After a Transportation Security Administration officer stated that the Jet Blue pilot appeared "impaired" while he was passing through security, authorities removed him from the cockpit of a Buffalo-based Jet Blue plane.
James Clifton (52), was taken into custody after he had a blood-alcohol reading of.17. A Niagara Frontier TSA spokeswoman stated that the pilot.
Clifton claimed that he had consumed seven to eight drinks prior to boarding the plane bound for Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Helen Tederous, the spokeswoman, confirmed this.
Tederous stated that Clifton had submitted to the test because he said he needed to remove his gun from the cockpit of the plane.
Pilots can carry guns onboard planes provided they are certified. Clifton's status was not immediately known.
Tederous stated that Clifton, a man from Orlando, Florida may be facing federal charges. He didn't immediately say if he had a lawyer.
Jet Blue stated in a statement that it was aware of the incident, and is fully cooperating with law enforcement. The company stated that Clifton was relieved of his duties while it conducts an internal investigation.
The statement said that "We adhere to all DOT rules concerning alcohol at all time and have a very strict internal alcohol policy." It was referring to Department of Transportation.
Federal regulations prohibit pilots from drinking on duty for more than eight hours after they fly.