Last updated: 11:19 AM ET, Wed August 19 2015

Drunk Co-Pilot Sentenced To Jail

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | August 19, 2015

Drunk Co-Pilot Sentenced To Jail

In an astonishing story, the co-pilot of an airBaltic Airlines flight has been sentenced to six months in a Norway jail after registering a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level seven times the legal limit prior to the plane’s departure.

According to the British Broadcasting Corp. and multiple media outlets, the 38-year old co-pilot admitted to partying with the 50-year-old pilot and two flight attendants prior to a flight in early August that was set to leave Oslo for Crete.

The co-pilot admitted he and the other three drank two bottles of whiskey and some beer and were still partying at 2 a.m., just four hours before the flight’s scheduled 6 a.m. departure.

Acting on a tip, Norwegian police stopped the foursome at the airport that morning and prevented them from boarding the plane. They were given Breathalyzer tests and the results came back disturbingly positive.

One hundred passengers were scheduled to board that flight.

The 50-year-old pilot rejects some of the charges, but reportedly registered an alcohol level more than double the legal limit. He has been detained in Norway and is awaiting a Sept. 17 court date. The pilot is looking at a maximum prison sentence of two years.

The two flight attendants were sentenced to 60 and 45 days in jail, respectively, after they tested positive for alcohol.

The co-pilot told the court the group began drinking at 3 p.m. on August 7; he admitted that he himself did not leave the bar until 2 a.m.


All four crewmembers were suspended and, in a statement, the airline said “airBaltic reiterates that it has zero tolerance for diverting from the safety principles." 

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