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(Video) Drunk passenger vs United Pilot

A drunk passenger at IAD got into a verbal, then physical argument with a United pilot. Ultimately, he seems to have lost. ( More...

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jh arnold 11
The build up goes on for several minutes. The gate personnel should have been able to summon security in that time period, and security should have been able to respond. The pilot obviously shouldn't have to face this, nor should any of the passengers. Notice a wheelchair passenger is moved from harm's way. Make sure this turd doesn't get off with anything less than an extensive several months long incarceration.
preacher1 4
The video is nearly 6 minutes long and it wasn't til the end that security showed up. Sickening. Pilot even tried to back off some, cutting the guy some slack. Others took him down and held him. Don't mess with Texas.
Brad Berkson 2
IAD is in Virginia. Don't Tread On Me.
preacher1 2
I just glanced at the text in the beginning and though it said IAH.
U gotta get those tri-focals Preacherman, I graduated to the bi's..
preacher1 1
I got the tri's. I just flatly missed that
chalet 1
Quite right, security personnel took forever to get him.
The bystander effect is shown clearly here, people were expecting someone to step in and nobody did. Still unusual because passengers usually get involved in security breaches like this. Its quite embarrassing that he took those slaps from the drunk. Luckily his copilot took him down.
SootBox 15
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son.
Jim Quinn 11
I'm disappointed that someone other than the pilot didn't have the courage to tell this loudmouth to shut up and sit down, especially since his language was so crude and offensive! All it would have taken would have been a couple of others to show solidarity with the pilot to make this dummy think twice. his kind of moron needed to be taken down much more quickly, and he should certainly have been under watch straight away with his aggressive language and threats. If he was an employee of mine, he wouldn't have a job after this incident, and federal charges should apply as well as civil charges. Perhaps he could contemplate his actions while sharing a cell with his new friend, Bubba.
ken young 2
Oh, not me. If i am there, the guy gets one warning. Then a knuckle sandwich.
David Berryman 4
Good thing it wasn't a terrorist attack. Security sure took there sweet time to get there.
SootBox 1
It was 2 for 1 coffee coolatta day at Dunkin Donuts on the concourse there.
David Stark 4
Maybe they were afraid it was another drunken Congressman.
Perry Lindsay 8
IMO, the pilot should have called the airport police and removed himself from aggravating the passenger more. Stay around in case the passenger endangered someone else and take necessary action then. But don't try and reason with an already aggravated drunk, and certainly don't invite him to fight. Not smart.

