A pilot was removed from an aeroplane and arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, just moments before the he was scheduled to take off.
The 48-year-old was due to fly from Newquay airport to LondonGatwick on Wednesday morning before he was removed for a breath test.
A concerned crew member alerted the police, who removed the pilot from the plane and breath-tested him.
The flight was then cancelled and passengers faced delays of almost five hours.
One traveller missed a connection flight to Mexico from Gatwick because of the delay.
Passengers were told the pilot was unwell.
A police spokesman said, “A 48-year-old man from Crediton, Devon, was arrested on suspicion of being over the drink-drive limit. He was taken to Newquay police station. He has been released on police bail until December 8.”
A Flybe spokesman said, “‘Flybe can confirm that one of its pilots volunteered to help the police with their inquiries at Newquay Airport yesterday. The airline is not able to comment further while the police investigation is taking place.”
Retired commercial pilot Andy Wilkins said, “I never heard of a pilot being arrested before a flight. It’s very rare. I’ve never heard of my colleagues being tested – I wasn’t. But the rules are very strict. Pilots are allowed a quarter of the limit for drivers.”