I've played both Microsoft Flight Simulator and Top Gun for the NES. If nothing else, both games taught me that flying an aircraft is freakin' tough. So how did this guy do it drunk?
The story began on Tuesday afternoon on Highway 37 in Sonoma County, California when two CHP officers spotted a blue and gold, single-engine plane skimming along just 50 feet off the ground. FAA regulations dictate a minimum distance of 500 feet from people and objects.
The officers pursued (as much as possible in these sorts of situations) the plane until it landed at Petaluma Municipal Airport. Upon questioning the 62-year-old pilot, the officers smelled alcohol on his breath. The pilot then failed a field sobriety test and has since been charged with reckless flying and operating an aircraft under the influence.
As it turns out, flying while intoxicated has a much lower threshold than other means of inebriated transportation. In California, at least, the legal limit to act as part of a flight crew is just .04 percent, half that if one were behind the wheel. In addition, pilots are also subject to Federal Aviation Regulations, and could face stiff jail terms, hefty fines, and the suspension/revocation of his pilot's license if convicted of a FUI.