It’s rare to find a drunk airline pilot. The first reason is that most pilots know how important their duty is. The second is that they undergo random drug testing. The third is that the really bad ones will either get caught, quit, or crash.
The LA Times has reported on a former pilot for Alaska Airlines receiving a jail sentence for flying passenger planes while drunk during his tenure. He’s been sentenced to a year and a day in prison and has to pay a $10,000 fine.
The pilot was caught in 2014. After landing, he was selected for a drug test. Breath tests conducted 15 minutes apart showed blood alcohol concentrations well above the 0.04 limit for pilots. They were both over 0.13. The pilot couldn’t understand the results and said he only had a few sips of beer the night before the flight.
He was removed from certain duties the day of the test due to the investigation. Later, the pilot retired due to medical issues. But now that drug test day has caught up with him and he has been sentenced. The pilot had been flying for the airline since 1982.
Alaska Airlines issued a statement saying they wouldn’t comment on the misconduct of former employees, they are glad that the ex-pilot will be held accountable.