United Express Pilot Convicted Of Drunk Flying
November 5, 2011 by staff
Aaron Jason Cope of Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced this morning in federal court in Denver.
Judge John Tunheim also ordered the COPE, 33 years old to serve six months house arrest after completing his sentence in prison followed by two years of supervised release. The first three months of house arrest that must be monitored electronically, the judge said.
Front was sentenced in June to fly under the influence of a flight from Austin, Texas, to Denver on December 8, 2009. Flight 7687 was operated by Shuttle America United Express.
The plane’s captain, Robert Obodzinski, testified during the trial that although COPE seemed to be thinking and speaking clearly, periodically during the flight detected an unusual odor, which finally concluded was the smell of alcohol. When he arrived at Denver International Airport Obodzinski contact to delay sending the next step planned for the flight until the problem was resolved.
While COPE came to perform a post flight inspection, the pilot called Obodzinski acting head of the airline, your union representative and a Human Resources Manager at Republic Airways, the parent company of Shuttle America.
COPE Once again the cckpit, Obodzinski reportedly told him: “If you have a problem to take a breathalyzer, sick call and out of here”, which COPE said, “Well, I guess we’d better cancel sick then. ”
However, Obodzinski was directed by his company to escort Cope for alcohol testing facility in the main terminal of DIA.
In the test facility, Cope said he had gone to a bar with a friend and beer, also purchased a gas station nearby, according to testimony presented at trial.
At 10:33 am COPE was administered a breathalyzer test, which reflects the alcohol content was .094. At 10:54 a.m. a second “confirmation” test was administered, reflecting a content of 0.084 percent alcohol.
Republic Airways, the parent company of Shuttle America, has a “zero tolerance” to alcohol for pilots, and considers that levels of blood alcohol .02 percent of reasons for termination.
The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits anyone flying with an alcohol in the blood of 0.04 percent or more.
“The public rightly expects that airline pilots will not drink and fly,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.
“Today’s sentence is a clear sign that severe sanctions are reserved for pilots who act in a criminally irresponsible and lacking the basic duty to protect passengers who are in charge,” said Max Smith, Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Agent in Charge of the Fort Worth Regional Office.
Front was ordered to report to federal prison on January 3.
Please feel free to send if you have any questions regarding this post , you can contact on
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of U.S.S.POST.