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'Drunk' pilot removed from JetBlue plane in Buffalo before flight

JetBlue Headquarters
Posted at 2:27 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 09:39:03-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A JetBlue pilot who recorded a blood alcohol content level of 0.17% was removed from the cockpit Wednesday just before his flight was scheduled to leave Buffalo.

While the pilot, identified as James Clifton, was passing through airport security, a TSA officer noticed he may have been impaired and notified authorities, according to WKBW.

Clifton, 52, was removed from the plane and given a breathalyzer test. After recording the high BAC level, he was taken into custody before being released to JetBlue security.

The flight bound for bound for Fort Lauderdale was delayed by more than four hours following Clifton's removal.

WIVB reports that Federal Aviation Administration rules prohibit pilots from drinking alcohol within eight hours of a flight and may not have a blood alcohol content level exceeding 0.04%.

Utah drivers who record a BAC of 0.05% or higher are considered to be impaired and face a DUI arrest.

It's not known if Clifton faces federal charges.