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Thu, Feb 05, 2004

What Ever Happened To: 8 Hours Bottle to Throttle?

Grand Jury To Consider Charges Against Airline Pilot

A criminal trial is possible for an airline pilot charged with attempting to fly a Boeing 747 while under the influence of drugs and alcohol in December.

A Loudoun County (VA) grand jury will decide whether Richard George Harwell goes to trial in connection with the incident at the Washington Dulles Airport. Harwell appeared before a judge in Leesburg Monday to waive his right to a preliminary hearing.

Security screeners reportedly smelled alcohol on Harwell's breath as he prepared to fly a Virgin Atlantic flight bound for London with 400 passengers aboard.

He now faces state charges that carry penalties of up to five years in prison and $25,000 in fines. The Loudoun County grand jury meets on March 8 and the prosecutor in the case says the panel will decide whether there is substantial cause to proceed
with trial.

Virgin Atlantic suspended Harwell from flight operations after the incident and has declined to comment on the case.

FMI:  www.virgin-atlantic.com

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