Delta pilot arrested just before takeoff for suspected pre-flight boozing

Airline spokesperson says crew member taken into custody, as Delta is assisting the authorities with ongoing inquiry, without stating the reason for the arrest
Daniel Salami|
A Delta Air Lines pilot was arrested on Friday in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, just 35 minutes before he was scheduled to take off on a Boeing 767 to New York.
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The scheduled flight was canceled, leaving the passengers who were already on board confused and without explanations.
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מטוס בואינג 767 של חברת דלתא איירליינס
מטוס בואינג 767 של חברת דלתא איירליינס
Delta Air Lines' Boeing 767
(Photo: Rebius, Shutterstock)
The reason for the pilot's arrest is unclear at this stage but is reportedly related to alcohol blood levels exceeding the permissible limit before the flight. It is unclear why the pilot underwent a blood alcohol concentration test in the first place, and the company spokesperson avoided giving clear answers.
In a statement released by Delta Air Lines to the media, it said: “Delta confirms that one of its crew was taken into custody this morning at EDI Airport. Delta is assisting the authorities with their ongoing inquiries." The company spokesperson did not explain the reason for the arrest but mentioned that Delta has a strict alcohol policy and will not tolerate any violation of this policy."
While the full details of the case have not been fully clarified, two main assumptions have emerged regarding the circumstances surrounding the alcohol test. The first assumption is that the pilot raised suspicion among security personnel upon arriving at the airport, leading to a request for an alcohol test. Alternatively, it is speculated that a crew member or another individual reported to authorities that the pilot had consumed alcohol prior to the flight.
2 View gallery
מטוס של חברת דלתא איירליינס
מטוס של חברת דלתא איירליינס
Delta Air Lines
(Photo: Shutterstock)
The pilot in question is a 61-year-old crew member, who previously served as a pilot in the U.S. military. In the UK, the regulations regarding alcohol levels in the bloodstream of airline crew members are particularly stringent, with a maximum limit of 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. By comparison, the legal alcohol limit for drivers in Scotland is set at 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.
The passengers whose flight was canceled were provided accommodation in hotels, and subsequently, alternative flights were arranged for them. Based on the latest information available, the pilot remains in custody in Scotland, which could potentially lead to the suspension of his pilot license and even imprisonment.
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