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Pilot admits flying drunk during cargo flight

TAMPA, Fla., June 14 (UPI) — An air cargo pilot who admitted Friday he was drunk when he flew from Greensboro, N.C., to Tampa, Fla., faces a long term in federal prison.

Philip Lavoie, 28, of Sarasota, Fla., entered a guilty plea to flying while intoxicated in federal court in Tampa, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The maximum sentence is 15 years.

Investigators said that Lavoie, a pilot for Flight Express in Orlando, Fla., was tested after he landed on Dec. 8, 2012, and his blood alcohol was found to be .27. During the flight, he was out of touch with air traffic control for long periods and changed altitude without authorization.

Controllers alerted Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., because of his behavior in the air. Lavoie was the only person on board the plane.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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