Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has dismissed a pilot who failed a drug test after reportedly passing out for 13 minutes while in command of a Beechcraft King Air 200 carrying a patient and nurse to Brisbane. The nurse eventually woke the pilot, who subsequently tested positive for methamphetamine. The pilot is believed to be the first RFDS pilot ever dismissed over a drug-related issue.
Although the recent economic downturn has led to a drop in charter activity among legitimate business travelers, the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s aviation division said he expects an increase in the use of charter aircraft by drug traffickers.
AIN has confirmed that Franklin Rodriguez, the U.S. Air National Guard pilot arrested April 12 for smuggling the so-called love drug Ecstasy into the U.S. aboard a C-5A Galaxy, was a Beechjet captain at that time for Flight Options. The fractional provider declined comment, citing employee-employer confidentiality.