A pilot in Melbourne, Florida, was arrested and taken to jail after crashing
into an airport communications tower with his twin-engine Cessna plane.
Police stated that the man smelled very strongly of alcohol and that his
speech was slurred. On the plane, police found a half empty bottle of
Cognac, a bottle of wine, and a water bottle filled with a clear liquid
that smelled like alcohol. Also on the plane was the man’s 10 year-old
son. The man has been charged with reckless operation of an aircraft while
under the influence and child abuse without great harm.
The crash took place on the ground at Melbourne International Airport.
Before the accident took place, an air traffic controller ordered the
man to return his plane to the hanger, but the man did not comply. In
audio recordings, the air traffic controller can be heard attempting to
stop the man from entering an active runway. There were no serious injuries
in the crash. The man posted bail and has since been released from Brevard
What happens to a pilot if they are charged with a
DUI or FUI (flying under the influence)? Regulations regarding these offenses
are very strict at the state and federal level. In addition, the Federal
Aviation Administration looks at each situation on a case by case basis.
Pilots are required by the FAA to report any alcohol-related convictions
within 60 days. The FAA considers the blood alcohol content, as well as
other factors including refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test
and any previous history of alcohol or drug related arrests or convictions.
Depending on the circumstances, a pilot may have their license suspended
If you have been charged with DUI or FUI, call a criminal defense attorney
from Stepniak & Park to set up a
confidential case evaluation.