A pilot, acting as First Officer on a flight to San Francisco and who was three times over the alcohol limit, escaped a custodial sentence after pleas from his bosses.
The pilot was arrested last October on the flight deck of a United Airlines plane preparing to take off for San Francisco after ground staff had noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath. It was nine o’clock in the morning!
Blood test results revealed that he had 60mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit for pilots who are about to fly a commercial plane is 20mg. The flight was delayed for nearly three hours as United Airlines searched for another pilot.
The pilot, 44 year old Jefferson Inman, an American, was given a suspended sentence, which theoretically means he could be flying again after undergoing therapy.
Regardless of any mitigating circumstances in such cases, prior exemplerary conduct or whatever, surely the number of lives potentially at risk, both those in a plane and those on the ground in the event of a crash, warrant a zero tolerance as far as alcohol or drugs are concerned.