United Airlines pilot charged with drinking right before takeoff

November 11, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A United Airlines pilot was pulled from his trans-Atlantic flight to Chicago shortly before takeoff at London’s Heathrow Airport and charged with having too much alcohol in his system. British police said Tuesday that Erwin Vermont Washington, of Lakewood, Colorado, was arrested after officers were called to United Airlines Flight 949, which was already full with 124  passengers, 11 crew and due to leave just after noon on Monday.  A BAA Heathrow spokesman said: “He was reported to police by United Airlines staff. I believe departure was imminent.”
Washington, 51, is the third U.S. pilot in 13 months to be arrested for being over the strict alcohol limits imposed on airline staff.  Under British law, pilots are forbidden from having any more than 02 percent alcohol in their system, which could be less than one drink, depending on timing.


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