Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2019

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Pilot in Mesquite crash landing denies drinking and flying

Ryan Raymond Dashiell

Ryan Raymond Dashiell

A pilot accused of being drunk when he crash-landed a jet in Mesquite on Wednesday told officers he didn’t “drink and fly” but chugged vodka after surviving the fiery wreck, according to a Mesquite Police arrest report.

Ryan Dashiell, 41, of Spokane, Wash., the sole occupant of the twin-engine Cessna 550 jet, was arrested on a gross misdemeanor count of flying while under the influence of alcohol, Clark County Detention Center logs show.

After the crash, Dashiell smelled of alcohol, his eyes were glassy, his speech was slurred and he could not stand straight, police said. He was also uncooperative, according to the report.

“While I asked (Dashiell) specific questions about the crash, he continued to respond with answers, which were irrelevant to the questions,” an investigator wrote in the report.

He refused to submit to any field sobriety tests and was taken to a hospital, where he said it would take “30 officers” to hold him down for a blood draw, police said. “I’ll blow, but there is no way you are sticking a needle in my arm,” he said, according to the report.

Investigators eventually obtained a warrant to draw blood, police said.

Dashiell took off from Pasco, Wash., on a planned flight to Henderson Executive Airport, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. For unknown reasons, he landed in Mesquite, officials said.

The aircraft, manufactured in 1981, is registered to Oregon-based Avia Jet LLC, according to FAA records. Attempts to reach the company were unsuccessful.

Federal Aviation Administration records show that Dashiell, a certified airline transport pilot since 2015, wasn’t supposed to be flying that type of aircraft without a certified co-pilot.