Federal Way pilot convicted of flying while intoxicated

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by Associated Press and KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 1, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 1 at 8:52 AM

SPOKANE, Wash.  -- A Federal Way pilot who overshot the Spokane airport by some 50 miles and then lined up on the wrong runway during approach has been convicted in federal court of flying while intoxicated.

The Spokesman Review reports Tuesday that a jury convicted 48-year-old Paul R. Roessler under the federal statute of operating a common carrier under the influence of alcohol.

Roessler was flying a twin-engine Piper PA-34 Seneca for Seattle-based Airpac Airlines last April when air traffic controllers could not reach him via radio.

Once he landed, emergency personnel checked up on him and could smell alcohol in his breath. Officials tested Roessler's blood-alcohol level. It registered at .108 percent. The legal limit for driving is .08 percent, but the FAA sets the bar for flying at .04 percent.

Roessler will be sentenced in July and he faces time in prison.

His commercial pilot's license has been revoked.

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