Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Airline Pilot Was Arrested In A Jet’s Cockpit On Suspicion Of Being DRUNK

Hundreds of stunned passengers watched police march the 44-year-old American first officer off the Boeing 777.The United Airlines flight to San Francisco was delayed at Heathrow for almost three hours while a replacement co-pilot was found.Cops swooped after a tip-off from ground staff, who suspected the airman was boozing before the 5,300-mile flight.One stunned passenger said: “We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. The pilot was frog-marched off the aircraft.“A couple of police officers stormed on to the plane as we were all sitting down and went straight for the cockpit.

“We didn’t have a clue what was happening and we were kept waiting on the plane for hours.“It is horrifying to think we were apparently so close to being flown thousands of miles by somebody who could have been drinking.“It was a horrible start to our trip but if it wasn’t for the person who called the cops, our dream holiday could have become a nightmare.”The pilot was arrested at 9am on board flight 955 after failing a breathalyser.He was bailed and ordered to return to Heathrow airport police station in January.

United Airlines has suspended the officer, who earns around £40,000 a year, until the police investigation is over.A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “The crew member was arrested on suspicion of being aviation staff performing an aviation function whilst exceeding the prescribed alcohol limit.”The flight was due to leave Heathrow's Terminal One at 10.05am but was delayed until 12.53pm.

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