You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myDaytonDailyNews.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myDaytonDailyNews.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myDaytonDailyNews.com.

breaking news

Sinclair College to increase fees, generating another $1.6 million

FAA, Spirit Airlines ‘quickly became aware’ of Centerville pilot’s death

Questions remain if Centerville pilot who likely overdosed was tested.


The Federal Aviation Administration and Spirit Airlines “quickly became aware” of pilot Brian Halye’s likely drug overdose death, a spokeswoman for the federal agency said Monday.

Spirit Airlines also released new information to the Dayton Daily News and NewsCenter 7 about how it drug tests pilots, though the company has not said if it is internally investigating Halye’s death.

MORE: Funeral services set for centerville pilot, wife suspected of drug overdose

Halye, 36, of Centerville, and wife Courtney Halye, 34, were found dead Thursday by their four children. Their deaths appear to be drug-related, according to Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Director Ken Betz.

Investigators have not given any indication the Spirit Airlines pilot used drugs before the incident that led to his death. Halye’s last flight for the company before his death was March 10, a Spirit Airlines spokesman said.

MORE: Centerville wife found dead with pilot ‘hooked on drugs’ for years

Airline explains drug tests

The Dayton Daily News last week asked Spirit Airlines to provide more information about Halye’s employment, including the last route he flew and scheduled flights, the dates and results of any drug screens during and before his employment, and whether the carrier was aware of Halye’s apparent drug use.

The company initially declined to respond, though the Dayton Daily News continued to ask for comment over the weekend. On Monday, Spirit Airlines provided the newspaper with additional details about the airline’s drug policy, but the company did not say if it is internally investigating the matter, or the last time Halye was tested.

“Spirit Airlines is required by federal regulations to operate with the highest degree of safety,” said Spirit Airlines spokesman Paul Berry in an emailed statement.

MORE: Overdoses likely cause of death of Centerville couple

U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration “regulations require that the airline conduct various drug and alcohol tests on all safety-sensitive employees including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and dispatchers,” Berry said.

“These tests include, but are not limited to, pre-employment, random and reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing. Spirit Airlines is fully compliant with these DOT and FAA regulations,” Berry said.

“In addition, Spirit Airlines has implemented and maintains a number of programs, in cooperation with its pilot union, that exceed any federal mandates, designed to detect, report and assist employees with potential life challenges,” he said.

“In the event that someone in a safety sensitive position tests positive, they would be immediately removed from their position,” Berry said.

FAA database had ‘discrepancy’

The FAA and Spirit Airlines stay in “constant contact,” an FAA spokeswoman said, noting both organizations “quickly became aware” of the pilot’s death.

On Monday, the FAA confirmed the agency’s public database of pilots was updated to reflect the most up-to-date medical information about Halye, following the newspaper’s discovery of a discrepancy in agency records.

Last week, the federal agency’s database of pilots suggested Halye’s last medical certification was issued in September 2011, though the spokeswoman said Halye’s medical certification was up-to-date.

MORE: Spirit Airlines pilot’s suspected overdose draws national attention

The discrepancy was due to a duplication of files in the agency’s master database when Halye elected not to use his Social Security number when filing his certification, something that “happens occasionally,” according to FAA Spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory.

“The elimination of the Social Security number means the airman was assigned a random number, and ended up with two files in the master database,” Cory said. “They were merged in the master file, which enabled me to answer the question about whether he had an active medical so quickly on Thursday.”

The updated database lists Halye’s last medical certification as September 2016. While a urine sample is taken during the tests, the sample is tested for diseases but not drug use.

MORE: What is fentanyl and how does it kill?



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Butler County’s impressive sports history on display in 2 exhibits
Butler County’s impressive sports history on display in 2 exhibits

Butler County’s impressive sports history is now on display at two Hamilton city buildings. Visuals displays of Butler County sports teams and athletes dating back more than a century were put together by Sam Ashworth, of the Middletown Historical Society and Hamilton’s Heritage Hall. “When I was wrapping this up, the World Series...
Local 8th grader to compete in national spelling bee
Local 8th grader to compete in national spelling bee

A local student will compete on one of the biggest stages this summer, when she travels to Washington to compete in the national spelling bee competition in May. RELATED: 5-year-old is youngest to qualify in Scripps National Spelling Bee Lane Schnell, an eighth grader at Magsig Middle School in Centerville, qualified for an all-expense-paid trip to...
3-year-old Georgia girl snatches skull cap from Pope Francis’ head 
3-year-old Georgia girl snatches skull cap from Pope Francis’ head 

  He went in for a kiss and she went for his hat! A little girl from Douglasville, Georgia, had the encounter of a lifetime with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The girl and her family had been waiting hours in hopes of catching a glimpse of the pope, when he arrived nearby and reached out to kiss the 3-year-old girl named Estella. Francis kissed...
3 city eyesores heading for demolition
3 city eyesores heading for demolition

The city of Dayton wants to eliminate three vacant and severely damaged industrial properties that have irked neighbors and city officials. The city has opened bidding for the demolition of the former Hewitt Soap factory on the 300 block of Linden Ave., a property on the 700 block of Cincinnati St. and a plant at 500 block of Deeds Ave. The properties...
Brides left stranded after Dayton venue cancels weddings
Brides left stranded after Dayton venue cancels weddings

Ryan Beach and his fiance Ali Womach were completely blindsided when they were told their booked venue had canceled their wedding. With just two months before their wedding date, the couple scrambled in panic to find a new wedding venue. Now, they want to know why the snafu happened in the first place. This media outlet first report in February the...
More Stories