simply incorrect...

    I have also worked for American Airlines and give random tests over 30 years, The paperwork necessary to test has 1st and last name... And under it by standards agreed by the unions and the FAA... There are 3 checkmarks.
    One is for preflight
    One is for post flight
    One is for postflight International
    If the request is incorrect By name or by checkmark......
    Then the request is simply incorrect And invalid
    If the guy's name was Dewitt and somebody asked for David... He should have looked at the paperwork before walking off.
    I have been issued a request... With incorrect name and/or Incorrect pre or post flight check marks.... in that case no necessity to get tested....
    To be clear, The people hired to make check marks or spelled names barely speak English, and there they're pronunciation and/or or there Capacity to check the correct boxes Can be in question definitely

    1. Jo Guest

      Exactly, I find it highly unusual that he did not stop to confirm via employee I.D that it was not him . There are only 2 pilots ..9 sometimes 11 flight attendants. The drug testing people are on the jetbridge they Visually confirm your Company issued I.D & employee number.. Dewitt can sound like David easily. I’m not saying he is guilty of anything but not being Diligent. As a pilot he is well aware of the requirements of his license.

  11. Coop Guest

    Okay, so this whole thing sounds fishy. First off, his savings and how quickly he blew through it, not for me to comment. We have zero facts about his lifestyle to form an opinion. As for the drug test & everything else, my theory:

    First off, the contractor stated it was a refusal, so did he talk to the captain and state the name was wrong but wanted to drug test him because he was...

    Okay, so this whole thing sounds fishy. First off, his savings and how quickly he blew through it, not for me to comment. We have zero facts about his lifestyle to form an opinion. As for the drug test & everything else, my theory:

    First off, the contractor stated it was a refusal, so did he talk to the captain and state the name was wrong but wanted to drug test him because he was the captain, and he said no and walked off? How could he write “refusal” if there wasn’t one? Do these contractors not have a box to check off if the captain isn’t on the flight? What happens when there’s a quick change of captain right before a flight leaves (captain gets sick etc)? As for the captain, sounds like he would have known how serious this stuff was, why walk off like nothing happened? How soon after did his phone ring? Why would the captain not pick up the phone when something like this just happened? Granted, if the AA calls came in hours later, maybe the captain was sleeping. But i wonder if these calls happened immediately or within 15-20 minutes of this refusal situation. Not saying this captain is hiding something, but maybe he was drinking & when the name thing happened he sped off to avoid being fired for coming up hot?

  12. David Scott Guest

    An airline pilot that burned thru an alleged 401k in 2 yrs & had to sell off stock & autos to "survive"? Sounds a little too fishy on (THAT) part. As for 'Sticking around' to 'Clarify' anything is a joke. The airline contractor clearly asked for a specify person. If you are not the person they are asking for & notified them as so, then continued on your way. Alleged negative voice mails are nothing...

    An airline pilot that burned thru an alleged 401k in 2 yrs & had to sell off stock & autos to "survive"? Sounds a little too fishy on (THAT) part. As for 'Sticking around' to 'Clarify' anything is a joke. The airline contractor clearly asked for a specify person. If you are not the person they are asking for & notified them as so, then continued on your way. Alleged negative voice mails are nothing more than harassment. Since the FAA unlawfully revoked his license, he may have a seperate claim against them for taking away his living w/o proof of any crime or policy violation.

  13. Bruce Pater Guest

    It seems, the "corporate world" acted not only too quickly, but also vindictively by having a government entity further the egregious error.
    The pilot should be vindicated and WELL compensated.

  14. Louise Elliott Guest

    The pilot if he had nothing to hide should have taken the drug test. After 21 years of service he surely knew the seriousness of the situation. He could have asked the Contractor for the full name on the requisition for the drug test. He needed to keep a level head even though he was obviously affronted this demand. Walking off and being dismissive was not a practical decision. He should have kept his cool...

    The pilot if he had nothing to hide should have taken the drug test. After 21 years of service he surely knew the seriousness of the situation. He could have asked the Contractor for the full name on the requisition for the drug test. He needed to keep a level head even though he was obviously affronted this demand. Walking off and being dismissive was not a practical decision. He should have kept his cool about what seemed to be a mistake. Take the damn rest and then use your union to investigate.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Now lets add this pilot judgement level with MCAS. And that's what scares me.

