Never drink and drive! A pilot who was preparing to take off from Newquay, Cornwall was arrested on suspicion of being drunk after a cabin crew alerted authorities. The Flybe pilot was supposed to fly to London Gatwick early that morning. The arrest resulted in a five-hour delay before being promptly cancelled.
A representative from the Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that, “a 48-year-old man from Crediton, Devon, was arrested on suspicion of being over the drink-drive limit. He was taken to Newquay police station. He has been released on police bail until December 8.’”
The police id’ed the arrested pilot as Julian Lowden.
In a statement, Flybe also confirmed that one of its pilots voluntarily went with the police to entertain inquiries at the Newquay Airport, adding, “Flybe is not able to comment further while the police investigation is taking place.”
Rather divulge the full detail of the delays, passengers were told simply that the pilot was feeling “unwell.”
It’s extremely rare for pilots to be arrested moments before a flight. According to the Daily Mail, one retired commercial pilot, named Andy Wilkins, says he never heard of such a case before.
“I’ve never heard of my colleagues being tested – I wasn’t. But the rules are very strict. Pilots are allowed a quarter of the limit for drivers. We always followed the adage, ‘eight hours from bottle to throttle’ – stop drinking at least eight hours before flying. But pilots are human and everyone is different.”