FAA reveals pilots are flying drunk and committing crimes

FAA reveals pilots are flying drunk and committing crimes

TORONTO – Would you board a plane knowing that the pilot moonlighted as a pimp? Or would you prefer to not know at all?

According to a FoxNews.com investigation, documents obtained through a freedom of Information Act reveal that a growing number of pilots are engaging in criminal behaviour after landing and even flying – or attempting to fly – while intoxicated.

Peter Bartos, a retired military pilot with an FAA Airline Transport Pilot licence, reviewed the FAA data for FoxNews.com and said that “there is no leveling off or decrease in this trend, in fact drug use seems to be climbing.” He added that “the general public probably has no idea that this abuse is occurring with such regularity at certain airlines.”

While this does appear to be a growing trend, experts say flying in America is extremely safe, with only 0.2% of pilots, mechanics, aircraft dispatchers, ground security coordinators, aviation screeners and traffic controllers (119 out of 56,000 alcohol screening tests) confirmed at or above the legal alcohol limit in 2015. Under FAA rules, pilots are not allowed to consume alcohol eight hours before a flight or have a blood alcohol content level higher than .04%.

FAA records show that between 2010 and 2015, 64 pilots violated the alcohol and drug provisions, while in 2015, 1,546 personnel who must ensure airline safety, including 38 pilots, tested positive for one or more of five illegal drugs.

It was also found that in some cases, commercial pilots have used their travel privileges to orchestrate other crimes while off duty. One United Airlines pilot, for example, was apprehended in Texas on March 25 for allegedly running half a dozen brothels in apartment complexes throughout Houston, with up to 60 prostitutes.

Another pilot was arrested on Jan. 17 at Newark Airport after allegedly attempting to smuggle $195,736 in undeclared currency into the country.

If that weren’t bad enough, another pilot was arrested after allegedly smuggling 60 bags of drugs to Houston from Colombia.

The FAA opened 1,001 investigations into pilots in 2015, sending out warnings for everything from disobeying the flight tower, failing to comply with an “airworthiness directive,” operating an aircraft in a “careless or reckless manner,” making a “fraudulent or intentionally false statement on any application for a medical certificate” and failing to have an “appropriate and current airworthiness certificate.”

The FAA also ultimately revoked 38 pilot licences and suspended another 46 pilot licences.FAA reveals pilots are flying drunk and committing crimes

TORONTO – Would you board a plane knowing that the pilot moonlighted as a pimp? Or would you prefer to not know at all?

According to a FoxNews.com investigation, documents obtained through a freedom of Information Act reveal that a growing number of pilots are engaging in criminal behaviour after landing and even flying – or attempting to fly – while intoxicated.

Peter Bartos, a retired military pilot with an FAA Airline Transport Pilot licence, reviewed the FAA data for FoxNews.com and said that “there is no leveling off or decrease in this trend, in fact drug use seems to be climbing.” He added that “the general public probably has no idea that this abuse is occurring with such regularity at certain airlines.”

While this does appear to be a growing trend, experts say flying in America is extremely safe, with only 0.2% of pilots, mechanics, aircraft dispatchers, ground security coordinators, aviation screeners and traffic controllers (119 out of 56,000 alcohol screening tests) confirmed at or above the legal alcohol limit in 2015. Under FAA rules, pilots are not allowed to consume alcohol eight hours before a flight or have a blood alcohol content level higher than .04%.

FAA records show that between 2010 and 2015, 64 pilots violated the alcohol and drug provisions, while in 2015, 1,546 personnel who must ensure airline safety, including 38 pilots, tested positive for one or more of five illegal drugs.

It was also found that in some cases, commercial pilots have used their travel privileges to orchestrate other crimes while off duty. One United Airlines pilot, for example, was apprehended in Texas on March 25 for allegedly running half a dozen brothels in apartment complexes throughout Houston, with up to 60 prostitutes.

Another pilot was arrested on Jan. 17 at Newark Airport after allegedly attempting to smuggle $195,736 in undeclared currency into the country.

If that weren’t bad enough, another pilot was arrested after allegedly smuggling 60 bags of drugs to Houston from Colombia.

The FAA opened 1,001 investigations into pilots in 2015, sending out warnings for everything from disobeying the flight tower, failing to comply with an “airworthiness directive,” operating an aircraft in a “careless or reckless manner,” making a “fraudulent or intentionally false statement on any application for a medical certificate” and failing to have an “appropriate and current airworthiness certificate.”

The FAA also ultimately revoked 38 pilot licences and suspended another 46 pilot licences.