68 Years Ago: Wyoming Legislature Outlaws Drunk Flying
This week marks one of the weirdest anniversaries on Wyoming history. 68 years ago, the Wyoming legislature made it illegal for pilots to operate commercial or recreational airplanes under the influence of alcohol.
In 1949, there were no federal laws governing drinking and flying. In Wyoming, small aircraft were becoming more common among ranchers who owned large plots of land.
It is unknown how many pilots, if any, have ever been cited for operating an aircraft under the influence in the state.
In October of 2016, a commercial pilot was arrested in Rapid City, South Dakota, for attempting to board a plane while drunk. If he had been allowed to fly, the plane would have travelled across Wyoming on its way to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Wyoming has only experienced three commercial airline accidents.There have been several hundred private aircraft crashes in the state over the years.
In October of 1955, United Airlines Flight 409 crashed into a peak near Medicine Bow, Wyoming. At the time, it was the deadliest accident in United States avaiation history.