Drunk pilot was seven times legal alcohol limit before take-off

Latvian man admits downing whisky and beer after police get anonymous tip

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The Independent Online

A pilot has been jailed after his blood alcohol level before take-off was found to be seven times the legal limit.

Norwegian police received an anonymous tip off that crew on a flight about to take-off from Oslo airport had been drinking large quantities of alcohol. Officers entered the aeroplane and, upon investigation, both co-pilots failed breathalyser tests.

RTÉ reports one pilot, 38, was found to have seven times the legal limit of alcohol in his system. The 39-year-old Latvian admitted he had drunk two bottles of whisky and some beer with other crew members.

He has been sentenced to six months in prison for endangering the lives of the 100 passengers on board.

His co-pilot, aged 50, was reportedly found to have twice the legal alcohol limit in his system and is due to be tried in court on 17 September.

Two stewardesses on-board also tested positive for alcohol.

The incident took place on-board an airBaltic flight due to travel between Oslo and Greece on 8 August. A spokesperson for the company said the airline operates a “zero tolerance policy” towards alcohol and had now begun dismissal proceedings against the staff.

They said: “Zero tolerance means no alcohol. It’s very straightforward- safety is our number one priority. We apologise to all customers who have been affected by this incident.”

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