airline pilots

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Less Than 30 Minutes Before Departure, the Pilot Was Arrested

Cops say pilot showed up drunk for Delta flight

(Newser) - The pilot of a Delta flight from a South Dakota airport was arrested less than 30 minutes before departure time Wednesday morning when a TSA agent told police he smelled like booze. Russel Duszak, 38, was found to have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.04 and was... More »

Feds: Alaska Airlines Pilot Flew Drunk—Twice

Blood alcohol readings were way over the limit

(Newser) - An Alaska Airlines pilot was too drunk to drive, let alone fly, when he piloted two flights on June 20, 2014, according to federal prosecutors. David Hans Arntson—who was immediately removed from "safety sensitive duties" after flunking a breath test and later retired from the airline—was arrested... More »

Drunk Co-Pilot Was 7 Times Over Legal Limit

And the pilot wasn't exactly sober

(Newser) - Too drunk to fly, and possibly too drunk to walk: A co-pilot who went on a drinking binge with three other airBaltic crew members hours before a flight was found to have a blood alcohol level around seven times the legal limit, the BBC reports. The 38-year-old told a court... More »

Woman's Letter to Plane's Pilots Goes Viral

'Thank you for taking me home. Thank you for doing so safely.'

(Newser) - Jai Dillon's Twitter bio describes him as an "airline pilot operating the B737 soon to be operating the A320." So it's not overly surprising that he'd tweet something a fellow pilot passed along. Except in this instance, and in the context of the Germanwings crash... More »

Pilots Have Become Too Reliant on Computers

Robert Mark: Asiana crash proves the point

(Newser) - Computers do pretty much everything these days when it comes to flying planes, all but reducing the role of airline pilot to "systems monitor," writes Robert Mark at CNN . This is a dangerous trend, he argues, as this week's public hearings into the July crash of an... More »

FAA to Crack Down on Overweight Pilots

Agency worried about related sleep problems

(Newser) - Plus-size pilots and air-traffic controllers will soon be getting some extra attention from the FAA. Under a new policy, overweight pilots and controllers must get checked out for a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, reports USA Today . The worry is that if they get lousy sleep at night, they... More »

Pilot's Bathroom Break Forces Landing

Door jammed so he couldn't get back inside cockpit

(Newser) - A sillier reason to ground a plane than a woman singing Whitney Houston songs ? How about the pilot locking himself out of the cockpit? An Air India flight was forced to divert and land after a pilot went for a bathroom break ... and couldn't get back to his... More »

Huge Airline Pilot Shortage Looms

Hiring crisis expected to be worst in 50 years

(Newser) - America's airlines are going to run out of pilot to fly their planes very soon unless action is taken, experts warn. More than half of American pilots are over 50 and there are not going to be enough qualified candidates to replace the thousands of pilots who will reach... More »

Pilot Busted for Airport Carjacking

Police say drunk pilot stole car hours before Seattle-to-Tokyo flight

(Newser) - A commercial pilot has been arrested for a bizarre carjacking just hours before he was supposed to fly a plane from Seattle to Tokyo. Police say the Omni Air pilot climbed into a stranger's rental car at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and refused to leave even after the driver pulled... More »

Passenger Jet Takes Detour, Finds Missing Boat

Air Canada pilot flew low so passengers could look out window

(Newser) - We're willing to bet this is a first: Passengers on an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney were asked to participate in a search for a yacht that had been lost at sea for 16 hours, reports the Consumerist . The captain received a call for help and flew... More »

Psychologist: Lack of Sleep Caused Pilot's Meltdown

Deprivation behind Clayton Osbon's 'brief psychotic disorder,' he testified

(Newser) - The JetBlue pilot who had a bizarre in-flight meltdown earlier this year was seriously short on sleep, a psychologist testified, according to a court transcript obtained by the AP . The neuropsychologist told Clayton Osbon's trial that the pilot had "a brief psychotic disorder" due to lack of sleep.... More »

Judge: JetBlue Meltdown Pilot Insane, Not Guilty

Clayton Osbon sent to federal facility for examination

(Newser) - The JetBlue pilot who caused a flight to be diverted after a bizarre mid-air meltdown has been found not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors did not argue with a psychological report that concluded Clayton Osbon, 49, suffered from "a severe mental disease or defect that impaired his ability... More »

'Autopilot Addiction' Doomed Air France Flight

Startling lack of training endangers passengers, experts say

(Newser) - Airbus likes to boast that its A330 jet is "pilot-proof," but that sentiment may have helped trigger one of the worst airline disasters in recent years, experts tell ABC . They say that the co-pilots on Air France Flight 447 depended too heavily on the plane's autopilot system,... More »

Cause of Russian Jet Crash: Pilot Bravado?

'Joy flight' pilot approached mountain infamous for crashes

(Newser) - The crash of a Russian jet during a demonstration flight in Indonesia last week may have been caused by pilot bravado, Der Spiegel finds. The flight was all about offering a spectacular show to journalists and potential buyers, and the captain of the Sukhoi SuperJet-100, despite his inexperience, appears to... More »

Sleepy Co-Pilot Mistook Venus for US Military Plane

Report blames 'sleep inertia' for Air Canada accident that injured 16

(Newser) - We've all awaken from naps feeling a little groggy and confused—but not many of us have been at the controls of a Boeing 767 at the time. An accident that injured 16 people on an Air Canada flight early last year was caused when the co-pilot—startled awake... More »

JetBlue Suspends Captain in Meltdown

Clayton Osbon taken off active duty pending review

(Newser) - A JetBlue captain who yelled about a bomb and urged passengers to pray on a Las Vegas-bound flight has been suspended, the airline said today. Clayton Osbon has been taken off active duty pending a review of the incident, a JetBlue spokeswoman said. There is nothing in the captain's... More »

JetBlue Pilot Broke Through Plastic Restraints

Clayton Osbon has been a pilot since 1989

(Newser) - The captain behind yesterday's JetBlue Flight 191 freakout was 49-year-old Clayton Osbon, and passenger David Gonzalez tells ABC News that "I was actually the one that took him down." Gonzalez says he noticed the flight attendants struggling to control Osbon, approached the group, and asked if there... More »

Pilot Sparks Panic With 'Mom on Board' Greeting

Southwest passengers heard 'bomb'

(Newser) - A Southwest Airlines pilot gave passengers a scare when he issued a birthday greeting to the mother of an air traffic controller. Passengers panicked after hearing "mom on board" as "bomb on board," the New York Daily News reports. Airline staff rushed to reassure passengers and the... More »

'Drunk Pilot' Delays Flight

Hotel shuttle driver tipped off cops

(Newser) - A flight was delayed at Omaha's airport after a hotel shuttle bus driver told police that the pilot appeared to be already flying pretty high. Police say they intercepted the pilot before he boarded the Frontier Airlines flight and, after determining there was reasonable suspicion that he was drunk,... More »

India Checking All Pilots' Licenses After Finding Fakes

At least four found to be using fake documents

(Newser) - Indian authorities have begun checking the licenses of all 4,000 commercial airline pilots in the country after at least four were found to be flying using fake documents, a top civil aviation official says. Two pilots were arrested last week for using fake certificates to gain licenses, including a... More »

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