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Thu, Nov 12, 2009

United Pilot Arrested By Scotland Yard

Officials Say He Failed Breath Test Prior To Flight

A pilot about to fly a United Airlines Flight from London's Heathrow to Chicago was pulled off the flight and arrested by Scotland Yard after failing a breath test which determined he had too much alcohol in his system.

51-year-old Erwin Vermont Washington was to have flown the trans-Atlantic route, which was fully loaded an ready for immediate departure, when he was pulled off the flight. A spokesman for BAA, which operates Heathrow Airport, told the British Press Association that the pilot had been identified by another United employee.

The Associated Press reports that, while it was not immediately known how much alcohol was determined to be in Washington's system at the time, the legal limit for pilots in the U.K. is .02. 

While not identifying him by name, United Airlines spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said Washington had been removed from service. She said the airline has very strict policies concerning alcohol use.

Washington has been released on bond, and must appear in court in London later this month. If convicted, he faces a two-year prison term, fines, or both.

FMI: www.united.com

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