  15. Sheshe Guest

    This is why the contractor should always check their badge just incase they pronounce the name wrong, even if they say they are not the person. Random Testing is very much needed

  16. SMR Guest

    When huge airlines are partnering with incompetent ground service teams like Eulen AND even worse the FAA...these thighs are bound to happen. Scares the CR** out of me. I agree with one commented... I would not have just kept walking. I would have tried to clear it up on site. Then again...long trip and someone is asking for someone else, you are in go-home mode. As far as money , he could be one of...

    When huge airlines are partnering with incompetent ground service teams like Eulen AND even worse the FAA...these thighs are bound to happen. Scares the CR** out of me. I agree with one commented... I would not have just kept walking. I would have tried to clear it up on site. Then again...long trip and someone is asking for someone else, you are in go-home mode. As far as money , he could be one of those captains with 4 ex wives and 9 kids making $350K with no disposable income :)-

  17. Al Diaz Guest

    I am a commercial bus driver and the random drug test is usually notified directly to drivers via email, is the employer duty to properly and clearly notify employee and provide employees the address of the drug test clinic. I think AA failed to notify the pilot properly and clearly. This is a wrongful termination type of case and the former pilot must be filly compensated for all damages including getting back his pilot license and certifications.

  18. Andy11235 Guest

    If this were reddit, it'd be an ETA from me. You can't tell me that someone who had lived 62 years with the name "DeWitt" wasn't used to people mispronouncing it. My last name is frequently garbled, despite being pronounced exactly as written, and it takes only a few seconds to ask, "did you mean XYZ?" Surely for something as important as a drug test, the pilot could have said, "we have Mr. John Doe...

    If this were reddit, it'd be an ETA from me. You can't tell me that someone who had lived 62 years with the name "DeWitt" wasn't used to people mispronouncing it. My last name is frequently garbled, despite being pronounced exactly as written, and it takes only a few seconds to ask, "did you mean XYZ?" Surely for something as important as a drug test, the pilot could have said, "we have Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Smith here, now, who is the one you are looking for?" And, yes, of course the contractor should have asked for "Firstname LASTNAME" for clarity, but a few little steps on both sides would've prevented this nightmare.

  19. Howard Guest

    Hard to believe this actually happened… at the time they asked for David, couldn’t he just say, “I’m Dewitt, is that the name your looking for?”
    Isn’t it possible he is partially to blame. I’d rather the airlines take a hard stance to eliminate ANY chance my pilots are loaded!!

  20. Elizabeth Testa Guest

    All airlines getting worse. I was a flight attendant but things were not so bad then. The airlines don't care about their employees now.

  21. Azamaraal Diamond

    When people comment that he has used up his savings perhaps they are forgetting something.
    This has been in court for over two years. Legal fees alone would eat every penny I have saved over a lifetime given the ample pockets of the testing company and AA.
    Easier to break someone financially than to be right in the first place.
    He may not be totally in the right and easy to second...

    When people comment that he has used up his savings perhaps they are forgetting something.
    This has been in court for over two years. Legal fees alone would eat every penny I have saved over a lifetime given the ample pockets of the testing company and AA.
    Easier to break someone financially than to be right in the first place.
    He may not be totally in the right and easy to second guess, but to claim he spent all his money and thus must be guilty ignores the real cost of litigation.
    No free government lawyer here.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      He spent all his money doesn't mean he's guilty. He just makes bad decisions.
      I don't want someone who makes bad decision flying me around.

      While there might not be free lawyers, many would accept arrangements that you pay them after the litigation, some only if you win.

      Running out of money when retirement is 2 years away, as a pilot means you made some bad decisions. Being a Dimwit in a cockpit doesn't make passengers feel safer.

    2. Mike Bolton Guest

      His life finances have nothing to do with him being fired. You make wild assumptions with zero info. How do you know he wasn't recently divorced, and lost everything? Maybe he was sick, or a family member was sick, and it cost a fortune... cancer treatment, is upwards of 300k. Focus on the story. He was terminated without cause. He deserves compensation, especially since as a senior Captain, those are the years you make the...

