Police were called in to Canada’s Calgary International Airport on Saturday to arrest an exceedingly drunk pilot. The passengers and crew had already boarded the Sunwing Airlines flight for Cancun in Mexico when the co-pilot found the lead-pilot passed out in the cockpit of the Boeing 737.
Calgary Police Service spokesperson Paul Stacey confirmed the incident at a later press briefing and said the pilot, 37-year-old Miroslav Gronych, had been arrested and was facing two charges. The charges are being in control of an aircraft with an alcohol blood level higher than 80mgs per 100mgs and controlling an aircraft while incapable.
Sergeant Stacey noted that Gronych seemed as high as a kite and it was unlikely he had stuck to Transport Canada’s regulations of no alcohol in the eight hours before a flight. He carried on by saying that if the pilot had managed to take off the lives of the 105 people on board would have been at risk.
The sergeant finished off by saying it was lucky there were enough checks in place to prevent this happening. Despite this, Police Service investigators in collaboration with Calgary Airport and Transport Canada officials say they will mount an inquiry to discover how Gronych managed to get as far as the cockpit before his allegedly blatant drunkenness was detected.
The alarm was raised by Sunwing’s own staff at the flight departure gate. They told the co-pilot and he then found the pilot slumped at the aircraft’s controls. Calgary Police Service say Gronych is a Canadian resident with a work permit but originally hails from Slovenia.