A United Airlines pilot has been charged after being arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport on suspicion of being drunk shortly before he was about to fly a transatlantic airliner, police said today. Erwin Washington, 51, from Lakewood, Colorado, was charged with “being aviation staff, performing an aviation function whilst exceeding the proscribed alcohol limit,” a London police spokesman said.Washington was arrested on Monday shortly before he was due to fly a Boeing 767 with 124 passengers and 11 crew to Chicago.
United, a unit of UAL Corp, said he had been suspended pending a full investigation.
“United’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry, and we have no tolerance for violation of this well-established policy,” a spokeswoman said.
Washington is due to appear before magistrates in north London on November 20.