Think you have a crazy drunk driving story? Well, this guy’s got you beat as he was fully prepared to fly a commercial jet while plastered.
A United Airlines pilot has been banned from flying after showing up to work drunk. Only identified by the name Henry W., the pilot was set to fly a plane full of 267 passengers when he was accused of being intoxicated. To make matters worse, we aren’t talking about a short, easy flight here. This man was prepared to fly thousands of miles from Paris to Dallas. That is a 10.5 hour flight. You could watch the entire Godfather trilogy on that flight and still nap for over an hour.
So, how did they come to find out Mr. Henry was hammered? Well according to colleagues, Henry “was staggering slightly, his eyes were glassy, and his mouth pasty.” This led to him being breathalyzed in which he blew an ABV of 0.132%. That is almost twice the legal limit to drive a car and three times the limit permitted by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Hey, here’s a question. Why the hell is there a limit? Should it not be 0? Look, I like getting a little buzz before work just as much as the next guy, but it feels like that should only be allowed for careers in which you aren’t responsible for 250 people hovering thousands of feet in the air.
Anyway, as drunks always do, Henry obviously then tried to convince everyone that he wasn’t drunk. In his excuse, he claimed to have drunk a couple glasses of wine the night prior and said the alcohol just remained in his system. Here’s the thing. This flight was at 3pm! Even if this dude was drinking at midnight the alcohol would be out of his system by then.
Due to his infraction, Henry appeared in court this past Tuesday where a judge essentially called cap on his wine night excuse. “There could have been a plane crash — you put 267 passengers at risk,” the judge said in her sentence. Ultimately, Henry has been suspended from flying for at least one full year and fined $5,000.
I don’t know about you guys, but I sure learned a lot from this blog. First and foremost, it’s technically legal for your pilot to have a beer before a flight (as long as he isn’t a lightweight and can blow below a 0.02). Also, if you do get caught attempting to fly drunk, all they’re gonna do is give you the year off. Booze and a year long vacation? I don’t know why more pilots aren’t thinking like my boy Henry.
Seriously though (for legal reasons), not cool man. Driving drunk is dangerous and should never be considered. Unless you have a pack of smokes to even it out, then you’re all good.