JetBlue Pilot Accused of Drunk Flying During 2015 Flight to JFK: Feds

The pilot later suggested that his blood-alcohol reading was caused by the gum he was chewing

A red-faced JetBlue pilot failed a breath test for alcohol after flying an aircraft from Florida to John F. Kennedy Airport with 151 passengers aboard last year, according to court papers unsealed Wednesday.

Dennis Murphy, Jr., was randomly selected for the test on April 21, 2015, after his flight from Orlando touched down at JFK Airport.

A breathalyzer revealed that Murphy had a blood alcohol content of 0.11 percent, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn.

He was given a second test 15 minutes later and registered a 0.091 reading.

JetBue stripped Murphy of his uniform and identification that day, the complaint states. He had been employed by JetBlue for less than four months.

"During the walk to the onsite testing office at JFK Airport, Murphy's face was red and he was chewing gum rapidly," according to the complaint.

Murphy later suggested that his blood-alcohol reading was caused by the gum he was chewing, the complaint states.

Murphy's co-pilot said he "observed Murphy drinking an unknown beverage" before and during two flights that day, the complaint states.

A blood-alcohol content of .10 percent or higher for the operator of a common carrier is considered under the influence of alcohol, according to the complaint.

Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit pilots from flying within eight hours of consuming alcohol or if they have an alcohol concentration of .04 percent blood-alcohol content or higher.

Nationwide, 10 pilots violated the FAA alcohol regulations last year, according to the agency.

“JetBlue has a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy. Following last year’s incident, the crew member was removed from duty and is no longer employed at JetBlue,” the airline responded in a statement.

Murphy was scheduled for an arraignment on Wednesday in Brooklyn's federal court. The name of his attorney wasn't immediately available.

Contact Us