Pilot arrested on drink charge

After an hour of sitting on the runway, more than 100 United Airlines passengers were told to disembark yesterday because the pilot was "sick" – only later to find he had been arrested.

Last night the Metropolitan Police confirmed that a 51-year-old pilot, who had been due to fly the Boeing 767 to Chicago, was arrested at Heathrow on "suspicion of exceeding the prescribed alcohol limit". He has been breath-tested and released on bail.

Last night United Airlines said: "Safety is our highest priority and the pilot has been removed from service while we co-operate with the authorities and conduct a full investigation."

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