Centerville Spirit Air pilot who flew 6 days ago overdosed

Centerville Spirit Air pilot who flew 6 days ago overdosed

UPDATE @ 5:27 p.m.:

Brian Halye was a pilot for Spirit Airlines, the company confirmed to this news organization.

“Captain Halye served at the airline for just over nine years,” said Paul Berry, the company spokesman. “Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Captain Halye.”

We have asked Spirit Airlines for more information, including their drug and alcohol testing policies, Halye’s employment history, and the operations hub where he was based.

Spirit Airlines flies from airports in Cleveland and Akron in Ohio, and it operates out of Detroit.

Halye flew his last flight March 10, the company said.

INITIAL REPORT:

FAA officials confirmed Thursday that Brian Halye held a current pilot license, including a valid medical certificate, at the time Centerville police said he and his wife died Thursday in a possible drug-related incident.

Four children were in the house, and one of them called 911 Thursday morning about discovering Brian and Courtney Halye.

FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said information about Halye’s current flight activity would have to come from his employer. According to Halye’s own social media accounts and interviews with his neighbors, Halye was a pilot for an airline that does not service Dayton International Airport.

This news organization contacted that airline but has not received confirmation of whether he was employed or actively flying in recent days or months.

Cory said FAA regulations require employers to administer drug and alcohol testing in pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, random, post-accident, reasonable cause and follow-up situations.

“In other words, there are several times during a pilot’s air transport career when he or she will be tested,” Cory wrote in an email.

Pilots must hold valid medical certificates in order to fly. The Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which Halye held, requires a first-class medical certificate, which must be updated every 12 months for a pilot under the age of 40. Halye was 36.

The FAA database lists Halye’s medical certificate date as September, 2011, which would mean the certificate expired more than four years ago. Asked to double check, Cory said Halye’s certificate was up-to-date, with it due to expire this fall.

“I’m not sure why the online database does not have that information,” Cory wrote. “The system could be in the process of update.”

Periodic medical examinations of pilots are conducted by designated Aviation Medical Examiners, who are physicians with a special interest in aviation safety and training in aviation medicine.

Dr. Richard Garrison is among the doctors who conducts such tests locally. Garrison said that exam is roughly similar to an annual physical, and also includes vision testing and EKG heart tests for pilots over a certain age. But he said those exams do not include substance abuse testing.

Cory said federal law requires that airlines have a program of random drug testing in place. Pilots must report DUI arrests, with FAA security personnel periodically matching pilots’ names against the DUI/DWI data in the national driver’s registry as well.

Pilot certificates are revoked as a result of drug and/or alcohol violations, under 2003 FAA guidance.

A review of public records showed no drug or alcohol-related citations in Halye’s record.

Weather and Traffic