      His life finances have nothing to do with him being fired. You make wild assumptions with zero info. How do you know he wasn't recently divorced, and lost everything? Maybe he was sick, or a family member was sick, and it cost a fortune... cancer treatment, is upwards of 300k. Focus on the story. He was terminated without cause. He deserves compensation, especially since as a senior Captain, those are the years you make the most. Ill bet they even took the company match from his 401k which is common. Even worse, this may have been a case of "fire him before he retires, so we don't have to pay Captains pay retirement plans" situation. Companies do this regularly. Look at Hostess Foods. They claimed bankruptcy, just to screw all the retirees, and opened right back up. It's the dirtiest of business practices.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @Mike
      I completely agree and that is exactly what I said. He spent all his money doesn't mean he's guilty. He just makes bad decisions. His life finances have nothing to do with him being fired.

      Him running out of money 2 years from retirement, that is bad decision making.

      Divorced, picked a wrong person.
      Sick, picked a wrong insurance.
      Botched a drug test for Dimwit, picked a wrong time to be...

      @Mike
      I completely agree and that is exactly what I said. He spent all his money doesn't mean he's guilty. He just makes bad decisions. His life finances have nothing to do with him being fired.

      Him running out of money 2 years from retirement, that is bad decision making.

      Divorced, picked a wrong person.
      Sick, picked a wrong insurance.
      Botched a drug test for Dimwit, picked a wrong time to be ignorant.

      And for Mike Bolton, you botched the history of Hostess. It opened up by new ownership who bought the name. But then you probably believe everything on the internet is true and super PAC ads are news. You should reach out to John, you seem to share the same level of understanding.

  22. Cheryl Guest

    If the contractor went to that flight for a reason. They had to know who the pilot was that was to be tested. They don’t just go to a gate and hope they get the right person. All info is printed on a form with label’s to place on 2 specimen cups and a signature is required. Why would they asked the flight attendant and then leave her they said no he wasn’t on the...

    If the contractor went to that flight for a reason. They had to know who the pilot was that was to be tested. They don’t just go to a gate and hope they get the right person. All info is printed on a form with label’s to place on 2 specimen cups and a signature is required. Why would they asked the flight attendant and then leave her they said no he wasn’t on the flight. The contractor is at fault!! I was a certified DOC drug and alcohol testing instructor and have done thousands of test. Never asked someone else if a person was there. Wrong in all the way this was handled. He deserves all benefits reinstated and what he has lost since loosing his job plus punitive damages.

  23. Frank Guest

    The union should also be sued for negligence! It seems big,RICH corporations like to save $ by firing ppl illegally so they don’t have to pay them their pension! Business owners in America R just GREEDY D-BAGS willing to ruin a life to save $! It’s SAD how $ dictates MOST weak minded ppl!

    1. Teddy Guest

      I definitely agree. I was reading and kept wondering “ok where’s are his Union reps”.

  24. Samuel Seal Guest

    The main problem with the testing is You are presumed Guilty, until You provide the urine to prove Your innocence! You ought to be judged by what You do and Your worth to a company!

  25. PERETISO Sami Guest

    I think in this case, the air line covers their backs side also " first and foremost, the introducing of the drugs tested rules from the very beginning pilots must fully understand where the rules stand from any given time (random tested) the pilot or pilots are fully aware before and after the flight they responsibility of being sober before starting the shift or finishing the shift, that any moment random test can be confront...

    I think in this case, the air line covers their backs side also " first and foremost, the introducing of the drugs tested rules from the very beginning pilots must fully understand where the rules stand from any given time (random tested) the pilot or pilots are fully aware before and after the flight they responsibility of being sober before starting the shift or finishing the shift, that any moment random test can be confront them in any time place or the location because given to nature of the random drugs test can happen any where any time " however due to the swift decision the air lines and the FAA was made with out thoroughly investigate
    Whether the miscommunication of the name or names play the major misunderstanding, rather make an assumption and quickly throw the pilot under the bus and revoke his license, however hopefully the pilot would get the full reimbursement for his unjustified dismissal.....

  26. Charles.Crumpler Guest

    It's like the Army, it's called SNAFU, it's the norm.

  27. Trisha Guest

    This is a misscarige of justice Shame on AA for not throughly looking into this so carelessly and now this man's career is ruined

  28. Larry Guest

    AA probably did this not have to pay retirement, not far from reality!!

