United Express pilot indicted for flying drunk

AP News
Posted: Mar 17, 2011 2:45 PM

A pilot for United Express is being accused of flying while drunk on a December 2009 flight from Austin to Denver.

A federal grand jury in Denver indicted 32-year-old Aaron Jason Cope of Norfolk, Va. late Wednesday. He's charged with unlawfully operating and directing the operation of a common carrier while under the influence of alcohol.

The indictment says the incident occurred on a Dec. 8, 2009 United Express flight. Cope was second-in-command, serving as the co-pilot.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, Jeff Dorschner, wouldn't elaborate on if or how much time Cope spent at the controls. A message left for Cope wasn't immediately returned. Federal agents were trying to find him.

He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.