Delta pilot allegedly over alcohol limit arrested in Scotland, police say


(LONDON) — A Delta Airlines pilot has been arrested in Scotland for allegedly being over the alcohol limit, known as the “Drink-Fly” limit, police said.

Lawrence Russell Jr., 62, was charged under the Section 93 of the Railways and Transportation Safety Act and appeared on Monday afternoon at Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court, according to the court. He had been arrested at about 10 a.m. Friday at Edinburgh Airport, a Police Scotland spokesperson told ABC News.

Russell made no plea to the charge and has been remanded in custody, “committed for further examination,” a Police Scotland spokesperson told ABC News.

Russell is expected to appear in court again “within the next eight days,” the court’s press office told ABC News.

Russell was scheduled to be the pilot of Delta flight DL209, which was bound for New York’s JFK airport, from Edinburgh, Scotland, Delta said. The EDI-JFK flight was subsequently cancelled, with alternative flights provided to customers, the airline said.

In a statement, Delta said: “Delta confirms that one of its crew was taken into custody this morning at EDI Airport. Delta is assisting the authorities with their ongoing enquiries … we apologise to customers impacted by the cancellation.”

According to the U.K. Railways and Transport Safety Act, a person commits an offense if “he performs an aviation function at a time when the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit.”

In the case of breath, the prescribed limit is 9 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters, and 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters in the case of blood, according to the Act.

Delta pilot Gabriel Lyle Schroeder was arrested in Sept. 2019 at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport for allegedly attempting to fly while intoxicated, police said at the time.

In a statement sent to ABC News, Delta said its alcohol policy is “among the strictest in the industry” and that the company is “cooperating with local authorities” as they investigate in Scotland.

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