Drunk pilot gets sentenced to 30 days in jail | TheUnion.com

Drunk pilot gets sentenced to 30 days in jail

A pilot whose drunken flying maneuvers shook up a firefighting air crew was sentenced to 30 days in jail Monday in Nevada County Superior Court.

Harper C. McKee, 51, of Grants Pass, Ore., was also put on three years’ probation by Judge John Darlington, who also fined McKee $1,450 and ordered him not to fly until the Federal Aviation Administration reinstates his license.

The FAA suspended McKee’s license for one year according to a probation department presentence report. McKee also must attend six months of alcohol treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Sheriff’s Office reported he had a .28 blood alcohol percentage – seven times the legal limit for pilots – shortly after he was arrested at Nevada County Airport on Sept. 6, 2001.

McKee landed just as an air attack crew from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tried to land. When McKee didn’t respond to the crew’s radio call, the crew pulled out of its landing and watched as McKee’s plane bounced along the landing strip.

McKee told an investigator that he had one beer after landing, but he later changed his story to say he had a half-pint of vodka before the landing.

Before sentencing on one count of flying under the influence, a misdemeanor, McKee attended a 30-day recovery program and Alcoholics Anonymous. His presentence report said he had two prior convictions for driving under the influence.

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