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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019

Pilot taken off Aer Arann flight crew after failing breath test

The flight from Bristol to Cork was delayed for several hours on Thursday while a replacement pilot was found.

File photo of an Aer Arann flight at Dublin airport
File photo of an Aer Arann flight at Dublin airport
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

AN AER ARANN flight was delayed for several hours on Thursday after the pilot failed a breath test for alcohol at Bristol Airport.

The pilot was prevented from boarding the scheduled 17.10 flight from Bristol to Cork after he was breathalysed by airport police.

He was arrested and taken to a police station, where he passed a second breath test. The pilot was then released without charge. However, a replacement pilot had to be found, causing the flight to be severely delayed.

It’s understood that the incident took place after a long layover during which the pilot had elected to visit Bristol city. Aer Arann do not normally operate long stopovers at Bristol airport, so the pilot did not have a crew pass.

He was passing through passenger security in civilian clothes when he was stopped. Under UK law, airline pilots have a much lower alcohol limit than drivers.

The incident is now under investigation by Aer Arann. In a statement, the airline said:

Safety is and always will be our utmost priority. We are taking this matter extremely seriously and a thorough investigation has already started. There are checks and systems in place and this particular pilot did not board or fly the aircraft.

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Michael Freeman

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