There are plenty of things pilots tick off during pre-flight preparations, but one of them is definitely not allegedly getting drunk and then allegedly attempting to hijack a car in the airport parking lot. A pilot for a charter airline had about 12 hours to kill before he had to fly a plane from Seattle to Japan, and in that time cops say he dabbled in a bit of carjacking while in an altered state.
The pilot for Omni Air International, a charter airline out of Tulsa, Okla., reportedly walked up to a rental car in the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center and got in the back seat. Problem was, a 66-year-old man was in the driver’s seat, as it was his rental, reports the Seattle Times.
Cops say the man asked the pilot what he was up to, hanging out in the back of his rental car, and the pilot answered, “You know, you know.” The two then had “a brief exchange of words” which must not have gone well, as the man then pointed a handgun at the pilot and told him to get out of the rental car.
“A struggle ensued and the victim struck the suspect several times with the handgun. The victim got out of the car, and the suspect chased him around the car. The suspect then got into the driver’s seat and fled in the victim’s car,” said the report.
When the police arrived, they arrested the pilot on on suspicion of car theft and DUI.
The CEO of the airline responded to the arrest thusly: “Wow. I don’t have the full report. What we’ll do is do a thorough investigation into the charges and go from there. That’s all we can do. I can’t comment on anything else.”
The flight the pilot was scheduled to fly the next day was delayed 24 hours and instead left for Japan on Monday morning, without the original pilot.
Pilot suspected in car theft, DUI hours before Japan flight [Seattle Times]