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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat

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    Drunk Pilot Sentenced To 8 Months Jail In Canada

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

    Calgary Herald



    An airline pilot who was so drunk he appeared to pass out in the cockpit has been sentenced to eight months in jail, a punishment the prosecutor says will send a strong message to pilots across Canada.


    "It gives a message to the pilots across Canada and as she said across the world that if you fly impaired then you're going to meet a jail sentence," Crown lawyer Rose Greenwood said, of Judge Anne Brown's ruling.

    "I think eight months is a pretty clear message," Greenwood said.

    With a dearth of Canadian cases to consider, Brown looked at cases out of the U.S., U.K, and Australia for guidance in coming to a fit sentence for Miroslav Gronych.

    The Calgary provincial court judge found that a proper range for cases such as his, where a commercial pilot is impaired, but stopped before taking control of a plane, is six- to 12-months jail.

    Brown said there were mitigating factors which brought Gronych down from the high end of that range, including his remorsefulness and the fact he has sought help for his alcohol addiction, both before and after the offence.

    Another factor, she said, was "due to the high level of public scrutiny" Gronych has suffered a lot of shame both in Canada and his homeland of Slovakia.

    Gronych, 37, pleaded guilty last month to having care and control of a Sunwing Airlines aircraft while he had more than the legal amount of alcohol in his system in connection with an incident Dec. 31.

    Greenwood told court at that time a breath sample provided by Gronych hours after he was supposed to pilot the flight leaving Calgary at 7 a.m., showed a blood-alcohol level at nearly three and a half times the legal driving limit.

    She said a maid who cleaned Gronych's room at the Delta Airport Hotel found an empty, 26-ounce vodka bottle.

    "Mr. Gronych chose to consume an incredible amount of alcohol," Greenwood said.

    She said he arrived in Calgary shortly before 1 a.m. and was to return to the airport at 6 a.m. for a flight departing an hour later.

    When Gronych failed to show, the first officer contacted Sunwing's operation control centre, which got in touch with the pilot.

    Gronych arrived at the departure gate at 7:05 a.m., five minutes after the flight was to have departed.

    In ordering Gronych, who was in Canada on a work visa and will be returned to his native Slovakia when he completes his sentence, to serve a one-year flying prohibition, Brown said publicity about the case weighed in his favour.

    Greenwood had sought the maximum three-year prohibition on Gronych taking the controls of any aircraft.

    But Brown agreed with defence lawyer Susan Karpa a one-year order was sufficient.

    "On the specific facts of Mr. Gronych's case the maximum is not warranted," the judge said.

    "He did not engage the aircraft in movement, left the flight deck when requested to, has taken some steps towards rehabilitation and is unlikely to fly as a pilot in the future."

    Because Gronych was taken into custody at the time of his plea, he'll have seven months and a week left to serve.

  2. #2
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    VocalNeal's Avatar
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    As soon as I read Gronych, I thought Vodka.

    Apologies for ethnic profiling.

  3. #3
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    He's a fucking pilot with a drink problem - what else is he going to drink?

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    All duty free too.

    Canada needs to be careful with these dodgy central Europeans.

  5. #5
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    Years ago when I lived in deepest Surrey, I encountered several BA senior pilots and captains, most of whom regularly drank to excess the night before a long trip. Different era then.

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