Pilot Who Flew While Drunk Gets 6 Months In Prison

11/04/2011 04:28 pm ET | Updated Jan 04, 2012

DENVER -- A United Express pilot convicted of flying while drunk will serve six months in prison.

Thirty-three-year-old Aaron Jason Cope of Norfolk, Va., was sentenced Friday in Denver federal court.

Cope 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 from Austin, Texas, to Denver in December 2009. The flight was operated by Shuttle America for United Express.

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.