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Pilot is not to leave States.

A virgin Atlantic pilot accused of attempting to fly a plane under the influence of alcohol has been told he cannot leave the US.

Captain Richard Harwell, aged 55, who was seized shortly before he was due to fly the 747 across the Atlantic on Friday, was released from custody last night after paying more than pounds 15,500 for a bail bond.

Harwell, a US citizen who lives with his family in Kirtlington, Oxfordshire, appeared on a video link from jail, where he has been held since his arrest at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Harwell, who had been due to fly 383 passengers from Washington DC to Heathrow, faces up to five years in jail if convicted.

He was escorted off the plane by Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Police after security staff told a Virgin supervisor they allegedly smelled alcohol on his breath.

Harwell's lawyers tried to convince Judge James Forsythe to allow their client to return home.

But the judge set the bail bond at 25,000 US dollars and told Harwell he must not leave the US.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 23, 2003
Words:180
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