Airline Pilot Arrested For Being Six Times Over Legal Alcohol Limit

Image of a United Airlines plane.

Image of United Airlines aircraft. Credit: Twitter@united

A flight had to be cancelled after an airline captain was arrested as he was boarding his aircraft, reportedly drunk.

A 63-year-old United Airlines Captain was arrested at Paris Airport, suspected of being six times over the legal alcohol limit, on Sunday, July 23, according to PYOK.

The unnamed pilot has been given a one-year suspended prison sentence and has received a 12-month flying ban after his arrest less than a week ago at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. He was also fined €4,500 and banned from flying for 12 months but this is only applicable to France.

The American pilot was removed from the United Airlines Boeing 777 by French Gendarmes and taken into custody, where according to the prosecutor’s office, he failed an alcohol breathalyser test.

Police reported that they found the pilot with a ‘pasty mouth, glassy eyes and difficulties in expressing himself.’

While he was in custody, the pilot was subjected to a blood test. The results showed that he had 0.59mg/l and 0.56mg/l of alcohol in his system, which is six times past the limit for flight crew in France.

The pilot was arrested just an hour before the United Airlines flight UA331 to Washington DC, was scheduled for take-off. However, due to the incident, the flight had to be cancelled at the last minute.

It is understood that United Airlines flew the same aircraft back to Washington Dulles Airport on Monday, July 24.

The pilot was held under arrest until Tuesday evening, following an emergency hearing. The pilot claimed that he had drank just two glasses of wine on the night before his arrest, a claim that the presiding judges strongly doubted.

A spokesperson for United said: ‘The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority. We hold all our employees to the highest standards and have a strict no-tolerance policy for alcohol.’

‘This employee was immediately removed from service, and we are fully cooperating with local authorities.’

In June, a 62-year-old Delta Air pilot was also arrested on suspicion of being over the legal alcohol limit at Edinburgh Airport.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.