On Saturday, the Captain of Sunwing Airlines Flight 595 was found unconscious in the cockpit of his Boeing 737-800.
The Captain — 37 year-old Miroslav Gronych — was escorted off the plane and taken into police custody.
The aircraft, bound for Cancun, Mexico, was parked at Calgary International Airport when gate agents and members of the flight crew found Capt. Gronych behaving oddly before passing out in the cockpit.
According to Calgary Police, initial tests found the Captain, a native of Slovakia, to be “severely impaired by alcohol.”
Police claim Gronych had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system, the Huffington Post reported.
“The pilot has been charged with the following: 1) Having care and control of an aircraft while impaired
2)Having care and control of an aircraft over .08 (or exceeding 80 mgs of alcohol per 100mL of blood),” The Calgary Police Service announced in a statement.
The incident, which took place shortly before 7 a.m. local time, caused a delay while Sunwing Airlines worked to procure a replacement captain. There were 99 passengers and six crew members (including Gronych) on board the aircraft at the time of the incident.
In a statement posted to Facebook, Sunwing Airlines, a Canadian low-cost, leisure carrier, apologised to customers and praised the crew for their “diligence in handling this very unfortunate matter in accordance with procedures”.
Here’s the complete statement from the Calgary Police Service:
“The Calgary Police Service has charged a pilot that was found to be impaired prior to an aircraft departure.
Shortly before 7 a.m., on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, a male pilot for Sunwing Airlines boarded an aircraft with flight legs scheduled to Regina and Winnipeg, with a final destination of Cancun, Mexico. The 737 800 Series aircraft had 99 passengers aboard with six flight crew, including the pilot.
Prior to departure, gate crew and crew aboard the flight noticed that the pilot was behaving oddly before he became unconscious in the cockpit. The pilot was escorted from the aircraft at which point he was taken into custody by Calgary police.
Initial tests conducted by police indicate the pilot was severely impaired by alcohol.
The pilot has been charged with the following:
Having care and control of an aircraft while impaired
Having care and control of an aircraft over .08 (or exceeding 80 mgs of alcohol per 100mL of blood).”
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