A pilot heading to Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday was whisked away from the cockpit minutes before a JetBlue flight was scheduled to take off. The reason? Captain cocktail apparently thought he was piloting a booze cruise, rather than a commercial aircraft carrier.
Once removed from the plane, pilot James Clifton, 52, was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.17 percent. Under FAA rules, that’s four times the legal limit (0.04 percent) for pilots.
Clifton’s potential fuzzy flight was fortunately grounded by TSA agents at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Agents noticed the pilot stumbling and bumbling through security, prompting them to alert police, who eventually removed Clifton from the cockpit.
James Clifton, 52, was passing through security when a TSA agent raised concerns that he may have been impaired. The blood alcohol limit for pilots is 0.04, according to the FAA, meaning the pilot's blood alcohol level was more than four times the legal limit per FAA regulations. pic.twitter.com/reFscTWIsi
— Sports Crunch (@SportsCrunch_US) March 3, 2022
Per The Buffalo News, Clifton’s alarming BAC wasn’t the result of some morning Bloody Marys. It was the after-effects of a booze-filled Buffalo evening the night before. Clifton told police he consumed seven or eight cocktails the previous night.
When in Buffalo…right?
Oh, and Clifton wasn’t just bringing an alcohol-fueled body on board the aircraft. He also brought with him a registered firearm.
What could go wrong?
Derek Dombrowski, a JetBlue spokesperson, responded to a New York Post request to comment on the situation, stating: “The safety of JetBlue’s customers and crew members is our first priority. We adhere to all DOT rules and requirements concerning alcohol at all times and have a very strict zero tolerance internal alcohol policy.
“We are aware of the incident that occurred this morning in Buffalo and are cooperating fully with law enforcement,” the spokesperson added. “We are also conducting our own internal investigation.”
Ya booze, ya lose.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF