A Talon Air copilot was fired and arrested on August 25 after a colleague suspected that he showed up to work under the influence of alcohol. The copilot, whose name has not been released, was supposed to help fly a charter plane from Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, MI to Massachusetts when Captain Manny Ramirez called in about his suspicions. According to Traverse City Police Captain Kevin Dunklow, the copilot in question’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.30, almost four times the legal limit for drivers (0.08), and seven and a half times the legal limit for pilots (0.04).
Most airlines have what they call the 8 hour rule, also known as Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 91.17. This section prohibits anyone serving on the crew of an aircraft from consuming any alcoholic beverage within eight hours of reporting to work, though some airlines increase the requirement to 12 hours. Talon Air released a statement to the Detroit Free Press about their employee reporting the drunk copilot:
“We are very proud of Captain Manny Ramirez’ immediate action in detecting the co-pilot’s condition and removing him from his position. This is yet another example of Talon Air’s safety procedures working effectively on behalf of our clients and for airport safety.”
These safety procedures protect every passenger and crewmember from potentially dangerous situations. Tens of thousands of people are arrested for DUIs every year in Washington State alone, and the FBI reported more than 1.1 million DUI arrests in 2014. While the vast majority of these arrests happen on the ground, the arrest at Cherry Capital Airport wasn’t the first incident of its kind this year.
Back in March, an American Airlines flight was grounded at Detroit Metro Airport after copilot John Maguire was found to be drunk. He was removed from the Philadelphia-bound flight and later pleaded no contest during his court appearance on August 24. According to authorities, Maguire’s BAC was double the legal limit. He is currently serving a 12-month probation, and will perform 48 hours of community service along with an alcohol assessment and treatment.
Schick Shadel Hospital is certified by the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) to assist with these kinds of treatment programs. We also serve patients dealing with alcoholism by evaluating their health, providing the necessary medication and medical attention, as well as on-site detox treatment. Our counter conditioning process has provided tens of thousands of patients with the help they need over the past 80+ years, and continues to do so every day. Call us at (800) 272-8464 for more information on the services we provide, or send us a confidential message online.