Flying High

Last updated: February 29, 2012

Lion Air flight crew arrested on drugs charges.

In the last twelve months, five Lion Air pilots or stewardesses have been arrested, either in possession or under the influence of crystal methamphetamine.

Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers
A warm welcome for visitors at Indonesia’s airports

While Indonesia has tough penalties against all “recreational” drugs (not only “hard” drugs), there is currently no national system of regular or random drug testing for Indonesian pilots and flight crew, just health and performance checks every six months. However, the arrested pilots have had their licences revoked.

Some are calling for an immediate audit of Lion Air’s management. Such a review might expose a larger problem, such as overwork or involvement by a larger drug ring.

At this time, the airline in question prefers to only “cooperate” with the police, the National Narcotics Board (BNN) and the Department of Civil Aviation to prevent drug abuse amongst its staff.

41 Comments on “Flying High”

  1. Chris says:


    The 5th person to be arrested admitted yesterday, “I took drugs because my wife left me”.

  2. timdog says:

    I commented in slightly silly fashion on this the other day –

    Being a little more serious, the Provincial Narcotics Agency (BPN) for Bali announced that they had, after the Surabaya arrest, recieved instructions from BNN to start monitoring pilots and crew, as Bali is suspected to be a major hub of drug use by airline staff. They said they had received specific intelligence, and aren’t looking only at Lion – and they also say they believe pilots may be involved in international drug smuggling. And they are apparently planning to start doing random drug tests on pilots…

    Obviously it’s appalling that pilots are, um, flying high, but for me it is just a manifestation of a much wider issue, namely Indonesia’s (and SE Asia in general) massive problem with crystal-meth. I mean seriously, that is one filthy and destructive drug; it’s what dirty people take back in the west, but here it’s what celebrities and pilots take, and what school kids dabble in. I’d be sh*tting myself if I had teenage kids in Indonesia; I mean, we smoked weed and went hunting for magic mushrooms down the playing field; we weren’t trying meth for fuxake…

    And there seems to be more and more of it around.

    I could tell an absolutely scandalous story involving a meth, a bule, a young lady of somewhat ill repute, a police checkpoint, a highly reputable educational establishment, a midnight dash across a certain large Indonesian city with a sports bag brim full of hard cash, and a very abrupt departure from from the country on a morning flight… But I think I’d better not.
    I’ll just offer a musical interlude by one of my bestest favouritest non-punk rock bands:

    Crystal-meth… I mean seriously – why can’t they just stick to Aceh’s finest like normal people?

  3. Yaser Antone says:

    Taking meth is part of a basic human rights, we free to eat and drink whatever we want, thats called a free world.

  4. ET says:

    Yaser, how many times do we have to tell you computers aren’t toys for the ‘jongos’. Now wipe that screen and go wash the dishes. And stop sticking your fingers up your nostrils.

  5. Yaser Antone says:

    baik tuan..

  6. timdog says:

    The other problem with meth, ET, is that it plays havoc with the domestic staff…
    I’m mean, seriously, try getting your socks ironed by a pembantu who’s been on the shabu2…

  7. Yaser Antone says:

    Bule kere punya pembantu, apa kata dunia,,

  8. Oigal says:

    Well we have seen what does with one character, I thought it was just a result of sniffing to much goat dung. Dunia bicara “boo Hoo”

  9. Yaser Antone says:

    OIGIRL……..Even you can’t find a job in your own country, WHY ?????, its simply because you aren’t able to compete, Your IQ is too low to earn money to survive. Natural selection will take you to uganda or congo where the competition is not so stiff. Or why not trying to be a white warrior in afghanistan where road side bombs await you. I suppose you working in your traditional occupation here, as a drunken english teacher.

  10. Oigal says:

    Now now, our little goat trader (ok, I went for the polite version) its not polite to wish death n destruction on Internet forums, what would your mother say.

    Mmm, drunken …well it has occurred, however somewhat infrequently these days, mores the pity. English teacher? Well anyone with even the most fundamental grasp of the language would acknowledge that is probably unlikely in my case. I do in fact get great amusement from that old chestnut “you must be working here coz you can’t get a job at home’. Invariably the rabid chest beater fails to grasp he has insulted the nation more than the foreigner, still one should not expect too much from the hired help I suppose.

    Now back to the stables and seek penance from your proud and noble forebears for abandoning your Indonesian name for that of a desert village camel trader.

  11. ET says:

    Yaser see what happens when clumsy idiots play with IED’s.

  12. ET says:

    Kaboom! The 72 virgins will have a hard time putting the pieces together.

  13. Yaser Antone says:


    I have no enough time to open the link you suggested above. What for, just a time wasting. for your information, I am a free thinker, an uebermench. You can call me a Philosopher or a guru. I can teach you the Wisdom as long as you are willing to be my disciple.

  14. timdog says:

    on other matters, A CLARION CALL TO MISTER PATUNG (as I still like to think of him) – how about, just for old time’s sake, a “news” post on the FPI’s recent humiliating inability to disembark from their flight to Central Kalimantan…

    Go on, it would be fun! Me and ET could find something to have a wrestle about, some of the dear departed could pop by to join in. Hell, maybe even Achmad Sudarsono might grace us with his presence and sing a few songs…

    Oh, and maybe we could order Yaser to hand out some aqua cups to the guests – that is, if he hasn’t been at the meth…

  15. Oigal says:

    Hi TD,

    I was thinking the same, one of our more rabid Bule bloggers posted on this as if this was the Custer’s Last Stand against the hordes (don’t get me wrong, I was laughing my a… off at the FPI thugs cringing as would I when the Dayaks get the blood lust up).