And yes, I'm a commercial airline pilot who has dealt with angry passengers on many occasions.
Yeah that's what I said below, the pilot was the most visible target!!!
smoki 3
What a total loser and with such a vast vocabulary to boot. Without the F-word he would have been a mute. Security was obviously lacking. The pitiful clown should have been taken down long before when he kept running his mouth from his seat for everyone to hear with his "eloquent" trash language. By engaging the idiot verbally, the pilot only exacerbated the situation. He should have quietly called security immediately and had him arrested. You can't win an argument with a drunk. He was never going to be allowed on any airplane.
preacher1 3
I have looked at this thing several times. Slow security and gate agent notwithstanding, unless I am missing something here the pilot egged it on and made himself out as
Billy Bad A**, even chunking his Ipad, yet when the guy came after him, he took a slap and was backing up the whole time. Had it not been for his co pilot and the other guy, he would have probably have gotten the living hell beat out of him. You can't tell me he was trying to keep from hurting the guy. I think he was talking big, just like the drunk, never expecting the guy to come on. He just stands around after the guy is subdued and on the floor. Basically, he deserved more than a slap and he was bad out of line in confronting the guy. It would be interesting to know the Airline action taken, if any.
Gator mouth and hummingbird ass!!!
Peter Steitz 1
Agreed. The pilot challenged the drunk to a fight. Two hot heads in my opinion. One drunk and one pissed that a passenger bad mouthed his airline. Stand away and call security. Who called security? Seems everybody is just standing around. I don't see any airline employee doing anything. Every terminal manager is connected by phone. Security should have been there in 60 seconds. Notice too that the TSA comes from the jetway not the terminal. Where are they when you need them? Give the pilot 60 days off without pay and retrain him in airline security and CRM. Jail the drunk.
Mark Cloer 5
Pilot should, minimally, be suspended for allowing this to elevate and for taunting, drunk should be charged with assault and public drunkeness, security should all be fired for taking offender out on tarmac with aircraft!
toolguy105 2
At IAD that is the only way back to the main terminal unless you use the transport crawler. I do not think they have yet linked all three outer terminals with the underground tram systems. Besides the cops came from ramp side so their car is out there someplace. I find I hard to believe there was not a cop on duty in that terminal that the cops arrived from the ramp on ramp patrol and not from within the terminal. BWI and DCA have cops patrolling in the gate areas, I would expect IAD to have them also.
firesafety552 2
the Capt just stood there and didn't even try to defend himself....while the drunk slapped him around...not a fighter?
It appears he relies on others to defend him...
David Buck 2
Security should have been called long before they actually arrived !
I for one would have enjoyed punched the loud mouths lights out !Q
TSmooth8403 2
I'm just saying, if someone says, "You want to step outside?" and you reply back, "We don't have to go outside I'm standing right here!" You should be ready to fight right then and there. Too bad for the pilot though, going to cost him dearly....
Rpalmqui 2
The pilot was egging the drunk on. That's not good. My first thought was why the heck didn't the gate agent call airport police for a drunk & disorderly passenger? My second thought was that the crew better not fly after the incident. I know my head wouldn't have been in the game after the drunk was swept up. My question for the pros out there is: how will the airline handle the crew? Disciplinary action?
Kenneth Martin 3
It demonstrates just how safe we really are when we fly. Crew should have walked away and called the real police.
Pilot should be fired. He obviously baited the passenger and escalated the incident. This pilot is one of the reasons that there are so many incidents with passengers being told to leave flights. The pilot obviously needs training on how to handle passengers and how to DEFUSE a situation and not make it worse. Since when are you taught to engage a drunk passenger and bait him into a fight. The pilot should have called security, kept his mouth shut, monitored the passenger, and that would have been that.
I just listened to the clip again more closely. That pilot is a jackass and needs to get reprimanded by his airline. Man, he talked a big game and got his ass kicked!!!
preacher1 4
I was just a wondrring if anybody else saw the same thing. He handed off that Ipad, and played tough guy but if it hadn't been for his co pilot he'd have really got thumped.
Peter Steitz 2
Yeah, I looked at it again and the pilot acted like they were in a bar and the drunk just insulted his wife. Everything wrong with this event. All should be reprimanded by their companies. Police should have arrived even before the fight broke out.
preacher1 1
Down this way, we call that "letting that mouth overload that A**"
preacher1 1
Its was pretty simple., I personally have no need to watch 5 minutes of this but for the sake of goes.

FAR: Sec. 121.575 — Alcoholic beverages.

(b) No certificate holder may serve any alcoholic beverage to any person aboard any of its aircraft who—

(1) Appears to be intoxicated;

(c) No certificate holder may allow any person to board any of its aircraft if that person appears to be intoxicated.

He should have been (or was) advised as such, then security should have been called the moment he became belligerent about it, where he would have been advised to leave the terminal (under escort) on his own and return when he could handle the complications(for him)of being sober. Allowing him to sit at the gate and stew affected the outcome and the Captain has an obligation at the gate to see that the guy is removed from other passengers..NOT ...I repeat NOT egg him on.

Easily handled poorly managed by all.
Chris Muncy 2
-1 for the pilot who egged it on. He should have checked his ego and called security immediately. It's pilots like that who give the majority of pilots a bad name.
ken young 1
"Does anyone have any duct tape so we can get this a-hole to shut the (bleep) up?"
sparkie624 1
No respect from a drunk anywhere.
Bob Carlson 1
Sure took a LONG time for the security people to get there. What's up with that?
bobanderson 1
Hey toolguy, next time you post something, try proof reading it first. Some of what you say makes no sense.
The FAR exists...other then bloody obvious for the link below., On a secondary note: The Fine fellow in the Video could face a twenty year prison sentence for also violating USC Federal code 9-63.110., Interfering with a flight crew on any level is a federal offense. The courts have a wide range of interpretation, In short; the aircraft does not in any sense need to be operational, interfering at the gate could be considered such and violently confronting flight crew is a big no-no no matter the Pilots confrontational attitude.