  29. Craig G jacobsen Guest

    Sounds like typical AA management to me...inept

  30. Courtney Guest

    I do not understand why they do not do more random drug tests in the medical field. It could have stopped the infamous Christopher Duntsch in Dallas, TX, amongst others operating under the influence.

  31. Kevin Guest

    AA and the drug testing company botched the entire testing procedure. Nothing about this was the pilots fault. I believe he should be granted, by the judge and jury, three times what his retirement should have been. This man was a faithful employee who got the boot right as he was getting ready for retirement. This man has not been treated fairly by a company he worked for 32 years. I would be willing to...

    AA and the drug testing company botched the entire testing procedure. Nothing about this was the pilots fault. I believe he should be granted, by the judge and jury, three times what his retirement should have been. This man was a faithful employee who got the boot right as he was getting ready for retirement. This man has not been treated fairly by a company he worked for 32 years. I would be willing to bet he never treated his employer as poorly as they have treated him! Now as lawsuits go forward, they need to admit they made, not a mistake, a huge mistake, and pay the pilot accordingly. It is not to much to ask!

  32. Phyllis Guest

    Typical American Airlines , a company badly managed, poor communication and a work force that receives no respect from its management. Bias treatment of workers, no unity. A company full of hate for each other and its customers . I am not surprised this happened. It could have been a set up by another employee. Thats how bad things are at Smetican

  33. Joe C Guest

    I hope DeWitt gets every single penny he deserves. I would not only suit AA and Euling companies, but I will also would go and suit APA , the Pilots union representing all 15,000 Professional Pilots at AA for not following through. I a civil Court I would go for the Euling employee who surrender the refusal report as well.
    Only a Professional Airline Pilot knows All the sacrifices made , money spent during...

    I hope DeWitt gets every single penny he deserves. I would not only suit AA and Euling companies, but I will also would go and suit APA , the Pilots union representing all 15,000 Professional Pilots at AA for not following through. I a civil Court I would go for the Euling employee who surrender the refusal report as well.
    Only a Professional Airline Pilot knows All the sacrifices made , money spent during all those years of flight training , all those nights away from home and loved ones. All birthdays , Holidays, graduations missed in order to fulfil our job responsabilities. AA should fired ALL upper Management's in turn, from CEO to the lowest supervisor who had to do with this injustice. As an AA Pilot for 35 years, I hope DeWitt gets every single penny and then some.
    JC.

  34. Alberto Jose Hurtado Guest

    Completely a big and desastrous mistake done by the Airline and the people in charge of taking the Drug text....I certainly hope this pilot win his case in court and be compensated for time loss, his reputatiòn and good name be clarify....My best wishes and luck to him !

  35. Robert Vega Guest

    The Airline and Contractor was wrong! They should of made sure they were testing the right pilot! 22 years flying for the Airline I indicated a professional experience Pilot. The question is why him?

  36. Daniel McGinty Guest

    The random part of drug testing makes waiting 2 weeks to taste the Everything Bagel much more difficult, if not impossible.

  37. Jules Rickless Guest

    I hate these Big Companies like America who take Government money but treat the staff as non human sham on American hope he gets MILLIONS

  38. Donna Our Guest

    I am glad that this man took the steps to fight for himself because a lot of big company’s don’t give a dam about anything or anybody else because they are making there millions , This man was a vigilant worker and spent many years as a excellent pilot with never a problem or being written up for any indiscretions and at 65 I doubt that he would start then , Blessings to you and I hope you get reimbursed every penny and more Sincerely Donna Our

  39. Hard working America Guest

    The hard working people of America are being treated with no respect or dignity. They do the job for pay and benefits . Now corporate America and hedge funds that control Wall Street cut jobs and demand the rest to do two or three peoples jobs. A human can only jump so high and bow so low.

  40. Samuel Sales Pessanha Guest

    DeWitt Ingram, I stand in solidarity with you.

  41. BJ Guest

    A UA sample has his written name and birthdate on the outside of the cup and reverified with a sheet choosing which patients are to be tested. There is no mistaking the patient.

  42. Troy Camper Guest

    The fault lies with both parties. The pilot should have stuck around and confirmed the true name of the tested, and the testing company should not have jumped to conclusions and deemed it as a refusal to test. As a commercial truck driver I am subject to random drug and alcohol tests as well, so I understand the implications of refusal to test. And, as a member of a labor union, cannot understand why,if a...

