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You wouldn’t want to fly with this pilot

The Jetblue pilot was charged with flying a plane while drunk in New York City. Picture: ABC7

Lia Eustachewich, Lorena Mongelli and Danika FearsNY Post

A PILOT gave new meaning to plane buzzing by flying a packed flight from Orlando to New York City while drunk, US federal police said.

After registering 0.111 on a breath test — nearly triple the Federal Aviation Administration’s limit for pilots — boozed-up JetBlue flyer Dennis Thomas Murphy Jr tried to blame the result on the “gum that he was chewing”, documents say.

Murphy, 44, of Ramsey, New Jersey, appeared in Brooklyn federal court to face charges of “operating an air common carrier while under the influence of alcohol” on April 21, 2015.

He piloted two flights that day: Flight 583 with 119 passengers aboard from New York City’s JFK Airport to Orlando, Florida, and then Flight 584 with 151 passengers from Orlando back to JFK, officials said.

Murphy’s co-pilot told authorities that he saw Murphy “drinking an unknown beverage from a cup” before and during the two flights.

The pilot flew passengers from New York City’s JFK Airport to Orlando, Florida and back. Picture: ABC7

The pilot flew passengers from New York City’s JFK Airport to Orlando, Florida and back. Picture: ABC7Source:Supplied

The pilot underwent random alcohol testing after the second flight.

Murphy appeared in court in jeans and a red pullover and then left in a suit after posting a $66,000 bond. He and lawyer James Garrow declined to comment.

Murphy, who began working for JetBlue in January 2015, was arrested after he was pulled aside for the random screening.

“During the walk to the on-site testing office at JFK Airport, Murphy’s face was red and he was chewing gum rapidly,” the complaint reads.

“Murphy asked the collector why he was being tested so soon after starting employment with JetBlue,” the court papers said.

“(He) asked why he was being tested for alcohol and not controlled substances.”

When he blew a 0.111 on the alcohol test, he “stated that the results must have been caused by the gum that he was chewing”.

JeyBlue said it had a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy.

JeyBlue said it had a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy.Source:Alamy

Fifteen minutes later, Murphy was given a second test, and that one registered 0.091.

Under FAA regulations, pilots aren’t allowed to fly within eight hours of consuming alcohol — or if they have a blood-alcohol-content level of 0.04 or above. Federal criminal charges apply if the pilot’s level is 0.10 or higher.

Murphy checked himself into rehab last year to kick his alcohol problem, a relative told The Post.

He’s now working as a substitute teacher, making $1200 a month.

If convicted, he faces 15 years in prison.

“JetBlue has a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy,” the airline said in a statement.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.

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