Two United Airlines pilots suspected of being drunk were arrested at Glasgow Airport in Scotland on Saturday, the BBC reports.
The American pilots were identified by the Daily Mail as Brady Grebenc, 35, and Carlos Licona, 45.
They were set to fly from Glasgow to Newark, New Jersey.
Police Scotland told the BBC the pilots were arrested on charges under the Railways and Transport/Safety Act of 2003, which covers “carrying out pilot function or activity while exceeding the prescribed limit of alcohol.”
United Airlines said in a statement that the safety of their customers and crew is “their highest priority.” The Chicago-based airline said the pilots have been removed from service and their flying duties pending an invetigation.
Grebenc and Licona are set to appear in court Monday, police said.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The 141 Passengers on the Flight Were Delayed for More Than 10 Hours After the Pilots Were Arrested
Brady Grebenc and Carlos Licona were set to fly United Airlines flight 162 from Scotland to New Jersey with 141 passengers on board. The flight was expected to depart at 9 a.m. before police were called, the Sunday Mail reports.
“There was a fair police presence as it’s a sensitive and highly secure part of airport,” a source told the newspaper. “Staff are subject to intensive and thorough security procedures in just the same way as passengers. No chances are taken nowadays.”
The plane eventually took off with a new crew at 6:30 p.m.
“We are co-operating with the authorities and will conduct our own investigation as well. The safety of our customers and crew is our highest priority,” United Airlines said in a statement.
2. Grebenc Flew Transport Planes for the Air Force & Is a Flight Instructor
Brady Grebenc has worked for United Airlines as a first officer since April 2015, according to his Linkedin page. He flies 757 and 767 planes for the airline.
Grebenc served as a captain in the Air Force with the 43rd Flying Training Squadron. He left active duty in 2011 and has remained an instructor pilot for the Air Force Reserve since 2012, according to his Linkedin profile.
He is originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, and lives in Columbus, Mississippi, where he was stationed at the Columbus Air Force Base, according to his Facebook page.
Grebenc graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2005.
“Instructor Pilot with 8+ years of service, United States Air Force and United States Air Force Reserve. Five years international fixed wing flying experience. Four years experience instructing primary flying skills in the Joint Primary Pilot Training Environment,” he says on Linkedin, adding that he has more than 3,200 hours of “accident and incident-free flying in high performance fixed-wing aircract.”
Grebench flew transport planes for the Air Force.
3. Licona Is a Military Intelligence Officer in the Air National Guard & Previously Worked for Colgan Air
Licona, who also has military experience, has been a first officer with United Airlines since January 2014, according to his Linkedin profile. He was previously a pilot and instructor with Colgan Air.
A resident of Humble, Texas, Licona is also a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Air National Guard, he says on Linkedin. He has been in the Guard since 1988.
Licona is a volunteer with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.
4. Two Canadian Pilots Were Arrested at Glasgow Airport in July on the Same Charges
The arrests of Licona and Grebenc come a month after two Canadian pilots were detained at Glasgow Airport on the same charges.
Jean-François Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, pilots for Air Transat, were arrested on July 18, the Toronto Star reported.
“The safety of our crew and passengers is and will always be our top priority, and the recent event in Glasgow goes against the values of our airline,” Air Transat spokesperson Pierre Tessier said in a statement to the Star. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our passengers.”
Perreault, the plane’s pilot, and Syed, his co-pilot, were released on bail and the charges are still pending against them.
5. FAA Guidelines Call for ‘8 Hours From Bottle to Throttle’
The Federal Aviation Administration guidelines call for “eight hours from bottle to throttle,” meaning pilots should not drink alcohol in the eight hours before a flight. It encourages pilots to not drink in the 24 hours before flying.
“Consider the effects of a hangover. Eight hours from ‘bottle to throttle’ does not mean you are in the best physical condition to fly, or that your blood alcohol concentration is below the legal limits,” the FAA says.
Flying, while fun and exciting, is a precise, demanding, and unforgiving endeavor. Any factor that impairs the pilot’s ability to perform the required tasks during the operation of an aircraft is an invitation for disaster,” according to the FAA. The use of alcohol is a significant self-imposed stress factor that should be eliminated from the cockpit. The ability to do so is strictly within the pilot’s control.”