Pilot grounded transatlantic flight after 'being too drunk to fly'

Lawrence Russell Jr appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after being arrested by police at the capital's airport last week.

Delta Airlines pilot grounded Edinburgh to New York flight after allegedly being too drunk to fly SNS Group

A Delta airlines pilot has appeared in court charged with being allegedly over the legal alcohol limit for flying safely. 

Lawrence Russell Jr, 62, appeared in private in connection with the allegation at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday afternoon. 

Mr Russell had been arrested at the city’s airport at around 10am last Friday afternoon after police believed he had broken the law. 

Mr Russell, of Georgia, USA, made no plea to a charge that he breached section 93 (1) of the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003. 

The legislation states that a person “commits an offence” under the act if they perform “an aviation function” at a time when the proportion of alcohol in their breath, blood or urine exceeds “the prescribed limit”. 

The second part of the legislation states that a person commits an offence if they carry out an “activity which is ancillary to an aviation function” at a time when they are over the limit. 

The act sets the limit at 20 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood for those activities carried out by aircrew and air traffic controllers.

Mr Russell was detained by Scottish police officers shortly before the take off of his flight which was scheduled to fly to New York’s John F Kennedy Airport from the Scottish capital. 

The flight was cancelled and the airline said passengers were being helped with their travel plans. 

Mr Russell was remanded in custody following the short hearing on Monday. The case was continued for further examination.

He is expected to reappear before the court sometime within the next eight days. 

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code