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Pasco Tribune

New Port Richey man charged with flying plane while drunk

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 11:03 PM

FORT PIERCE — Authorities say a New Port Richey man has been arrested for flying a plane while drunk.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office says its helicopter pilot reported seeing a plane flying very low and repeatedly trying to land about 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

After the single-engine plane landed at St. Lucie County International Airport, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper questioned the 36-year-old pilot, David Wayne King, and said he smelled alcohol on his breath.

Treasure Coast Newspapers reports King, of New Port Richey, was charged with felony reckless operation of an aircraft.

A passenger, 47-year-old John Gibson of Tarpon Springs, found with 15 alprazolam pills in his pocket and a pipe with possible marijuana residue, according to the Treasure Coast newspapers. He was arrested on charges including possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and drug equipment possession and/or use.

It's not known whether either man has yet obtained an attorney.

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