A Sunwing Airlines pilot, who was three times over the legal alcohol limit, was found slumped in the cockpit before take-off on a flight from Canada to Mexico.
Miroslav Gronych, 37, had boarded with five other crew members and 99 passengers just after 7am on New Years Eve for a flight from Calgary to Cancun, Mexico. The co-pilot alerted police after he found Gronych slumped over in the pilot’s seat minutes before take-off. Mr Gronych was escorted from the plane and charged with having care and control of an aircraft while impaired and having care and control of an aircraft while having a blood alcohol level over .08.
The pilot, a Slovakian national residing in Saskatoon, was released on $1,000 bail and made to surrender his passport. On Thursday, his lawyer appeared at the Case Management Office in Calgary, at which time the case was put over until Jan. 25. Gronych did not appear in person and no plea was entered.
Sunwing spokeswoman, Janine Massey, praised the rest of the crew for handling what she called a very unfortunate matter. She said: “We can confirm that shortly before 7am local time, the gate agents, first officer and crew of Sunwing flight 595, departing from Calgary and destined for Cancun, determined that the captain was unfit to fly and reported this accordingly.”
In the space of a week, there have been two major incidents involving drunk pilots. Only a few days ago, Secret Flying reported the story of how a ‘drunk’ Indonesian pilot stumbled through security to fly a plane with 154 passengers on board. In that incident, it was the passengers that became suspicious when they heard slurred words and unclear announcements from the cockpit.