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01st Jan 2017

Drunk pilot arrested after passing out in cockpit shortly before take-off

The pilot had been due to fly a plane from Calgary to Cancun.

Conor Heneghan

The pilot had been due to fly a plane from Calgary to Cancun.

A 37-year old male pilot was arrested on Saturday after passing out in the cockpit shortly before take-off on a flight from Calgary in Canada to Cancun in Mexico.

According to the Telegraph, the pilot, who was the captain on the Sunwing Airlines flight and whose name will be released after he has appeared in court, was found drunk in the cockpit of the plane at approximately 7am local time on Saturday morning.

He was spotted behaving strangely on board the aircraft by the crew and airline staff before he later fainted in the cockpit.

After the authorities were alerted, he was escorted from the plane and placed in jail and was subsequently found, two hours after his arrest, to have more than three times the authorised amount of alcohol in his body.

He was later charged with being in control of an aircraft while being impaired, and will also face other charges when he eventually appears in court.

Commenting on the incident, Calgary Sgt. Paul Stacey told a news conference: “They found him slumped over in the seat. He was the captain.

“Because he has as much alcohol in his system as he does, they’re going to wait for him to sober up somewhat before he goes before a justice of the peace,” Stacey added.

A Sunwing spokesperson thanked the crew for their efficient handling of a “very unfortunate matter” and the flight, with another pilot at the controls, eventually took off shortly afterwards.