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January 5, 2013

A Drunk Pilot, A Drunk Passenger, A Roll of Duct Tape And Two Disrupted Flights

Gudmundur Karl Arthorsson might not be flying Icelandair anytime soon. (Photo by Andy Ellwood via Tumblr)
Gudmundur Karl Arthorsson might not be flying Icelandair again anytime soon. (Photo by Andy Ellwood via Tumblr)
What is it that makes inappropriate drunken behavior go hand-in-hand with air travel?

Is it the stress of getting to the airport and through security in time for your flight? The still very prevalent fear of flying? The free alcohol? Or do booze-fueled incidents involving planes just make the news more often than other types of drunken behavior?

Whatever the cause, two more wasted men—one of them an airline pilot—made headlines on Friday when each disrupted separate flights to New York.

Bright and early Friday morning, Minneapolis Airport Police police were tipped off that American Eagle pilot Kolbjorn Jarle Kristiansen might have been a bit tipsy as he boarded the flight he was scheduled to operate to New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Cops showed up onboard the CRJ-700 as Kristiansen was working on his pre-flight checklists and removed him to blow through a straw. Sure enough, his blood alcohol was measured above the FAA’s .04 limit for pilots and Kristiansen was arrested.

In the more photographically entertaining incident, an inebriated man had to be duct taped to his seat aboard a Thursday Icelandair flight from Reykjavik to New York-JFK. Gudmundur Karl Arthorsson reportedly drank at least one entire bottle of duty free liquor, and possibly several additional mini bottles. He soon went nuts, attempting to choke and grope women while screaming that the plane was going to crash, until he was restrained by a roll of tape. After landing, Arthorsson was taken to a hospital for alcohol poisoning, but was not arrested. Apparently since no one was hurt, there weren’t any passengers willing to go through the hassle of police reports and such. Jail or no jail, when he comes to, Arthorsson might have a hard time finding an airline to fly him home.

The incidents come just a day after we found video of a boozed up Twilight actor using LAX as a toilet.


  • Ralph W

    The pilot probably adhered to the 8 hour bottle to throttle rule but 8 hours does not necessarily clear all alcohol from the blood From a pilot’s perspective it is not a good idea to drink the night before a flight as the alcohol can be detected in the system up to 24 hours later.