Volcanoes and earthquakes are not the only things to worry about when travelling through Indonesia. As the odds are, you may get a pilot who’s been smoking a pipe load of crystal meth before takeoff.
For in a shameful time for Indonesian aviation, four pilots working for Lion Air, Indonesia’s booming budget airline, have recently been caught fondling methamphetamine between flights.
Manotar Napitupulu, an adviser for the Indonesian Pilot Federation, says it’s the burgeoning airline industry that’s fuelling narcotics usage amongst pilots. “Pilots make big money”…”methamphetamine is not cheap you know”, he says.
Also a pilot with Garuda Indonesia, Mr Napitupulu bashfully denied that ‘fried flying’ was a regular occurrence, but admitted it was probably time the transport ministry began random drug tests on its pilots.
The Indonesian National Air Carriers Association has remarked the incidents have stripped the country of its aeronautical dignity, and have only added to the sour pickles plaguing this trouble soaked archipelago.
In the west, the behaviour has resulted in Lion Air being banned from Europe. Moreover, the International Air Transport Association has rejected the airline’s membership application, citing safety concerns.
Meanwhile, Lion Air continues to rake in wads of cash throughout South East Asia, while its pilots fly over mountains tinged with excitement.
Travellers, take care, it’s a jungle out there.