This guy will stand tall in front of a Federal Judge for being a dumb dope and his life will never be the same...and that will all be before the county decides to get there licks in as well.
Haines Gridley 1
The pilot should have called security immediately and then kept his mouth shut. No excuse for the drunk, but if the pilot had kept his mouth shut, there's a good chance none of this would have happened. The same result would have occurred, security would show up and haul the drunk off with no fight. Not a good way to handle this kind of problem.......
This guy is NOT a United Airlines pilot, first of all. He is a pilot with Skywest, Atlantic Southeast or possibly even Mesa Airlines. This guy represents THAT airline, not United.
The Captain got bitch slapped and is frankly very lucky the F/O took down the assailant otherwise it may have been much worse. The Captain acted very unprofessionally baiting the drunk into a physical confrontation. Ideally the Captain would have notified security, politely explained that he cannot allow intoxicated persons onto aircraft, then let CSR/Security handle him after that.
preacher1 1
Unfortunately, while the regional may handle any discipline, his plane is painted in United colors and to the traveling public AND the FAA, he very much represents United
Needless to say, since this is posted all over, he'll probably not get a job at another airline and also be the laughingstock of his co0-workers...
This sucks for United, kinda like the Colgan deal in CO's colors...
Paul Ahkolik 1
Pilot 1
Idiot 0
Mark Richards 1
Bayouflier 1
Still curious as to where Chip got the idea that it was a United Pilot. The a/c outside the window appears to be an RJ.
preacher1 1
I believe you are correct but it also appears to be in United colors and pax flying on it were flying on a United ticket. That said, he may work for somebody else that is under a capacity contract to United but he still represents United in his position as a pilot just as Continental had the initial liability in the Colgan crash a couple of years ago.
Bayouflier 1
All that having been said still doesn't make him a United pilot.
TWA55 1
What can you say, this is the airline business in todays world, a drunk____pax and a pilot who should have walked away and called security. And as for the others who just stood by and watched, shame on you.
Good on the Captain. It took the security a long time to arrive!
David Stark 1
I think the Captain was egging him on a bit.

Since when is it acceptable practice to escort an unruly person in custody out onto the ramp where the aircraft are sitting? Doesn't Dulles have an indoor path to the security office?
oowmmr 1
That was only comedy because the drunk used open hands. The pilot was very professional in letting himself be slapped. Drag the bum out and lay him out....
Josh Preston 3
Agreed. Probably took a lot to not knock this guy out or at least exchange blows.
Stayed very professional given the lack of (useless) TSA agents and security.
"I don't get paid enough for this" comes to mind...
He wasn't professional. He as full of shit. When he call him out saying "I'm right here" what did he expect? Well, he's lucky was just a bitch slap. If was closed fist, he would be scheduling a visit to the hospital. If you don't want to fight, don't agravate your oponnent. Call security! Well deserved.
Yeah he was full of it !!!
Pat Reed 1
From what I saw on video 1. Drunk that should have left to the security or police. 2 pilot who was doing someone else's duty, controlling the waiting area. 3 Pilot who verbally pushed a annoying situation to one that was potentially dangerous for those waiting to board. 4. A good attorney may even get the Airline and airport to pay up, because the pilot continues to egg on the drunk, saying they had a responsibility to protect the intoxicated passenger from harming himself or others. That sure was not happening in the video. Most cities have ordinances against inciting a fight or mayhem. That pilot needs some sever consoling. I would ground my children if they did what he did.
dmanuel 1
Can you imagine what the spouse of this guy is thinking? I wonder if she is reassing some life choices.
SootBox 2
You're assuming this fat drunken lout is married.
If this is at IAD's, and it's in the A terminal, it's United Express and not mainline. I wonder which regional carrier the crew flies for?
Operated by GoJet Airlines
After the first failed effort to diffuse the passenger, pilot continues to engage him & become part of the escalation. He knew the guy was out of control and could have ended it in 2 minutes. Bet the passenger files a suit against the pilot/carrier.
Settlement's already in the works...
It's funny and all that, but the airlines sauce up the customers early and deeply, especially in First and Business. I see more drunks on airplanes/airports than anywhere - 'cause I don't go to bars - and with good reason!
Barbara Gould 2
Airlines don't "Sauce up the customers". The PAX have free will, and if they are too stupid to know when to quit, that's not the fault of the Air Carrier. All the PAX has to say is "no, thanks, I'm fine". I have never seen a flight attendant hold a gun to anyone's head, and FORCE them to drink, regardless of which "class" they are seated in. :(
preacher1 1
What is really puzzling, that crew must have been deadheading somewhere as the plane was at the gate so the crew should have been on board. There was no need for him to be in the waiting area unless he was a pax. I also note that the copilt or the guy that took the drunk down was in civvies
Roger Curtiss 1
I'm sorry but the pilot made a mistake very early on in the video by continuing to talk to and even badger the drunk. The guy had walked away and went to sit down and kept saying he would hit the pilot if TSA wasn't there. The pilot then kept saying, "No you wouldn't" instead of simply walking away back behind the podium where he could distance himself from the guy and yet keep watching him until security or law enforcement show up.
30 years in law enforcement taught me nothing is gained by engaging in a verbal joust with a drunk. It does not de-escalate the situation and only provokes the guy. Keep talking to/arguing with a drunk and it will get physical.
Wish i had been there .. I would have stepped between this clown and the Pilot, and layed him out like a wet blanket
Peter Steitz 1
The pilot or the drunk?
That pilot should've moved out of sight, he only made it worse by getting closer to the guy and continuing the conversation.
Not condoning what the guy did, but the pilot handed his iPad to the other pilot like he was going to kick ass. Just love how everyone waited until the other pilot got him on the ground until they all jumped into action...
On a lighter note, he got bitch slapped!!!
Jim Anderson 1
Gotta say I think the pilot baited him into taking a swing... but the dude was stupid enough to take the bait. I'm taking bets.... is he just banned from UA for life or flying commercial, period????
The captain was an asshole. Saw the guy drunk and had to act stupid. He could just tell the ramp staff to call security and bar him from boarding. The captain deserved to be bitch slapped. Actually, should have his ass fired!
Ric Wernicke 0
Can someone please educate Apple fanboys how to hold the phone when taking a video?

