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.
The pilot of the Cessna 402B recip-twin that crashed on takeoff in the Bahamas last year, killing 22-year-old singer and actress Aaliyah, himself and seven others, had traces of cocaine and alcohol in his body. Authorities are investigating how the substances might have affected the pilot at the time of the crash. The 30-year old pilot was sentenced to three years probation on charges of crack cocaine possession 12 days before the crash.
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.