    The fault lies with both parties. The pilot should have stuck around and confirmed the true name of the tested, and the testing company should not have jumped to conclusions and deemed it as a refusal to test. As a commercial truck driver I am subject to random drug and alcohol tests as well, so I understand the implications of refusal to test. And, as a member of a labor union, cannot understand why,if a grievance was filed, that his his steward, business agent didn't immediately fight for his job and the fact that the test was administered improperly

  43. Tony Guest

    As a DOT has not truck driver I can tell you whatever presented with a drug test request the employee requesting the test is giving a form with a typewritten name of the testy and other information which is there to verify their ID if you didn't have the form or the pilot didn't stop to look at the form and say this is not me then it can create a gray area in the...

    As a DOT has not truck driver I can tell you whatever presented with a drug test request the employee requesting the test is giving a form with a typewritten name of the testy and other information which is there to verify their ID if you didn't have the form or the pilot didn't stop to look at the form and say this is not me then it can create a gray area in the matter of the lawsuit the pilot should have stopped ask to see the form verified it wasn't him and then moved on would have saved him a whole lot of trouble

    1. Joe Blow Guest

      What language is this?

  44. R. K. Huebscher Guest

    The contractor asked for someone called David. Is it true that in the USA, pilots have only a first name and no surname. An additional identifying detail usually asked from a person who is asked to submit to a blood test is the date of birth. An identity document with photo should also be used in an important case like the one described here.

  45. Michelle Guest

    Seems like the guy giving the drug test should have double checked on the name by looking at a ID makes more sense to me. That's how people's lives get ruined by people not doing their job right. I hope the pilot gets a nice settlement.

    1. Andy Guest

      He should get what he’s owed because he shouldn’t have been fired, but not a dime more. Smart money says the contractor had an accident, pronounced the W as a V, and this pilot, unless we are to believe he has never heard someone with an accent attempt to pronounce his name, figured he could just move on by saying it wasn’t his name.

  46. Robert WolfIII Guest

    American Airline's with cannabis pot leaf stars and touch up the at the paint bays were neater, question if I can start her may I taxi her around the airport? I Still think a wolf can start her?!$%@

  47. OldTexan New Member

    I tested positive for opioids one time because I ate an Everything Spice Bagel the day before my test. I had to explain that these Bagels contain poppy seeds. I always waited at least two weeks before my test to consume an Everything Spice Bagel. I received a warning for this incident, even though I was clearly not on opiods! Be careful what you eat!

  48. Michael J Hughes Guest

    This is a disastrous and sad story.No matter what kind of a settlement he gets it isn’t going to compensate him for what they did to him . I wish him luck.

    1. Andy Guest

      Doesn’t sound like he’s totally blameless in this situation, yet of course not fully to blame either.

  49. Dr Akin Oladeji FCA Guest

    The decision of AA and FAA is against the principle of natural justice. The testing contractor should have been sacked for asking for a wrong pilot
    name.
    Hewitt should be reinstated with full compensation

    1. Andy Guest

      It’s Dewitt, not Hewitt. Lucky you’re not some hourly-paid contractor, or you should be sacked for typing the wrong name. Careful next time you jot down a subscription, Dr.

      Odds are the person pronounced Dewitt as David (we have no info on that person, may or may not have an accent) and the guy took advantage of the situation.

    2. Andy Guest

      Also, reinstating him is out of the question as he is now over 65.

  50. JET Guest

    Living in America these days is such crap, too too much freedom. People can just about do what they want to another person.
    This time they will have to pay for their BIG mistakes..

  51. Onesimo Guest

    That contractor guy should have waited to talk to the pilot so he can confirm for himself if the pilot was the one really randomly selected for the drug test, not just maliciously remarking that the pilot 'refused' to take the test, just blatant incompetence, hope he be fired for grave negligence..

    1. Franklin Williamsssr Guest

      He,should have ask to ask for ID to verify the name of the pilot. In the military the ID is always check and signature.

