CALGARY, CANADA, (CBS AND CNN NEWS) – Police have charged a pilot who was found unconscious in the cockpit prior to his plane’s departure from Calgary International Airport Saturday.
Gate crew and crew aboard the flight noticed that the 37-year-old was behaving oddly, and he then became unconscious in the cockpit.
“He was showing signs of impairment, enough so that the gate crew were concerned, and they found him actually slumped over in the pilot’s seat. He was the captain of the airline,” said Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey, Calgary Police Department.
It happened just before 7 a.m. when the Sunwing Airlines pilot boarded an aircraft scheduled to fly to Regina and Winnipeg, with a final destination of Cancun, Mexico.
The pilot, a Slovakian national in Canada on a work visa, was escorted from the aircraft and taken into custody. Police say he was more than three times above the legal limit at the time.
The pilot is facing charges of having control of an aircraft while being impaired by alcohol. More charges are possible.
HThe 737 800 Series aircraft had 99 passengers aboard with six flight crew, including the pilot.