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Suspected drunk JetBlue pilot removed from cockpit

Posted at 2:58 PM, Mar 02, 2022

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A JetBlue pilot was removed from the cockpit of a plane in Buffalo, New York on suspicion he was intoxicated, authorities said.

The pilot has been identified as 52-year-old James Clifton of Orlando, Florida.

According to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), Clifton was passing through security Wednesday when a TSA officer noticed the pilot may be impaired.

NFTA police were notified and Clifton was removed from the cockpit. The pilot was reportedly given a breathalyzer test and registered a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.17. According to the FAA, pilots should not be flying with a BAC over .04.

Clifton was taken into custody but released to JetBlue security. He could still face federal charges.

The flight, JetBlue 2465, was delayed four hours and 10 minutes according to data from FlightAware.

This story was originally reported by Anthony Reyes on