  52. Janet Guest

    I’m very very disappointed in American Airline since that’s my airline. He needs to get his job back and then some. Some really great made up time, money and more. You should have done your research before you judge that great pilot. Sooo disappointed

  53. Janet Armstrong Guest

    I’m very very disappointed in American Airline since that’s my airline. He needs to get his job back and then some. Some really great made up time, money and more. You should have done your research before you judge that great pilot. Sooo disappointed

  54. Renzo Guest

    I doubt a veteran pilot with all that time in went through his savings and his investments in that short a time.
    Now as far as clarification on the name, they both should have stayed to clear that up. They both messed up.
    I hope that the pilot does get a good settlement though. Random testing is way out of controll. I was Random tested 3x within a matter of months in the past.

  55. Clay Rader Guest

    I have held several jobs that perform random drug and alcohol tests. Due to my license being on the line anytime someone said random test I always ask am I on the list. I would give my name and have them check the paperwork. I have been accused of being over cautious. This is the type of mistake I tried to avoid

  56. Eskimo Guest

    "I’ve exhausted my 401K and sold stock and two cars to survive."

    Well I find it hard to believe someone with few years from retirement had to do all those to survive. Maybe if the contractor's mistake is not asking for dimwit to take the test.
    It's probably not the first time someone pronounces his name as David and he's probably annoyed by that. inferiority complex kicks in to ignore when he is associated...

    "I’ve exhausted my 401K and sold stock and two cars to survive."

    Well I find it hard to believe someone with few years from retirement had to do all those to survive. Maybe if the contractor's mistake is not asking for dimwit to take the test.
    It's probably not the first time someone pronounces his name as David and he's probably annoyed by that. inferiority complex kicks in to ignore when he is associated with names like David, John, or Karen.

    Does the pilot deserve this, probably not.
    Do I feel confident flying with someone with such poor judgement at control of the plane, definitely not.

    1. Andy Guest

      It’s rather unsettling there are so few comments like this one, which nails it 100%

  57. derek Guest

    The Eulen America employee is an idiot. Did he ask for "David Ingram" or just "David". If just David, the Eulen America employee should be put in prison.

  58. Dempseyzdad Gold

    How is it that the contract employee stated the wrong name, ("David"), but was able to report the correct name as having refused the drug test?

    I would have asked to see the paperwork and the name to verify. I have been called Steven, Kevin, Devin...I ALWAYS ask did you mean....me?

  59. Gordon E. Browning, PhD Guest

    As former Chief, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention & Control Program HQ U.S. Army Europe, I "saw" numerous soldiers discharged from the army for "drug positives." Most performed their duties well, but we're identified ONLY via unscheduled drug testing. Which, from the standpoint of efficiency, was/is stupid. Gordon E. Browning, PhD

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Well a PhD like you should know, the problem lies at who determines what is considered "drugs".

      The 2 most addictive substance is still not regulated anywhere.
      Caffeine and Sugar.

  60. Whistleblower Guest

    I know of a pilot who worked for an airline and was selected for drug testing after an aborted take-off due to flaps not being set correctly. He was combative with other crew, passengers and airline staff and ultimately failed the drug test and was fired by the airline. He sued the airline and during the discovery phase it came out that another pilot had reported suspicions that he was under the influence of drugs...

    I know of a pilot who worked for an airline and was selected for drug testing after an aborted take-off due to flaps not being set correctly. He was combative with other crew, passengers and airline staff and ultimately failed the drug test and was fired by the airline. He sued the airline and during the discovery phase it came out that another pilot had reported suspicions that he was under the influence of drugs previously. The pilot and the airline settled and the case was marked secret in the court system at the request of both parties. The pilot continues to fly and continues to use drugs. He has even received a dui but the DMV and FAA don’t talk and it’s an honor system for pilot to self report their DUIs.

    1. CHRIS Guest

      So the arrogant pilot blew past the contractor and didn't try to resolve this because he didn't want to get caught after a night of drinking during his last layover. Yawn. Better sell the third Maserati too!

  61. Bob Guest

    It I were on the jury, I'd award Hon 100 million dollars.

  62. George Romey Guest

    Why didn't the employee at Eulen immediately contact a Supervisor? Now this is Miami, and I can tell you for most of the Eulen workers English is not their primary language. I can see where they would get confused and ask for David. But no last name?

    Seems as though the management of this process is very disorganized and that AA instead of canning the pilot should have launched an investigation of how this occurred.

  63. LarryInNYC Diamond

    Meh.

