A JetBlue pilot was faraway from his aircraft’s cockpit earlier than takeoff Wednesday morning after authorities suspected he was drunk and say they discovered him to be over 4 occasions the authorized blood alcohol restrict for pilots.
James Clifton, 52, was taken into custody at Buffalo Niagara Worldwide Airport after a TSA officer suspected that he could also be impaired whereas passing via safety and alerted airport police, airport officers said in a statement.
Clifton, who was to fly to Fort Lauderdale, was given a conveyable Breathalyzer take a look at and registered a stage of 0.17%, authorities stated. The federal restrict to legally drive within the U.S. is a blood alcohol content material of 0.08%, although pilots are barred from flying if they’ve a focus of 0.04% or extra or in the event that they’ve had a drink inside eight hours of flying, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
When interviewed by police, Clifton allegedly admitted to having had seven to eight drinks earlier than getting on the plane, a spokeswoman for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s TSA, which oversees the Buffalo airport, told NBC News.
Earlier than submitting to the take a look at, he allegedly stated he wanted to get his gun from the aircraft’s cockpit, the spokeswoman stated. Pilots are permitted to hold handguns on planes as long as they’re licensed and skilled to take action.
The gun was confiscated by police, together with three 17-round magazines, ABC New York reported.
Clifton, who’s from Orlando, Florida, was taken into custody and will face federal expenses, the airport stated.
A JetBlue consultant advised HuffPost in a press release Thursday that the airline is conscious of the incident and that it’s “cooperating absolutely with regulation enforcement.”
“We’re additionally conducting our personal inner investigation. The crewmember concerned has been faraway from his duties,” a spokesperson stated.