Calgary police allege Sunwing pilot was impaired, passed out in cockpit

CALGARY - A Sunwing Airlines pilot faces charges after police allege he was impaired before takeoff.

Police say the pilot boarded the Boeing 737 in Calgary early Saturday for a flight that was scheduled to make stops in Regina and Winnipeg before continuing on to Cancun, Mexico.

But before it took off, police say the gate crew as well as crewmembers on the aircraft indicated he was behaving strangely.

Police allege he passed out in the cockpit.

The pilot was escorted from the plane and has been charged with having care and control of an aircraft while being impaired, as well as one count of having a blood-alcohol level exceeding .08 while in care and control of an aircraft.

Sunwing spokeswoman Janine Massey says in an email that the suspect was the captain, and the airline praised the rest of the crew for handling what it calls a "very unfortunate matter.''