Apr 29, 2016

    US pilot charged with flying JetBlue plane while drunk


    UNITED States prosecutors have charged a JetBlue pilot with flying while drunk from Orlando to New York last year with 151 passengers on board, officials said on Wednesday.

    Dennis Thomas Murphy Jr was arrested and arraigned in a federal court in New York City.

    The complaint unsealed on Wednesday said 151 passengers were on the flight on April 21 last year and Murphy had been selected for random alcohol testing upon landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

    JetBlue officials could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.

    Murphy was released on a US$50,000 (S$67,250) bond.

    "During the walk to the onsite testing office at JFK Airport, Murphy's face was red and he was chewing gum rapidly," the complaint said.

    Earlier in the day, he also piloted a flight to Orlando International Airport from New York with 119 passengers.

    His co-pilot told authorities that Murphy was drinking an "unknown beverage from a cup" before and during both trips.

    Murphy was immediately removed from flying JetBlue planes and had resigned from the airline by May 27 last year.

    Last month, an American Airlines co-pilot was charged for drinking alcohol before a weekend flight out of Detroit.