An American Airlines pilot pleaded guilty to drinking before a flight

William Perugini/shutterstockAn American Airlines Boeing 777.

  • American Airlines pilot David Copeland pleaded guilty on Wednesday to performing an aviation task while intoxicated, the Manchester Magistrates’ Court confirmed to Business Insider.
  • Copeland was scheduled to work a flight from Britain to Philadelphia in February, but was arrested at Britain’s Manchester Airport after being suspected of excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Copeland’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 5.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

American Airlines pilot David Copeland pleaded guilty on Wednesday to performing an aviation task while intoxicated, the Manchester Magistrates’ Court confirmed to Business Insider. Copeland’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 5.

“Safety is our highest priority and we apologise to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans back on February 7,” an American Airlines representative said. “We continue to fully cooperate with local law enforcement on their investigation.”


Read more: Boeing’s reputation has been stained by the 737 Max, and it’s going to have to fight to convince people the plane is safe

Copeland was scheduled to work a flight from Britain to Philadelphia in February, but was arrested at Britain’s Manchester Airport after being suspected of excessive alcohol consumption. According to the Daily Mail, a security guard at the airport smelled alcohol on Copeland’s breath during an examination of Copeland’s baggage.

Copeland was reportedly instructed to leave the plane’s cockpit while it was on the runway before failing a breathalyzer test. He was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.027, according to the Daily Mail report, and said he had consumed alcohol 12 hours earlier.

Are you a flight attendant? Do you have a story to share? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.