During the holiday season, many people chose to opt for air travel to visit their distant relatives. While the trip to the airport might be treacherous, travelers have the opportunity to enjoy the perks of getting to their destination faster than they would have compared to driving. They can also enjoy things like a glass of champagne in-flight, depending on which airline you are flying with. The pilot and copilot are in control of getting travelers to their destinations safely. That is a big responsibility for two people who, at one point in their lives, have probably transported 300 people across the globe on a plane at once.
How would you feel if you knew your pilot had a few too many drinks before taking control of the airplane you are about to board? It would probably make you uneasy, right? Believe it or not, this happens more often than you would expect. A pilot from Sunwing Airlines, a Canadian based airline, was accused of being intoxicated in the cockpit. The pilot was severely intoxicated with the crew finding him passed out in the cockpit before taking off. He was set to fly from Calgary to Regina and Winnipeg, then to Cancun, Mexico. This is not the first time a pilot has been removed from the cockpit for being intoxicated. There were multiple incidents in 2016 where pilots had to be removed from an aircraft for being intoxicated.
A veteran aviation safety expert says that this recent incident is one of the worst he has seen. The pilot had a blood alcohol level over .08. Since being arrested, the pilot has been released on bail and has been ordered to surrender his passport.
In Canada, it is illegal for pilots to consume alcohol within eight hours of their flight. Sunwings Airline goes beyond that requirement and has implemented 12-hour policy. It’s safe to say that this pilot will not be flying anytime soon.
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