UPDATE: Drunk Sunwing pilot who passed out in cockpit, sentenced to 8 months

An airline pilot who was so drunk he appeared to pass out in the cockpit before takeoff has been sentenced to eight months in jail.

Miroslav Gronych pleaded guilty last month to having care and control of an aircraft while he had a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit.

Gronych was escorted off a Sunwing Airlines plane in Calgary on Dec. 31 that was supposed to fly to Regina and Winnipeg before continuing to Cancun, Mexico.

The court heard that when Gronych got on the plane, he struggled to hang up his coat, was slurring his words and was staggering.

The court was also told the co-pilot suggested Gronych should leave the plane, but he eventually returned to the cockpit, sat down and appeared to pass out with his face resting on the window.

The defence had asked for a three- to six-month sentence while the Crown asked the judge for one year in jail.

At a hearing last month, Gronych's lawyer told the court that her client felt like he was coming down with a cold the night before his flight and couldn't sleep. Susan Karpa says Gronych downed a couple shots of vodka and a Tylenol with a plan to wake up in time to call in sick. But Gronych didn't set an alarm and was awoken by a call asking where he was at work. Gronych drank the rest of the bottle of vodka and headed in.

Karpa said Gronych doesn't know why he drank the vodka, only that his willpower failed.

with files from Siobhan Morris