Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Global Bizarre

Pilots assume in Britain, you need more beer

Disorder in courts

Pilots assume in Britain, you need more beer

In July, Russian pilots Mikhail Danilstsev and Andrey Lyubimov were stopped by security from flying a 767 Aeroflot flight from Manchester, England, to Moscow. The security agent smelled alcohol on their breath, and tests confirmed that both were over the legal limit for pilots, which it is reasonable to hope is zero. The men were in court this week and gave the judge what they thought was a reasonable excuse: They were drinking British beer, so they assumed it was weak and that they could drink more. The judge fined them $3,900 each. They have already been fired.

Ex-con wants comp for missed work

Robert Aldrich, who has numerous burglary-related convictions, was cleared of the latest charges against him and released after spending months in a Massachusetts jail. Since he was not convicted this time, he filed for compensation for work he missed while in jail. "The defendant is a career (breaking and entering) man seeking compensation for burglaries he couldn't commit while locked up," Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney, told the Boston Globe. Aldrich says he missed out on home improvement work to the tune of $4,000 a month but could not support that figure. But that was just because he does that work under the table to avoid taxes, he said. The judge rejected the claim.

Sleepy judge may cause drug retrial

Rafael Cesan and Ruben Mas Rivadavia were found guilty of drug trafficking in Australia in 2004 and sentenced to 13 and 11 years behind bars. They are appealing the conviction on the basis that the judge slept through the case. Judge Ian Dodd appeared to sleep for periods of up to 20 minutes at a time, sometimes accompanied by snoring, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. It distracted, and sometimes amused, the jury. Court officials sometimes loudly dropped documents in an attempt to wake him up. Dodd retired in 2005 after being diagnosed with a sleep disorder.

Gasoline: It's still quite flammable

Austin Heckman of Wauzeka, Wis., has been charged with attempted theft and the negligent handling of burning material. The theft stems from a Sept. 27 incident in which Heckman, 23, is accused of siphoning gas out of a van in a parking lot, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The negligent handling charge comes from the fact that while he was doing the siphoning, he wasn't sure if the gas was coming out. So he checked. With a lighter. It was. Police reports did not mention if Heckman was injured. It is worth noting that Heckman is not the same guy who cleaned the cobwebs from his house with a blowtorch, which was reported on Friday.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

Pilots assume in Britain, you need more beer 11/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology


    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  2. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.
  3. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year


    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  4. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'


    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. []
  5. Ernest Hooper: Removing Confederate symbols doesn't eliminate persistent mindset

    Human Interest

    The debate has begun about removing a Confederate statue from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse, and its removal is long overdue.

    Robert E. Lee Elementary, 305 E. Columbus Drive in Tampa, originally opened its doors in the early 1910s as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School. [Times file]