A Canadian pilot found himself in the slammer on Saturday after he passed out drunk in the cockpit of the airplane that he was supposed to fly out of Calgary Airport. Now, an investigation has been launched to determine how the potential disaster almost came to pass.
37-year-old Miroslav Gronych with Sunwing Airlines began acting erratic when he entered the plane at around 7:00 am, but when he fell unconscious shortly thereafter, the flight crew notified authorities about his bizarre behavior.
Police arrived and escorted Gronych out of the plane before taking him to jail. He faces one count of operating an aircraft while impaired and one count of operating an aircraft with a blood alcohol level over 0.08 – Gronych’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit at the time of his arrest.
The flight later took off without incident after another pilot took charge.
Police spokesman Paul Stacey noted that, while the faux pas “had all the potential for a disaster,” Gronych probably would not have been able to take off “because there’s a lot of checks and balances,” BBC News reported.
In a statement, Sunwing Airlines apologized for Gronych’s behavior and thanked the flight crew for acting appropriately.
Transport Canada, the governmental department responsible for handling transportation services, plans to look into the incident, as federal regulations prohibit pilots from flying within 8 hours of consuming alcohol.