    However, in the interests of background the history of the region and Sampit would be worth mentioning..

    P.S. It was interesting recently when the little tattooed people sent a number of JK’s hired thugs back home in body bags recently as well..

  16. Oigal says:

    And yes, I thought I left that nasty throwing rocks at the crippled kid side of me long behind… to my shame apparently not…I now write one thousand times “It’s cruel and mean to pick on Yasar the goat herder as he cannot defend himself”

  17. timdog says:

    Yeah, oigal, that’s exactly why it’s so ripe for an old-school IM reunion; plenty of fodder there…

    The bar-room bules are currently all cheering and raising their bintangs to the Dayak “heroes” of “freedom and tolerance”…

    Now, aku juga memang manusia, so I obviously had a good old smirk at the thought of the boys in the bedsheets getting increasingly twitchy, and thumbing their Blackberries nervously while the updates became more bloodcurdling, and the noise of distant shouting drifted in across the runway. And if the incident ends up denting their aura of official untouchability, then absolutely awesome…

    But given the past record of the Dayak “masses” of Kalteng, I thing I’ll pass up on the hero-worshiping…

    Yaser! Have you finished ironing my socks yet?

  18. Yaser Antone says:


    You have no enough pigment to give me orders, You are genetically defected. Don’t expose yourself too much to sun light” white termite!!”

  19. Oigal says:

    To think I actually miss Assmad, at least he occasionally came with some stuff where you had to work at a response. Yasar me ol goat herder, you have to put a bit of work into it yourself. You seem to be confused and think you really are an Arab with a legion of abused Asians to do the manual stuff and Westerners to do your thinking for you. Anyway, tell me any truth in the rumour, that it was your mob who put the husband in animal husbandry?

  20. Yaser Antone says:


    You excactly know buddy that my answer is unprintable!.

  21. ET says:

    Yaser, here’s a short story for you (a long story would probably too demanding for a peanut brain).

    ‘Once there was a little brown man who hated the big white man and the big white man just didn’t give a damn.’

    You could also try some skin whitener product. The shelves of your local supermarket are full of it.

  22. Yaser Antone says:


    It seems you are rather civilized than Timdog and Oigal, your junior high school certificate is really helpful to soften your manner.

  23. timdog says:

    Yaser, although my dad is indeed a paler than pale northern Celt, happily, my mum is “black Cornish” (a result of the blood of either Arab or Spanish pirates, depending which theory/legend you believe – lordy, I hope it’s the latter!).
    Perfect combination really – I can handle the sunshine, but I’m white enough that all the simple Indonesian lassies still think I’m ever so handsome, and they love my big nose too…

    Now iron my sock, cok!

  24. Yaser Antone says:

    Dear Timdog,

    Asking me to iron your sock is as dumb as asking David Cameroon to iron Mr.Bean’s sock. Maybe Oigal is willing to bear the smell of your fungi infested sock.

  25. Oigal says:

    “You excactly know buddy that my answer is unprintable!”

    I was excactly (sic) thinking your answer would be incomprehensible which is almost the same…

    Oh My ET, never a good sign when the goat trader takes a shine to you..ask the goat..

    Speaking of good noses (and it must be a beauty with that Spanish Pirate Plunder blood). I had one of the girls explain to me the other day, the first thing she looks for in a husband is shoe size. There is a direct link between that and well…not a nose.
    Which explains why the love of the Bule and his smelly sneakers over the slithering sandals (gee I hate that, pick your bloody feet up!).

    Oh Yasar, Credit where credit is due, I just read where it was your mob who first invented the condom using a goat’s colon. Of course, it was the Greeks who improved on the design by taking it out of the goat first.

  26. timdog says:

    Speaking of shoe size, mine are UK-13, bigger than those of any living Indonesian (which also helps, along with the fair complexion).
    That’s why Yaser’s taking so long to iron my socks.

    Come on little man; it’s past Mahgrib now. If you hurry up I’ll let you have Rp3000 to buy a bowl of bakso, and I might let you go out to the end of the road to flirt with Inem and Sutina. They finished their chores at Oigal’s place hours ago…

  27. deta says:

    Good move, Yaser boy, you’re only one step away from asking ET to be obedient and wear hijab…. ;-)

  28. pattimahal says:

    What the hell is going on here?

    I joined Indonesia Matters to avoid this kind of crap! I might as well go onto the reader’s comments on the Jakarta Post website and abuse access2/Erik Estrada or spar with Ubudian (or whatever he calls himself now) on the Lonely Planet!

    Yaser isn’t Purba, is he?

  29. Chris says:

    I was a little disturbed by this comment:

    Taking meth is part of a basic human rights, we free to eat and drink whatever we want, thats called a free world.

    I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be on a flight where the pilot has smoked crystal methampethamine and is under its influence. One part of the above post I edited was the side effects, but for YA’s benefit/consideration here they are:

    The drug’s effects are similar to those of cocaine but longer lasting. Crystal Meth can cause erratic, violent behavior among its users. Effects include suppressed appetite, interference with sleeping behavior, mood swings and unpredictability, tremors and convulsions, increased blood pressure, irregular heart rate. Users may also experience homicidal or suicidal thoughts, prolonged anxiety, paranoia and insomnia.

    It also makes you look ugly.

  30. Yaser Antone says:

    Chris, Meth is a Concentration and performance enhancer. If you are a driver, pilot or in position as a decision maker, then Meth is a panasia for you. The side effect of meth is hyperbolically exaggerated, its a matter of dosage and self control.

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