Right, but he's smart enough to know how bad such investigations could be for him under the most ideal circumstances, and the film's setup seems to be based on the assumption that, despite those problems, Whitaker is still an exceptionally skilled pilot. That's presumably why he's able to land the plane in relatively one piece with few casualties. So if he knows that his skill could have accomplished that, at least partially, and he knows not to let his addictions become obvious enough to get him reprimanded or fired, why does the movie so quickly abandon that premise and just show Whitaker getting drunk out of his gourd at every opportunity?
I just feel like the good premise gets a bit drowned in the addiction aspect (no pun intended
), and it's unfortunate because it denies Whitaker the chance to have some heroic tendencies. He's not perfect, but he's clearly not a completely bad person either.