London police arrested an American Airlines pilot twenty minutes before he was scheduled to fly 204 passengers from London to Chicago. 57-year-old Captain Joseph Crites was four-times over the legal alcohol limit and reeking of booze when he tried to enter his Boeing 777's cockpit.
The 10.15am flight yesterday - AA87 - was delayed while a replacement pilot was found and the Boeing 777 eventually took off at 11.30am.
American Airlines said today: "An American Airlines pilot was arrested at Heathrow yesterday having failed a breathalyser test. Police had been called by airport staff working at the security control post.
Arrests of drunken pilots are "quite infrequent," said a police spokesman who declined to be named, in line with police policy. "They are not everyday occurrences."
Like another commenter on the website The Consumerist, I have to wonder who blew the whistle on the guy... a flight attendant? The co-pilot? It would be really scary if it was a passenger who raised hell...
Good freaking grief!
I know... I know... getting on a plane is safer than getting in your car or truck... but in your vehicle you are not thousands of miles in the air... well... hopefully you are not thousands of miles in the air...
I think a pilot is one of those professions that get automatic respect. Doctors also get this respect... people assume you are on top of your game and they can immediately trust you. It's a shame that morons scare people like me out of hopping on a plane and enjoying the friendly skies!
Here are more reasons I don't like to fly...