Florida pilot removed from a JetBlue flight cockpit due to a high percentage of alcohol in his blood

Cheektowaga, N.Y. – The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority said a pilot was removed from the cockpit of a JetBlue flight scheduled to depart from Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Wednesday morning because he was under the influence of alcohol.

An official said that a test performed on the pilot showed he had 0.17 percent of alcohol in his blood. The plane’s pilot was identified as 52-year-old James Clifton of Orlando, Florida. A spokesperson from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority said Clifton was cooperative with NFTA police.

Information on whether charges will be filed was not released.

JetBlue did not issue a statement regarding the matter.

Airport records reveal that the incident caused a significant delay for passengers on JetBlue flight 2465, which was scheduled to depart Buffalo for Fort Lauderdale at 6:15 a.m. but was postponed for more than four hours as a result of the incident. The plane didn’t take off until 10:25 a.m. and landed at 1:11 p.m. in Florida.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations, pilots are not permitted to consume alcohol within eight hours of a flight and are not permitted to have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.04 percent.

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