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June 08, 2005
Drunk pilots found guilty

Two former America West Airlines pilots were convicted Wednesday of operating an aircraft while drunk in the cockpit after an all-night drinking binge.

"Both men bowed their heads when the verdict was read after a two-week trial and deliberations over parts of two days. They face up to five years in state prison at sentencing."

Pilot Thomas Cloyd and co-pilot Christopher Hughes were arrested July 1, 2002, as their jet bound for Phoenix was being pushed back from its gate at Miami International Airport.

Police ordered the plane to turn back and arrested the pilots after security screeners smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Hughes and Cloyd got in an argument over his attempts to bring aboard a cup of coffee.

The pilots split 14 beers at a bar the night before the flight, ending their revelry about 4:40 a.m. — roughly six hours before their flight was to depart. Hours later, they registered blood-alcohol levels above Florida's 0.08 legal limit.

Source: USA Today

Posted by Gus on June 8, 2005 02:18 PM


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