Apr 19

Drunk pilot who appeared to pass out in cockpit sentenced to 8 months in jail

An airline pilot who was so drunk he appeared to pass out in the cockpit before takeoff has been sentenced to eight months in jail.

Miroslav Gronych pleaded guilty last month to having care and control of an aircraft while he had a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit.

Gronych was escorted off a Sunwing Airlines plane in Calgary on Dec. 31 that was supposed to fly to Regina and Winnipeg before continuing to Cancun, Mexico.



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    The court heard that when Gronych got on the plane, he struggled to hang up his coat, was slurring his words and was staggering.

    The court was also told the co-pilot suggested Gronych should leave the plane, but he eventually returned to the cockpit, sat down and appeared to pass out with his face resting on the window.

    The defence had asked for a three- to six-month sentence while the Crown had asked the judge for one year in jail.

    Gronych did not visibly react when the sentence was read in court.

    Taking into account time served he will spend seven months and one week behind bars,

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    The court heard that Gronych, a Slovakia national who is married and has two young children, has lost his job.

    Members of a flight crew are prohibited under Canadian aviation regulations from working within eight hours of consuming alcohol or while under the influence of alcohol.

    Sunwing has said it has a zero tolerance policy on crew members consuming alcohol within 12 hours of going on duty.

    With files from David Boushy