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"Drunk" Airline Pilot Grounded at Heathrow

The pilot was intercepted on the runway after he was deemed "not physically fit" to fly.

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As far as bad ideas go, drunk flying is way
up there. Photo via

By Bryan Le

02/08/13

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There are many reasons not to drink and fly, but it's an especially bad idea when you're piloting the plane (as Denzel Washington's character learned in Flight). Potential disaster was averted at London's Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, when authorities intervened to prevent a seemingly "drunk" pilot from taking off with a plane full of passengers. “We canceled the flight because one crew member was not physically fit to operate. His medical incapacity was tracked down in London during routine checks,” states Romanian airline Tarom. “The pilot returned home on Thursday and we suspended him from activity until the investigation is finalized.” This isn't the first time someone in his line of work has tried to take off while "not physically fit." A few months ago, some Qantas flight attendants just barely intercepted an intoxicated pilot as the plane taxied down the runway. And another pilot was barred from flying out of Heathrow in 2010 when he was too drunk to remember the plane's destination. The outcome of the most recent debacle is still uncertain, but the airline says: “If official results we receive show he tested positive for alcohol, we'll immediately fire him.”

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