I think the guy was wrong for getting drunk and starting a fight. The pilot needs a day off too for being confrontational with this lout.

I can understand why people don't step in between in the secure area. This is a quick trip to airport neverland if you are involved in any altercation, even if just keeping the peace. It's called neverland because you never, never want to go there. You will miss your flight, and spend hours explaining to people who had to struggle to finish high school why you were fighting crime in "their" bailiwick.
Ditto! Plus, why do we pay so much for airport security? The hack I am going to get involved in a fight between a drunk and a stupid pilot. If the pilot had been quiet, I would be more than glad to help. He actually deserved it. A lot of tough guys with little guns. Where I come from, you better back it up. Otherwise, you end up knocked down...
Peter Steitz 1
I noticed the phone angle too. He should have held it in the wide view the whole time.
Typical Dulles. Knowing how inept the ground guys are there, it doesn't surprise me that the gate agents didn't get involved.
Grd Newell 0
He can't, and did it on purpose and IMO but he did the right thing, which means he can use all legal means to put this guy away. It was brilliant. Even his words were neutral and unprovoking. pilot used. I'm right here The drunk used "want to go?" Smart smart man and took one for the team, imagine being on the flight with him?. Talk about not a fighter? The guys that walked up AFTER it was all over and he was subdued and stood around looking tough.
toolguy105 0
There's so many things wrong with the way this was handled I don't even know where to begin. I guess first place to begin with would be that the pilot should never engaged this passenger in the first place it's not his job until the passengers is on his airplane which evidently the passenger never got that far. Next I'm not sure even if I ever identified the gate agent in the video this is really a gate agents problem the gate agent is responsible for the passengers. until they're on the plane the gate agent should've called the police immediately. Next it took for too long for the police to arrive and they arrive via the ramp entrance this tells me that it does airport the police are not patrolling the gate area this is very wrong and I hope it's not true. Not knowing where the gate agent was worth the gate agent even gotten involved in this altercation it might be understandable as to why the pilot engaged the passenger even so the battle was wrong and what he did though understandable. Communications equipment every airport is different with the pilot should've done is gotten back on his airplane use the radios to contact operations and asked for police assistance he did not instead he engaged the passenger and try to do whatever was he was attempting to do if anyone should be disciplined it should be the pilot and only the pilot the first officer only got involved if the pilot was assaulted.

