Virgin Pilot Cleared Of Alcohol Charges


A Virgin Atlantic relief pilot, who was hauled off an aircraft and arrested on suspicion of being drunk, has been cleared of the charges and is expected to return to work. The unidentified 42-year-old pilot, who was to fly as the third crew member on the Virgin A340 from Heathrow to Miami, was arrested Oct. 28 a few minutes before the flight was to leave. Airline policy is to replace the whole crew when that happens and the 266 passengers were delayed almost four hours while three pilots were rounded up. The story changed when it came time for the blood test, however. Although the level of alcohol in his system, if any, hasnt been released, it was less than .02 percent, the limit allowed for pilots under British regulations (mechanics are allowed .08). “As no offense was committed, no charges will be brought,” the airline said in a statement. “The pilot is now expected to resume his duties at the airline.” The news from abroad comes days after a Midwest Airlines pilot was also cleared of alcohol charges after being taken off a flight in Minneapolis.