A JetBlue pilot blew over twice the legal driving limit on a breathalyzer test after he was removed from a plane in Buffalo on Wednesday morning, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority confirmed to CBS News in a statement. James Clifton, 52, was arrested and could face federal charges, the transportation authority said.
Clifton was passing through airport security at the Buffalo Airport when a TSA agent noticed he “may have been impaired,” the statement said. The agent contacted airport police, who removed him from the cockpit of the Fort Lauderdale-bound flight. He then blew 0.17 on a breathalyzer test, authorities said, which is more than twice the driving legal limit. Pilots are considered not fit to fly if their blood alcohol level is over .04, according to a brochure from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Orlando, Florida, man was taken into custody by airport police, the statement said.
In a statement Wednesday night, the FAA said it’s investigating “allegations that an airline pilot attempted to report for duty while under the influence of alcohol.”
JetBlue said in a statement that it is aware of the incident and is cooperating with law enforcement as well as conducting its own internal investigation. JetBlue also said the person involved “has been removed from his duties.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the legal limit for blood alcohol levels.
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