Pilot Faces Prison for Flying While Drunk

AINsafety » July 8, 2013
July 8, 2013, 3:05 PM

A commercial pilot for Orlando-based Flight Express, a subsidiary of Columbus, Ohio’s AirNet Cargo, is facing a maximum of 15 years in a federal prison after pleading guilty last month to operating an aircraft while under the influence on December 8 last year. Authorities said the pilot was flying with a blood-alcohol level six times over the legal limit for aviators on a trip between North Carolina and Tampa Fla., at the time of the incident.

Air traffic controllers were alerted to a problem with the pilot when they lost radio contact with the flight and observed it change altitudes and headings without a clearance. A pair of fighters scrambled from nearby Tyndall Air Force Base was able to intercept and escort the aircraft to a safe landing at Tampa.

After landing, the pilot voluntarily submitted to Breathalyzer exams that showed his blood-alcohol level to be 0.274 and 0.272 in two different tests. The FAA’s alcohol limit is 0.04 within eight hours of assuming a PIC role.

AirNet did not acknowledge AIN’s requests for an interview about the incident.

Share this...

Please Register

In order to leave comments you will now need to be a registered user. This change in policy is to protect our site from an increased number of spam comments. Additionally, in the near future you will be able to better manage your AIN subscriptions via this registration system. If you already have an account, click here to log in. Otherwise, click here to register.