(CALGARY, Alberta) — Police at Calgary Airport arrested a pilot Saturday after officials said his co-pilot found him passed out and drunk in the cockpit before takeoff.
The Sunwing Airlines pilot, a 37-year-old Slovakian national, was scheduled to captain the Cancun-bound plane with 99 passengers on board plus five crew members, according to Calgary Police Service Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey. He was taken into custody and two hours later, the pilot tested three times over the legal limit for alcohol, the sergeant said.
“To be three times above the legal limit, that’s a lot of booze,” Stacey said at a press conference Saturday, adding that “it had all the potential for a disaster.”
Sunwing Airlines said in a statement that gate agents, the first officer and crew “determined the Captain was unfit to fly,” he was “immediately escorted off the aircraft and the incident is now under investigation.”
Calgary Police said gate crew first noticed the pilot was “acting oddly” before he became unconscious in the cockpit.
The pilot was charged with having care and control of an aircraft while impaired, having care and control of an aircraft over .08, according to the Calgary Police Service. He was not identified as of Saturday night.
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