Airport authorities were contacted, and a short time later Shook was found. He was in an airport bathroom with new clothes on. He had changed from his uniform jacket and hat and told authorities he had just called in sick to the airline.
That might have been the smartest thing he did, because everyone know you don’t drink in uniform
As Dr Cox said, “You can’t drink and come to work, you’re not airline pilots”
I come from a different era. It was not at all uncommon to see a cockpit filled with personnel who had just come from the bar at the O Club. Sometimes on alerts that was all that was available after the Ready Alert birds had flown away. 99% of the time we simply sat on a runway, no harm, no foul. But sometimes we had to take to the air and then it often became a group effort.
Among some crews delivering iron rice in SE Asia it was the only way you would find them, the severity was all that came into question.
On the civilian side I knew quite a few who thought it cheapened their manhood if they hadn’t “had a few just to take the edge off” before “kicking the tires, lighting the fires and seeing if this bastard will fly!”. It was very, very common in the PNW, Maritimes and all along the DEW Line among freight dogs. Usually from a thermos that accompanied the CP everywhere, but even at times to be seen carried by the FO. No, it didn’t contain coffee.
I used to spend a lot of time in the islands and it was fairly commonplace among the many “ex-pat” fliers who considered themselves, in effect, banished to a backwater at that time, although not so much among the “native” pilots, rare as they were. Chalk’s was an exception. Cappy would personally have gotten out of his beach chair and dealt out swift justice to anyone stupid enough to break his no drinking rules.
Over the past 30 years or so things have changed drastically, to the point where it is very rare except for the occasional GA adventure.
I no longer drink, haven’t done so since I suffered from hepatitis back in the late 60’s, but prior to that I’ve been in many cockpits where bottles of liquor were passed around while in flight.
I won’t even attempt to address drug use, that would require its own thread.