Russian pilot who smoked marijuana barred from flight

A health check revealed that a pilot due to fly a passenger plane from Magadan to Moscow was trying to do so under the influence of marijuana, a civil aviation official said on Tuesday.

“During a pre-flight medical check, doctors were concerned by health of the pilot in command and a flight attendant. They had a high pulse rate, high blood pressure and slow reactions,” said Alexander Bulgakov, the head of the regional civil aviation watchdog.

“Tests revealed that they had smoked marijuana,” he said, adding that the two crew members will face an internal investigation.

The Yakutia air carrier declined to comment on the incident.

This is not the first time in the region that a civil aviation pilot has been held on drug charges. A 32-year-old pilot was held recently with a large batch of Spice, a smoking blend also known as “synthetic marijuana.” The product is outlawed in Russia and contains certain cannabinoids, chemical compounds mimicking the natural compounds in cannabis plants, and its effect is similar to that of marijuana.

The pilot confessed to smoking Spice before the flight and selling it.

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