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US court convicts drunken pilots

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US court convicts drunken pilots

Two pilots aboard an airliner stopped at a Florida airport minutes before take-off were drunk after a night of downing beer, a US court has decided.

The jury convicted Christopher Hughes, 44, and Thomas Cloyd, 47, of operating a plane while intoxicated and they face up to five years in prison.

They were taken off the Airbus 319 on 1 July 2002 after a security screener reported smelling alcohol on them.

Aboard the America West plane were 124 passengers and three flight attendants.

"They were about five or six minutes away from flying," said prosecutor Hillah Katz in Miami.

The plane was being towed to the runway when it was turned back.

The men's defence team argued that the two were not actually flying at the time but the tug driver acknowledged that he was acting under their orders.

They will be sentenced on 20 July.

22 pints

The Federal Aviation Administration, which revoked the men's pilot licences shortly after their arrest, bans pilots from drinking alcohol for eight hours before a flight.

Hughes and Cloyd arrived at Miami International Airport for a morning flight to Phoenix after a night of drinking at a Miami bar, the court heard.

They left the bar at 0500 after running up a tab for 14 jumbo glasses of beer, or about 22 pints (10.5 litres), and arrived late for the 1030 take-off.

Police found the men's blood-alcohol readings over the state limit for drivers of 0.08.

America West sacked the two after their arrest.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...cas/4075350.stm

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The BAC limit in the states for operating an aircraft is 0.04; these men were way over the limit and I hope they go to prison for longer than five years.

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22 pints... very impressive. yes.gif To bad they couldn't do it on a off weekend or something... morons!

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22 pints... wow how can a body hold that much? I am bloated after 3/4.

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