Pilot in Unusual Nashville Crash Had .081 Blood Alcohol

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

The Canadian pilot who crashed a flying club Cessna 172 on the Nashville International Airport on Oct. 29, 2013, had a blood alcohol content (BAC) above state and federal limits, according to the Tennessee Medical Examiner. Pilot Michael Callan’s blood alcohol level was 0.081 percent, more than twice that allowed by the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). The maximum allowed under the FARs is 0.04 percent. Tennessee law has a maximum for operating an automobile of 0.08 percent. Callan launched from Windsor, Ontario, Canada on a flight plan to Pelee Island, canceled his flight plan and then flew undetected across the international border, proceeded 500 miles south and circled Nashville for some time before crashing on the airport.

Besides flying into the middle of the country undetected and then crashing on a major airport, no one even knew that there had been a crash on the airport for several hours. The crash was sometime after 2:45 a.m., and the wreckage was found when the runway was inspected at 6:00 a.m. There was heavy fog in the area. According to USA Today and the Tennessean, the Medical Examiner’s autopsy report said Callan died of blunt impact trauma, including multiple fractures and massive internal injuries. AVweb reported that the pilot was believed to be the Michael Callan of Windsor who had a criminal record dating back to the 1990s and included a number of violent bank robberies. Adding to the strangeness of entire event is that Callan had listed pop star Taylor Swift as his next of kin—yet Swift’s publicist said the singer did not know Callan and no evidence has emerged that the two had any connection.