Heavily Drunk Pilots Arrested

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

    • A
    • A
    • A

At least two severely drunk airline pilots have been arrested before allegedly trying to fly passengers over the holiday period. The most recent incident was a Sunwing Airlines captain who was found passed out in the cockpit early Saturday while his flight was being boarded in Calgary, Alberta. The unidentified pilot had to be revived before he could be led off the aircraft and initial breath tests indicated a blood alcohol content of more than .24, three times the legal limit for driving a car in Alberta. Security staff, gate agents and flight crew colleagues all reported his “odd behavior” and called authorities. “We tested him approximately two hours after we took him into custody and he still blew at that extreme level," Calgary Police Sgt. Paul Stacey told Global News. “So I can’t tell you when he had his last drink but he was pretty high. So it probably wasn’t too long before we took him into custody is my guess.” The pilot, a Slovakian national working in Canada on a temporary permit, was to command the 737-800 first to Regina, Saskatchewan, to pick up more passengers before going on to Cancun. Sunwing found a replacement and the flight took off about two hours late. Police said they had to wait until the original pilot was sober enough to appear before a judge before they could charge him formally. The other incident took place on the other side of the world and the prelude was caught on video.

In that case, the pilot of a Citilink aircraft going from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Jakarta last Wednesday was hauled off the plane after passengers revolted when they heard him slurring his preflight announcements. Several of the 154 passengers got off the plane and demanded a replacement. He was also confronted in the cockpit but it's not clear whether that was before or after the passenger complaints. That was also caught on cellphone video. The pilot, identified at Capt. Tekad Purna, was caught on a surveillance camera as he weaved his way through security, dropping the contents of his briefcase and other items on the floor before lurching toward his aircraft. Purna and two senior airline officials subsequently resigned. “The pilot had committed serious violation of standard operation procedure that endangered passengers,” President Director Albert Burhan told Western Journalism. “We apologize for the discomfort. I have to be responsible for that and therefore I and my production director resign.” 


Comments (5)

People who drink to get drunk and use tobacco are very selfish and have little regard for others around them. If smoking is not allowed on commercial flights - why not outlaw drunkenness before a pilot gets on a plane? What good is a breath test after a plane crashes?

Posted by: Don Lineback | January 2, 2017 8:24 AM    Report this comment

Don: "why not outlaw drunkenness before a pilot gets on a plane?" Your statement might lead someone to believe that alcohol consumption by flight crew is not covered by regulations? Of course it is and it's clearly spelled out.

Posted by: Joe Jetstar | January 3, 2017 6:27 PM    Report this comment

Laws without oversight only try to keep honest people that way.

Posted by: Don Lineback | January 4, 2017 7:00 AM    Report this comment

Drunk pilots make robot pilots look not quite so bad.

Posted by: Rollin Olson | January 5, 2017 12:16 AM    Report this comment

Just as smart as outlawing guns for everyone because some criminals abuse them.

Problem? Criminals don't follow those rules, and neither do drunks.

I'm not saying it's alright to allow drunks to fly. I'm saying it's ridiculous to expect such simplistic rules to deter them.

Not to mention that, as Joe Jetstar says, it is already illegal.

Posted by: Ronald Cox | January 6, 2017 5:47 PM    Report this comment

Add your comments

Log In

You must be logged in to comment

Forgot password?


Enter your information below to begin your FREE registration