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Pilot arrested for showing up to flight ‘drunk’ causing emergency cancellation

A seasoned pilot has been arrested after he allegedly showed up drunk to fly a Delta Airlines plane.

Flight DL209, due to fly from Edinburgh Airport to New York on Friday (June 16), was cancelled at the last minute and the pilot, who has not been named, was apprehended after passengers had already boarded the plane, reports the Herald Scotsman.

It is understood the pilot's blood alcohol level was higher than the legal limit permitted for pilots flying an aircraft.

"Delta confirms that one of its crew was taken into custody [Friday] morning at EDI Airport,” an airline spokesperson said in a statement.

He was then charged under the Railways and Transport Safety Act of 2003, which limits the amount of alcohol crew members can consume before working.

Customers on the flight were given alternative options following the abrupt cancellation around 30 minutes before the plane's planned departure.

The statement continued: "Delta is assisting the authorities with their ongoing inquiries. Delta’s EDI-JFK flight (June 16) has been cancelled, and customers are being re-accommodated. We apologise to customers impacted by this cancellation."

The legal blood-alcohol limit for airline staff is 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, while drivers are capped at 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

In another statement to Insider, the Atlanta-based airline said the company’s "alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation."

The pilot was scheduled to appear today (Monday, June 19) at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Around 10am on Friday, 16 June, a 61-year-old man was arrested at Edinburgh airport in connection with the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003.

"The man was subsequently charged and is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday 19 June, 2023. A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal."

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