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Pilot Sentenced To 6 Months For Flying While Drunk

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Aaron Cope outside the federal courthouse in Denver on April 4, 2011. (credit: CBS)

Aaron Cope outside the federal courthouse in Denver on April 4, 2011. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4/AP) – A pilot convicted of flying a passenger plane while drunk will spend six months in federal prison.

Aaron Cope was the first officer on a United Express flight from Austin to Denver in Dec. 2009. The flight was operated by Shuttle America for United Express.

Cope, 33, was also ordered to serve six months in home detention after completing his prison term followed by two years of supervised release.

He was convicted in June of flying under the influence.

The plane’s captain thought he smelled alcohol on Cope’s breath and an initial breathalyzer showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.09 percent. A later confirmation test showed a 0.08 level.

The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits anyone from flying with a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent or higher.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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