Delta Airlines Pilot Sentenced to Jail for Reporting Drunk to Duty

Delta Airlines Pilot Sentenced to Jail for Reporting Drunk to Duty

Lawrence Russell, a 63-year-old veteran pilot for Delta Airlines, has been sentenced to 10 months in jail after pleading guilty to reporting for duty while intoxicated. The incident occurred on June 16, 2023, when Russell was scheduled to captain a Delta Flight DL209 from Edinburgh to New York City.

During a routine bag search at Edinburgh Airport, two bottles of Jägermeister, one of which was half-empty, were discovered in Russell’s carry-on luggage. The search was prompted by the rejection of his bag by the X-ray machine due to the volume of liquids inside. As Russell was wearing his pilot uniform with a Delta lanyard, authorities were immediately alerted.

Russell claimed that he had not consumed alcohol recently but admitted to drinking the previous evening. A breath test was conducted, which he failed, leading to his agreement to provide a blood sample. The subsequent analysis revealed that Russell had 49mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, significantly exceeding the prescribed limit of 20mg for pilots in Scotland.

As a result of the incident, the Edinburgh-to-New York City flight had to be canceled, and Russell was taken into custody. In court, Sheriff Alison Stirling emphasized the seriousness of Russell’s offense, stating that it demonstrated a high level of culpability and the potential for serious harm. She noted that Russell had a history of multiple DUI instances, although he had no prior convictions in the UK.

Russell, who lost his job as a pilot, was diagnosed with severe alcohol use disorder, which has since been in remission following completion of a recovery program for pilots. Delta Airlines has been supportive, providing Russell with long-term disability benefits and half his salary.

Upon completion of his jail term, Russell will need to re-apply for an aviation medical certificate. If granted, he may have the opportunity to be reinstated as a captain for Delta Airlines.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. This is absolutely outrageous and unacceptable! How on earth did Lawrence Russell, a veteran pilot for Delta Airlines, think it was okay to report for duty while intoxicated? This is not only a blatant disregard for the safety of the passengers but also a betrayal of the trust that the airline and the public placed in him.

    As a pilot, Russell had the responsibility of ensuring the safety and well-being of every person on board. Intoxication not only impairs judgment and decision-making abilities but also puts the lives

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