Travel Service Pilot Found Drunk in Cockpit

A Slovak employee of the Czech charter airline faces criminal charges after passing out in the cockpit of a plane in Calgary

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 02.01.2017 20:35:35 (updated on 02.01.2017) Reading time: 1 minute

Multiple local media sources as well as the BBC and other international outlets are reporting that a drunk pilot was discovered in the cockpit of a plane Saturday and arrested before take off in Calgary.

The pilot, who has now been identified as Miroslav Gronych, 37, is Slovak. He was an employee of Czech airline Travel Service, a charter carrier and the biggest airline in the Czech Republic.

The crew noticed Gronych’s severely impaired behavior and immediately alerted authorities who escorted the drunk pilot off the plane.

The 37-year-old now faces criminal charges of being in control of an aircraft while intoxicated.

The pilot is also charged with being 3 times the legal limit, say Calgary police. “They found him slumped over in the seat. He was the captain,” Sgt. Paul Stacey told a news conference.

More than 100 people were on board the 737 800 Series Sunwing aircraft which was bound for Cancun, Mexico via Regina and Winnipeg. It took off later with another pilot.

The pilot is due to appear in court on January 5, according to a Calgary Police news release.

Travel Service spokeswoman Vladimíra Dufková confirmed the incident which she identified as a failure of the individual involved, reports iDnes:

“Such behavior is totally unacceptable, contrary to the strict rules and norms of our society and is grounds for immediate termination of employment. Safety is and will be our main priority. This is a completely isolated case in the company’s history.”

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