Yikes! A former Alaska Airlines Pilot has been charged with flying a plane while drunk, as reported by NBC News. David Arntson was arrested and charged with operating a plane while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a felony which carries up to 15 years in federal prison.
Alaska Airlines Pilot Charged Flying Plane Drunk
Arntson piloted two flights on June 20, 2014, the first from San Diego to Portland and a second from Portland to John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
After landing in California, he was subjected to a random drug test that registered a blood alcohol level of between 0.134 percent and 0.142 percent, prosecutors charge. A BAC of 0.08 percent is enough to get someone busted for DUI while driving on the ground.
According to the article, none of the flight crew reported seeing the pilot take a drink while in the air however, now that I think about it it would be very easy for a pilot to sneak one of those little bottles of alcohol from the carts. Scary!
What do you think? Have you ever considered that your pilot might have had a couple drinks before he flies the plane that you are boarding? What additional measures do you think might be good (perhaps random screenings prior to flying a plane vs. after landing one?) I hadn’t put much thought into this issue until now, maybe I’m too trusting. When I am sipping my favorite cocktail in the sky; I just didn’t think that my pilot was doing the same. What solutions do you have?