    It's really hard to tell what happened at the jet bridge. Clearly the testing company (through their employee) bears some degree of fault for reporting this as a "refusal" rather than a paperwork mix-up. On the other hand, the pilot should not have cavalierly said "No David here!" but rather should have given the tester time to check the paperwork and get it straightened out. Simply walking past the tester was both rude and...

    Meh.

    It's really hard to tell what happened at the jet bridge. Clearly the testing company (through their employee) bears some degree of fault for reporting this as a "refusal" rather than a paperwork mix-up. On the other hand, the pilot should not have cavalierly said "No David here!" but rather should have given the tester time to check the paperwork and get it straightened out. Simply walking past the tester was both rude and could create the appearance that, in fact, the pilot was attempting to evade or delay a test.

    I guess not "clearly" but rather "probably" the testing company is at fault. Really impossible to know without knowing the nuance of exactly what happened.

    The airline, I suppose, could have simply suspended the pilot from flying and then investigated to determine whether the pilot bore zero fault or partial fault in not getting the situation cleared up in the moment.

    The airline does not have the latitude, however, to allow the pilot to keep flying if he bore any fault in not figuring out the issue at the time it happened. They are subject (rightly, as Ben points out) to absolute oversight for drug testing their pilots and the consequences of not doing so would be severe for the company.

  64. Sylvia Guest

    He exhausted his 401 k because he hadn't worked for over 2/3 years.I have a lot of sympathy for this gentleman,we could save forever and life gets in the way.Hope he gets all the money they owe him.Eulen lied and it caused this man to lose his livelihood Also he worked for 21 years

    1. Omar Guest

      Crazy. I've worked for 10 years making less than 100K/year and if i were to quit or being terminated today, could easily live for 4-5 years with no job with my savings before touching my 401K or shares. The dude probably makes +300K USD (Capitan easily +500K USD), so at least 5x what i make.

      Either he is really victimizing himself or he took terrible financial decisions in his life. If he got "fired" 2...

      Crazy. I've worked for 10 years making less than 100K/year and if i were to quit or being terminated today, could easily live for 4-5 years with no job with my savings before touching my 401K or shares. The dude probably makes +300K USD (Capitan easily +500K USD), so at least 5x what i make.

      Either he is really victimizing himself or he took terrible financial decisions in his life. If he got "fired" 2 years ago and already depleted everything he got, what was his long-term plan to live 15-30 years or so with his 401K?

      Very worrying to think that people don't realize the financial implications of their late years.

    2. Bill Guest

      Were you there? How do you know the Eulen employee lied?

  65. Scudder Diamond

    I bet he answers to 'David' when the barista has his latte ready.

  66. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Why it so difficult to print out the drug test order and have whoever is informing the pilot hand the documentation to the pilot or flight attendant?
    Using names, let alone on first names, is fraught with the potential mistakes.

    1. LarryInNYC Diamond

      Agreed. But, assuming it transpired exactly as reported by the pilot (and memory is rarely precisely correct) the pilot should have asked to see the test paperwork to ensure there wasn't a mix-up.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      it isn't the responsibility of the innocent to prove their innocence. The procedure is flawed if the paperwork isn't presented initially. Whether AA crew members have the "right" to ask for the paperwork, I don't know, but if there wasn't even a full name given - which might have reduced the chance of confusion in a poor pronunciation - then it is hard to argue that the pilot was at fault.
      It is very...

      it isn't the responsibility of the innocent to prove their innocence. The procedure is flawed if the paperwork isn't presented initially. Whether AA crew members have the "right" to ask for the paperwork, I don't know, but if there wasn't even a full name given - which might have reduced the chance of confusion in a poor pronunciation - then it is hard to argue that the pilot was at fault.
      It is very likely for these reasons that the judge ruled in favor of the pilot. It is up to AA to come up w/ procedures that conform w/ labor law which ultimately requires documentation in writing by both parties to move to termination or other serious punishment.
      The "fix" is so easy it is hard to understand how this isn't the first time this happened.
      I'd love for other crewmembers to chime in to tell what procedures exist or existed at their airline.

    3. Lee Guest

      Here's an analogy. In the old days, census workers were barely literate. Three brothers named Lambert arrived in Virginia in the 1730s. Within a hundred years, among their descendants, there were roughly forty variations of the family name because of the census workers' incorrect spelling.

