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What Are the Penalties for Flying Drunk?

August 13, 2015
Colson Hicks Eidson

When an air traffic controller notified a Satellite Beach pilot that the pilot’s flight plan to Dayton, Ohio had expired, he wasn’t expecting to hear slurred speech and the screams of a child in response. The pilot refused to follow instructions, and the controller notified the airport police, but the situation had already gotten out of hand.

At around 4:30 pm, the plane taxied into a communications tower. When the authorities arrived they found the pilot—a 57-year-old man who smelled of alcohol—three bottles of assorted alcohols, and a 10-year-old boy. Luckily, no one was injured, but now the pilot faces several serious charges.

The pilot has been charged with reckless operation of a vessel and child abuse without harm.  More charges could follow as the Federal Aviation Administration continues its investigation. The 10-year-old, the pilot’s son, was released to family friends after a doctor examined him.

The pilot’s wife, who was vacationing in Hawaii at the time, says she’s not surprised and that, “He has been known to drink alcohol in the morning prior to flying.” But flying drunk is a very serious matter.

How Can An Attorney Help My Plane Crash Case?

The efforts of the Melbourne International Airport’s air traffic control and police prevented this accident from turning into a deadly crash, but not every incident ends so well. Plane crashes can be complex and can involve dealing with medical providers, airline companies, airports, and defective product manufacturers. You need experience when filing a lawsuit involving an aviation accident, and Colson Hicks Eidson has handled aviation cases nationwide and around the world. Check out our experience on our aviation accidents page, and keep visiting our blog for more news and information.

Colson Hicks Eidson—Injury Attorneys