Cherokee Pilot Charged With Flying While Intoxicated



The pilot of a Piper Cherokee was arrested and charged with operating an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, after he landed in the parking lot of a warehouse in Whittier, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, according to the Pasadena Star-News. Darrel Roberts, 58, apparently had planned to fly south from Temecula to San Diego, a distance of about 60 miles, on Monday, but got lost and was running low on fuel. “He was headed in the wrong direction and somehow ended up here in L.A. County,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva told The Associated Press. Whittier is about 70 miles north of Temecula.

As deputies talked to Roberts, they suspected he might be intoxicated and took him into custody, Villanueva told the AP. “A DUI involving an airplane, that doesn’t happen very often,” he said. One wing of the Cherokee clipped a stop sign and was damaged, but the airplane remained upright and Roberts was unhurt. Roberts was held in lieu of $1,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear in court July 5. The 1973 Piper PA-28-140 is registered in Roberts’ name, according to news reports.