Leslie and not the airline or the pilot's fault the bars in the airports need to train their bartenders better into Wendker the passenger off as they really are at fault for over serving.
isardriver -1
the mighty tsa/airport police to the rescue, NOT. way too late. agree with the below as well, the gate agents were late in this as well
mikef 1
Pilot Fired & Drunk prosecuted would be the outcome if I were CEO! I think they will both be learning a lesson from this one !
Moral --- If a staggering drunk can walk up and slap you upside the head and all you do is turn and cower, Keep your mouth shut from now on !
Hell yeah!!!
Barbara Gould -4
After watching this video, I couldn't help wonder why Pilots, Co-pilots and Gate Agents are not taught GoJu Riu, verbal Judo, and Okinawan Karate??.
In this day those are more necessary skills, than weapons training. One good "kada" well placed on this cruddy individual, would have silenced his filthy abusive mouth, and taken the steam out of his belligerent attitude.
Far too many passengers believe that if they buy a ticket, they OWN the airplane. I have witnessed more abuse on a commercial flight, than anyone would put up with in a Restaurant or Hotel.
Everyone's safety depends on skillful handling of these types of blowhards, and I hope the Captain's employer focuses more on IMPROVEMENT for working conditions, than disciplining a Pilot who was just doing his job (which did not include "Gate attendance") Seems the airport needs to install video surveillance and security for Passengers and Crew, and demand quicker response time, from Police.
A. There is video there
B. The decision to disallow a passenger from a flight is made daily (several times)
C. The decision to call Security is made based upon the circumstances
D. "One good "kada" would result in one huge lawsuit
Barbara Gould -1
A. You need to know more about this Martial art.
B. The Pilot was struck first, and had the right to defend himself.
C. Circumstances were warranted, long before Law Enforcement arrived.
There should be Law enforcement in every terminal for these situations
or worse.
D. Attached is a video for your enlightenment on self-defense:
Peter Steitz 2
Barbara, self defense is for the cabin while airborne. In the terminal, you leave the drunk alone and call security. He was no immediate threat to anyone until the pilot engaged him. He was in no way going to get on the flight anyway. The gate should have called security as soon as this ass started mouthing off.
Barbara Gould 1
I hate to disagree with you, but "self defense" is for anywhere you are approached in a threatening manner. The street, the terminal, a hallway, the bathroom, anywhere. The Airline can be thankful the PAX was still on the ground, when he became "out of control".
Self Defense is never a waste of time, costs very little. and doesn't require a "permit to carry" :D Have a great weekend.
There was no self defense issue until the asshole pilot called him out. He was just belligerent. Do you beat someone up for mouthing off???
Barbara Gould 0
Ummm...I think you need to watch the video again, and this time, turn up your speakers. The PAX verbally threatened the pilot first, and the Pilot responded to that threat. Yes, the Pilot could have ignored it, but did anyone ever think he was using himself as a shield, to prevent this PAX from attacking any of the other PAX? As long as he could keep the moron's attention on himself, he could be sure that others in the room were not his target. Think "outside the box" :D
U obviously didn't read my post too well. The guy was verbal towards the pilot until the pilot called him out, then it became physical. I'm sure he wasn't using himself as a shield either, he was a typical loudmouth punk that relies on someone else to defend him!!! I guarantee you if it was just the two of them in that room, he would've been meek as a frigging lamb!!!
Barbara Gould 1
I read your post, my reading comprehension skills are just fine, in three languages.
The Pilot responded to the drunk, when the Pilot was asked "Do you want to take this outside" and the Pilot did NOT call him out, he replied "No need to take it outside, I'm right here".

Now, if you choose to consider that, "the pilot called him out" that's your choice.
Had I been in that Pilot's shoes, I might have responded that same way, but the difference, between the Pilot, and myself, is the fact that I am a Brown Belt in Okinawan karate, and I have the element of surprise, as a woman, to put some serious pain, without inflicting any wounds, on someone.

Seems that the ones who make the most noise, are those who are most insecure about their ability to handle an attacker. Clearly, the Drunk was egging the crew on, due to the fact that he refused to follow orders, or even to sit down and keep his mouth shut.

I see many people who are "out of control" and never know when to back off. That miserable drunk was one of those poor unfortunates. Who "won" the fight, is immaterial, they both lost the war.
preacher1 2
Well, it's kinda like the county sheriff told me the other day when we were talking about my son being in a little altercation; He said " Wayne, if he hadn't told him where he was at and to come on down, we wouldn't be having this conversation, would we". The rest is irrelevant as far as winner and loser. Security should have been called and the pilot should have kept his mouth shut.
Look at the video again, he did sit down, even though he was still yapping and the pilot kept answering. You're bringing in all this gourmet Kung fu stuff. My point is the guy could talk all he wants, as long as he doesn't put his hands on you, there's no need to get physical!!!
The only brown belt I have is the one I wear when I get dressed up.
Back in the days in the hood where i grew up,East Orange NJ, it was called rasslin...


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