      As for the pilot's situation, if not employed in ground services, most of these barely educated individuals would be flipping burgers at a Scottish restaurant. You must admit.

      "I'm looking...

      Here's an analogy. In the old days, census workers were barely literate. Three brothers named Lambert arrived in Virginia in the 1730s. Within a hundred years, among their descendants, there were roughly forty variations of the family name because of the census workers' incorrect spelling.

      As for the pilot's situation, if not employed in ground services, most of these barely educated individuals would be flipping burgers at a Scottish restaurant. You must admit.

      "I'm looking for David. Sorry, there's no David here." Does any employee have the duty to inquire further?

    4. Goforride Member

      It sounds like since the pilot wasn't "David", he didn't stop and engage the tester for clarification.

  67. Monica Guest

    My thoughts to him and that shitty situation... But...

    Exhausted his 401K and sold cars and shares to survive ? What kind of life he was living? Pilots (and even more so Capitan of a legacy airline) are some of the most well compensated professions in the planet, especially in America. After 40 years working no savings or anything ? Damn.

    1. ML Guest

      Totally agree. He may have been wronged but I have no sympathy for his "destitute" sob story.

    2. Martin Guest

      Monica, 33% of people making $250,000 a year live paycheck-to-paycheck. You can be broke making $250,000 or $25,000 a year. The only difference is the lifestyle and monthly bills.

  68. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    I've been on the receiving end of having my ATC license taken away for medical reasons because of the FAA's archaic and behind the times rules.

    I got it back, but it took a few years, and in the end the FAA had to give me my retirement time lost and seniority back.

    I agree about the Union. Though I was a charter member of NATCA, when I needed them they were nowhere to be...

    I've been on the receiving end of having my ATC license taken away for medical reasons because of the FAA's archaic and behind the times rules.

    I got it back, but it took a few years, and in the end the FAA had to give me my retirement time lost and seniority back.

    I agree about the Union. Though I was a charter member of NATCA, when I needed them they were nowhere to be found. However I found being a member better for me, in certain times, than not being a member.

    Nothing but a Y membership without the pool.

  69. 305 Guest

    I’ve lived in Miami long enough to have a decent guess of what actually happened here. The drug test administrator probably has an accent/English may not be their first language. A name like “Dewitt” can easily sound like “David” when said with certain accents

  70. Mateo Guest

    The union only represents you when you get disciplined by the company. They have no CBA with the FAA, government, Eulen or airport. So AA told FAA to take away his license and the FAA was wrong here. So the union's hands were tied. So even if he got his job back he couldn't work without that license.
    Eulen America should never ask a flight attendant for a "David". They need to go to...

    The union only represents you when you get disciplined by the company. They have no CBA with the FAA, government, Eulen or airport. So AA told FAA to take away his license and the FAA was wrong here. So the union's hands were tied. So even if he got his job back he couldn't work without that license.
    Eulen America should never ask a flight attendant for a "David". They need to go to the cockpit and say "hello captain, time for a drug test". The pilot will be the one in the left seat with 4 stripes on his uniform. Hopefully this pilot gets $2,000,000 for AA, Eulen America and $4,000,000 from the FAA who was acting as AA's Beyotch.

    1. LarryInNYC Diamond

      Not sure they state the rank of the person on the testing order. Could be any of the cockpit or cabin crew.

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Monica Guest

My thoughts to him and that shitty situation... But... Exhausted his 401K and sold cars and shares to survive ? What kind of life he was living? Pilots (and even more so Capitan of a legacy airline) are some of the most well compensated professions in the planet, especially in America. After 40 years working no savings or anything ? Damn.

6
Renzo Guest

I doubt a veteran pilot with all that time in went through his savings and his investments in that short a time. Now as far as clarification on the name, they both should have stayed to clear that up. They both messed up. I hope that the pilot does get a good settlement though. Random testing is way out of controll. I was Random tested 3x within a matter of months in the past.

2
Clay Rader Guest

I have held several jobs that perform random drug and alcohol tests. Due to my license being on the line anytime someone said random test I always ask am I on the list. I would give my name and have them check the paperwork. I have been accused of being over cautious. This is the type of mistake I tried to avoid

2
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