Pilot Who Tried To Fly Drunk Is Looking At Jail Time
Yesterday we heard about a pilot that had gotten into a cockpit to fly his scheduled flight to Fort Lauderdale. He showed up on time, but unfortunately, he was in no shape to fly.
Most people wouldn't get behind the wheel of a car after they've had this many beers, but the pilot tried to get into the cockpit and fly people to Florida.
According to WIVB, there were 133 people on the flight headed from Buffalo to Fort Lauderdale. They might have been lucky that their flight was delayed 4 hours after finding out that one of their pilots had way too much to drink before coming to work.
His name is James Clifton. Allegedly, the man had gone out the night before and spent some time at a bar called Sidelines bar on Delaware Avenue. He had about 10 "Tall Boys" (22 ounce cans of beer) and headed back to his hotel.
In the morning, he missed the shuttle to the airport and had to take an Uber. Luckily his co-pilot noticed that he was under the influence and said something before they took off. That's when the NFTA was called in.
“There was some questions and some suspicion. That’s when we became involved — when the TSA officers called our officers and that’s when we got involved. We gave him a breathalyzer and we know how he did with that — he did not do well,” Helen Tederous, director of public affairs, NFTA
"He did not do well" is putting it lightly. The breathalyzer showed a blood alcohol level of .174. The legal limit is .04. That is double the limit allowed to drive a car and 4 times the limit allowed to fly a plane.
People were surprised to see that he had not been charged as of yesterday. He will not avoid consequences, however.
Clifton has been fired from Jet Blue. They are launching an investigation and so is the FAA. Bob Miller is an aviation expert and while talking with WIVB said that he expects that Clifton could face "hard jail time."