Drunken airBaltic pilot gets 10 months behind bars

A Latvian pilot with national airline airBaltic was convicted of drunk flying and sentenced to ten months' imprisonment at Upper Romerike District Court on Monday, LSM's Latvian service reported, citing Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

The Norwegian prosecutor's office had asked for a year behind bars for the captain, one of four members of the five-person airBaltic crew who were found to be over the legal flying limit. 

The crew was detained in July on the tarmac in Oslo preparing for take-off despite spending a large part of the previous night drinking whisky and beer.

Blood tests showed the co-pilot was the most sozzled of the bunch but the captain, who had ultimate responsibility for the lives of more than a hundred passengers, was also comfortably over the 0.2 promiles blood alcohol limit on 0.54 promiles.

The co-pilot recorded a staggering 1.34 promiles - equivalent to 'completely smashed' on the everyman scale of inebriation.

After sufferuing a storm of negative publicity over the incident, airBaltic says it has stepped up security measures and sacked all four crew members for gross misconduct.

The co-pilot has already been handed a six-month sentence, which he is appealing, while two stewards were sentenced to four and six weeks respectively.

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