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

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 11:37 AM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 1:54 PM

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?

3 injured in Kettering house explosion

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 12:17 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 3:46 AM

Desmond Winton-Finklea/Staff

UPDATE @ 3:46 a.m. 

Three people were injured in a Kettering house fire on Pamela Sue Drive early Wednesday, according to officials. 

“We had some injuries but everyone was out of the house at the time,” said Kettering Fire Battalion Chief Mike Miller. “... It could’ve been a lot worse. There could’ve been a lot more injuries, but right now we have one serious injury and two minor injuries.”

Four people evacuated the home by the time emergency crews arrived on the scene. 

Vectren has checked gas meters in the area, and crews have determined the area is safe, Miller said 

“We don’t have anymore natural gas showing up on any of the meters,” he said. 

The explosion is under investigation.

INITIAL REPORT @ 12:17 a.m. 

Firefighters are investigating an explosion at a home on Pamela Sue Drive in Kettering, possibly caused by a natural gas leak. 

Crews were dispatched to the 400 block of Pamela Sue Drive around 11:40 p.m. Tuesday on initial reports of a house fire. 

Scanner traffic from the scene indicates crews found no fire, but significant damage to the structure and a strong smell of natural gas. 

One person reportedly suffered minor injuries in the incident. 

We have a crew at the scene and we’ll update this page as new details become available. 

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Related

Driver overdoses, crashes on SB I-75 in Miami Twp. 

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 1:19 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 1:49 AM

Desmond Winton-Finklea/Staff

UPDATE @ 1:50 a.m. 

State troopers confirmed a driver overdosed and crashed on southbound Interstate 75 Wednesday morning. 

Investigators said the first unit to arrive on the scene found the vehicle off the highway and in a tree line south of Ohio 725 in Miami Twp. 

A Miami Twp. officer reportedly broke the driver’s side window and administered three doses of Narcan to revive the driver. 

RELATED: Narcan administered to driver involved in I-75 crash

State troopers said the driver was taken into custody and the overdose is believed to be the only factor in the crash.

MORE: ‘Substantial’ fentanyl operation busted by Sheriff’s task force

No additional injuries were reported and no lanes of the highway were blocked. 

FIRST REPORT

Emergency crews have responded to a crash on southbound Interstate 75, south of Ohio 725 in Miami Twp., where the driver is believed to have overdosed. 

Police and medics were dispatched to the highway around 1 a.m. to check for a crash reported in the area. 

According to police scanner traffic, the vehicle was found off the highway near the tree line. 

An officer broke a window to the car and administered at least one dose of Narcan, according to initial reports. 

It was not immediately known if any lanes of the highway were blocked. 

We’ll update this page as new details become available. 

For updates and more news click here to download our free apps.

Police investigate robbery at Dayton UDF; suspects reportedly located

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 2:31 AM

Desmond Winton-Finklea/Staff

UPDATE @ 2:55 a.m. 

Four people have reportedly been detained in the area of Riverside Drive and Wampler Avenue who are believed to be suspects in the UDF robbery in Dayton, according to police scanner traffic. 

Initial reports indicate a vehicle was stopped near that intersection with two men and two women taken into custody. 

Ski masks were reportedly located inside the vehicle. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

FIRST REPORT

Police are responding to reports of a robbery at the UDF at North Dixie Drive and Siebenthaler Avenue.

Around 2:20 a.m., two males wearing green Halloween masks reportedly robbed the store.

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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Security changes coming to Magic Kingdom

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 11:54 PM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - OCTOBER 01: Walt Disney World Resort marked its 45th anniversary on October 1, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Jacqueline Nell/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Security changes coming to Disney’s Magic Kingdom may affect how long guests spend in the security line.

>> Read more trending news

The theme park is moving the lines to outside the transportation and ticket center, where guests will be screened as soon as they get off the tram coming from the parking lot.

Security barricades are already in the ground and tents are up, but it’s still not clear when the area will be operational.

"Everyone at the transportation and ticket center will be screened there before they get on a ferry boat or a monorail, which will alleviate a lot of the hustle and bustle and craziness of that front area of the Magic Kingdom,” said Tom Corless of WDW News Today.

It also means guests will be screened prior to getting on the monorail or ferry, increasing security beforehand.

“Mass transportation is definitely always a target in any big city,” Corless said. “And certainly, at Disney World, the monorail handles thousands and thousands of guests at a time.”

Corless said eventually, guests going to a monorail from a Disney hotel will be screened from there.

There will still be a security checkpoint outside the train station at the Magic Kingdom, but it will be smaller, primarily for guests coming from the buses or water taxi.

The new security area appears to be much larger, with the option to add more personnel.

“The staffing will have to be in place, but regardless, it should just be a better experience for people,” Corless said.

A Disney World spokesperson said in a statement, "As part of an ongoing effort to enhance the arrival experience for guests at the entrance to Magic Kingdom park, we have relocated some of our bag checks and metal detectors to the transportation and ticket center, and the monorail stations at Disney's Contemporary resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney's Polynesian Village resort.”