Flying high

When the times get tough, the tough get …err… drinking? In the latest instalment of things not to do in the interest of furthering your career, a United Airlines pilot has been arrested at London Heathrow on suspicion of being drunk. Tipped off by ground staff , the 44-year-old first officer was breathtested in the […]


When the times get tough, the tough get …err… drinking? In the latest instalment of things not to do in the interest of furthering your career, a United Airlines pilot has been arrested at London Heathrow on suspicion of being drunk.

Tipped off by ground staff , the 44-year-old first officer was breathtested in the cockpit – at 9AM – only moments before he was due to fly hundreds of unsuspecting passengers to San Francisco.

A police source told British newspapers that the UA pilot had been arrested on suspicion of “performing an aviation function whilst exceeding the prescribed alcohol limit”. We’re guessing it means he was trying to fly the plane drunk.

The legal limit for pilots is nine micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, which sensibly, is nearly four times stricter than the drink-drive limit of 35mcg in 100ml of breath.

In a statement, United Airlines said: “United’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for abuse of violation of this well-established policy.

“Safety is our No 1 priority and the pilot has been removed from service while we are cooperating with authorities and conducting a full investigation.” We’ll drink to that.!