Airplane Pilot Was Found Slumped Over In The Cockpit With Three Times The Legal Alcohol Level In His System.
Photos have emerged of a pilot who authorities said was found slumped over in his cockpit with three times the legal alcohol limit in his system.
Slovakian national Miroslav Gronych, 37, who is in Canada on a work visa, was due in court Thursday after being removed from his Mexico-bound Sunwing aircraft at Calgary airport.
The captain had boarded with five other crew members and 99 passengers just after 7am. Gronych’s bizarre behavior alarmed the gate crew, who informed the co-pilot, the Calgary Herald reported at the time.
Crew members eventually found Gronych slumped over in the pilot’s seat and called the police, cops said. The captain was taken to the traffic office and still displayed what authorities called an ‘extreme level’ of impairment about two hours later.
Gronych, who resides in Saskatoon, had to surrender his passport and has been barred from flying in Canada, Global News reported.
The pilot had presumably been preparing for the pre-flight when his co-pilot found him, Staff Sergeant Paul Stacey told the Calgary Herald. Officers took Gronych into custody.
‘He was showing signs of impairment, enough so that the gate crew were concerned and then they found him actually slumped over in the pilot’s seat,’ Stacey said.
Gronych still appeared severely intoxicated even about two hours after being taken off the aircraft, the sergeant added.
The plane departed not long after Gronych was removed with another captain, heading for Cancun.
‘We are very appreciative of our crew’s diligence in handling this very unfortunate matter,’ Sunwing said in a statement.
‘We are very apologetic for any upset that this has caused and would like to assure our customers that safety remains our utmost priority.’
A spokeswoman later told Global News: ‘This is the first such incident that has occurred in our 11-year history as an airline.’
Gronych has been charged with having care and control of an aircraft while being impaired, and having care and control of an aircraft while over the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08.
It is unlikely that the aircraft could have taken off with a drunk pilot, according to Stacey.
‘It had all the potential for a disaster… but the likelihood of a pilot on a major airline like this actually being able to take off when they’re impaired like that is pretty slim because there’s a lot of checks and balances,’ he said.
Gronych was released over the weekend on $1,000 bail.
By CLEMENCE MICHALLON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM