(RepublicanDaily.org) – This Tuesday, July 25, a United Airlines pilot named as Henry W. was given a six months suspended sentence in jail and a year of having his pilot’s license suspended for showing up to fly planes while drunk. According to reports, the incident occurred this past Sunday, July 23, when W. had a flight from Paris to Washington, D.C.
The 63-year-old American pilot reportedly showed up in the afternoon to pilot the plane later on and appeared drunk at that time. Police testified that officers saw him “staggering slightly” and asked him to take a breathalyzer, which revealed his blood alcohol level was more than six times higher than what is legally permitted under European Union (EU) law and three times higher than what’s allowed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
During his hearing, W. said he’d only had two cups of wine, but the judge said that she highly “doubted” that was true and slamming the pilot for potentially “putting 267 lives at risk” onboard the plane. The French court near Paris gave W. a six-month long suspended sentence as well as a fine of 4,500 Euros ($4,959 USD). Potential consequences stateside have not yet been made clear, but it’s likely W. will face further disciplinary measures in the United States. A suspended sentence essentially means W. will be on probation and will have this noted down on his criminal record, but will not spend time in prison.
Drunk flying has been an ongoing problem for several airlines, including United, which has commented on this case by saying that customer “safety” remains their constant “top priority.” United added that W. fell far short of their high “standards” and their “strict no tolerance policy” on drinking. United made stricter rules in 2019 around drinking and flying, establishing a rule where you can’t drink more than 12 hours prior to reporting for work onboard a flight. The stricter rules came about because two United pilots got arrested in the UK in 2019 for being drunk before a flight to the US.
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