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America West Pilots Convicted of Operating a Plane Drunk

Two America West pilots were convicted of operating a jet while intoxicated before a flight in 2002.  The pilots had left a Miami bar at 5am, after drinking the equivalent of 22 pints of beer, then arrived later that morning for a 10:30 am flight.  As you might imagine, they were still had a considerable amount of alcohol in their systems.  Security screeners had smelled alcohol on their breath and were able to stop the plane as it was being towed away from the gate.  The defense strategy, while disgusting, was fascinating:

Defense attorneys said the pilots should not be convicted because they
were not really operating the plane at the time in question. They said
it was under control of the tug truck driver towing it to the runway.


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