JetBlue Pilot Charged With Flying Plane From Florida To New York Drunk

Image courtesy of (Adam Fagen)

FAA regulations prohibit pilots from consuming alcohol at least eight hours before flying or having a blood-alcohol level higher than .04%, and it’s a federal crime to fly with a BAC of .10% or higher, which is why a now-former JetBlue pilot is in hot water.

The pilot of a JetBlue flight from Florida to New York was arrested last year for flying under the influence of alcohol when a random breathalyzer test found his blood-alcohol content was .11, the New York Post reports.

The April 21, 2015 arrest was recently made public after a Brooklyn court unsealed a federal complaint about the incident on Wednesday.

According to the complaint, the pilot was selected for the random test after he flew 151 passengers from Orlando to New York’s JFK airport.

After the initial test returned a reading of .11, the pilot allegedly tried to blame the results on the “gum that he was chewing,” the complaint states.

“During the walk to the onsite testing office at JFK Airport, Murphy’s face was red, and he was chewing gum rapidly,” the complaint says.

A second test was administered in the office 15 minutes later. At that point, the pilot’s blood-alcohol level registered .091.

The complaint goes on to show that the man piloted two flights on April 21. On the first trip, from JFK to Orlando, he was the “pilot flying,” meaning he was responsible for manning the aircraft.

For the second flight, which the man was tested after, he was deemed to be the “pilot monitoring.” However, the complaint states he was the sole pilot in control of the aircraft when his co-pilot used the restroom.

The co-pilot for both trips told authorities that the witnessed the man “drinking an unknown beverage from a cup” before and during two flights, according to the complaint.

Following his arrest and before a meeting with JetBlue, the NY Post reports, the pilot resigned from his position and was stripped of his medical certification.

A spokesperson for JetBlue tells the Associated Press that the carrier has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

JetBlue pilot busted for flying drunk to JFK [New York Post]
Pilot accused of flying drunk on Florida-to-New York flight [The Associated Press]

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