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JetBlue Pilot Removed From Cockpit Allegedly Found To Be Four Times Over Alcohol Limit

JetBlue Pilot Removed From Cockpit Allegedly Found To Be Four Times Over Alcohol Limit

a group of airplanes parked on a runway

A JetBlue pilot was allegedly found to be over four times the legal alcohol limit as he prepared to fly an Airbus A320 aircraft full of passengers from Buffalo Niagara airport on a scheduled service to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday morning.

The pilot, who has been identified as a 52-year-old JetBlue crewmember, was removed from the cockpit shortly before takeoff and made to take a blood alcohol test. Officials claim his blood-alcohol level was found to be 0.17. The legal limit is just 0.04.

A spokesperson for JetBlue confirmed the incident, saying the pilot had been suspended and that an internal investigation had been opened alongside any pending criminal charges.

“The safety of JetBlue’s customers and crewmembers is our first priority.  We adhere to all DOT rules and requirements concerning alcohol at all times and have a very strict zero-tolerance internal alcohol policy,” the airline told WIVB4.

“We are aware of the incident that occurred this morning in Buffalo and are cooperating fully with law enforcement. We are also conducting our own internal investigation.  The crewmember involved has been removed from his duties.”

JetBlue flight 2465 was due to depart Buffalo at 6:15 am but the aircraft was delayed by over four hours as the airline scrambled to find a replacement pilot. The flight eventually landed in Fort Lauderdale at just after 1 pm.

Under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules, pilots must not consume alcohol within 8 hours of a flight and even then, they must ensure that they haven’t drunk so much alcohol from ‘bottle to throttle’ that their blood alcohol concentration doesn’t exceed 0.4.

Law enforcement officials are only authorized to demand a blood alcohol test from crewmembers when they are investigating a suspected violation of the rules.

TOTH to xJonNYC via Twitter

View Comment (1)
  • Seems to be a typo in the second to last paragraph — the legal limit is 0.04%. Some airlines have stricter policies though.

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