Drunk Co-Pilot Was 7 Times Over Legal Limit

And the pilot wasn't exactly sober
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2015 2:00 AM CDT
Updated Aug 19, 2015 3:33 AM CDT
Drunk Co-Pilot Was 7 Times Over Legal Limit
An airBaltic plane takes off from Riga's airport.   (Wikpedia/Aleksander Samuilovs)

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 in Norway that he and his colleagues "lost control" after going out drinking in the afternoon and were still boozing at 2am, four hours before departure time, although they did switch from whiskey to beer at some point. The crew was breathalyzed after an anonymous tip before their Aug. 8 flight from Oslo to the Greek island of Crete, and authorities found that the pilot, co-pilot, and two out of three flight attendants were over the legal limit.

The co-pilot was sentenced to six months in prison yesterday, while one flight attendant got 45 days and the other 60 days. The 50-year-old pilot—who faces more serious charges because he was responsible for the crew, as well as around 100 passengers—has had his trial postponed until next month and will remain in custody until then, reports NewsinEnglish.no. He was found to have a blood alcohol level around twice the legal limit, the BBC notes. In a statement, the Latvian airline said all four crew members have been suspended prior to dismissal, and it has brought in mandatory breath tests for all "safety-critical personnel." (These pilots were fired for letting a Playboy model fly the plane.)

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