After United Pilot Arrested, FAA Stats Show Drunken Flying Is Rare


Over the past decade, an average of nearly a dozen U.S. commercial pilots a year have tested positive for alcohol while attempting to fly, reports USA Today. Federal aviation regulators are investigating the latest incident in London this week. United Airlines Capt. Erwin Washington, 51, was taken into custody Monday at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of being drunk on the job. He was arrested after members of his crew reported him.

The FAA does more than 10,000 random alcohol tests a year, said spokeswoman Laura Brown. Thirteen pilots tested positive last year. There are about 100,000 commercial pilots in the U.S. Washington, who could face license revocation, was the third U.S. pilot to be arrested in England on alcohol-related charges in the past 13 months.

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