Pilot Faces Drunk Flying Charge
A former Alaska Airlines captain has pleaded not guilty to flying while under the influence of alcohol after appearing in a federal court in Los Angeles last week. David Arntson, 60, is alleged to have flown two legs between California and Oregon in 2014 while well over the blood alcohol limits for driving and flying. According to documents filed by federal prosecutors, Arntson recorded blood levels of .134 percent and .142 percent when he underwent a random drug and alcohol test after landing at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., on June 12, 2014. Earlier that day he'd been in the cockpit for a flight from San Diego to Portland before commanding the flight from Oregon to Orange County in a Boeing 737.
Although the alleged offence happened in 2014, Arntson, who lives in Newport Beach, Calif., wasn't arrested until Jan. 21, 2016, and he was released on $25,000 bond. His trial is set for April 5. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. Arntson didn't cooperate with the airline's investigation of the alleged incident and apparently quit before he could be fired. "Mr. Arntson left the company before we were able to complete an investigation that would have led to his termination," the airline said in a statement last month, according to Fortune.