Friday, March 17, 2017

Did airline pilot and wife know they were taking powerful elephant tranquilizer?




CENTERVILLE, Ohio - A Spirit Airlines pilot and his wife died of an overdose of cocaine and carfentanil, a drug so powerful its primary use is to tranquilize rhinos and elephants, the coroner’s office in Montgomery County, Ohio confirmed on Tuesday.

Brian Halye, 36, and Courtney Halye, 34, were found dead in their Dayton-area home in March by their four children, who called police. 

The toxicology results confirm what the coroner’s office had previously hinted at the commercial passenger airline pilot died of an accidental drug overdose. 

The deaths came a week after Brian Halye’s last flight, prompting criticism of the random system used to test pilots.

Local health officials say the results are consistent with an increasing pattern of people using extremely powerful drugs, and combining potent opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil with cocaine and other drugs.

The autopsy does not make clear if the Halyes knew the cocaine they were taking contained carfentanil — a synthetic opioid 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 1,000 times more powerful than morphine. 

It does indicate, however, that both Halyes took the drug by injection. Courtney Halye had needle puncture marks on her right thigh and left wrist, the report shows, while Brian Halye had a single needle puncture mark on his right arm. 

Intentionally injecting cocaine into the body with morphine, heroin or other drugs is known as a “speedball.”

The powerful concoction has killed celebrities, including former Saturday Night Live star John Belushi more than three decades ago. 

Earlier this month, Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco warned Cincinnati-area cocaine users that their stashes could be cut with fentanyl or heroin without their knowledge, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson last week told a U.S. Senate subcommittee that he believed drug dealers may be mixing cocaine and fentanyl as a way to increase opioid addiction in the black community, according to The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

The Dayton Daily News reports the autopsy report doesn't indicate if the Halyes knew the cocaine contained carfentanil - a synthetic opioid 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 1,000 times more powerful than morphine. But the autopsy report does show that both Halyes took the drug by injection.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.fox25boston.com


Brian Halye with the couple’s three children


Often used to boost the potency of heroin, the deadly opioid carfentanil is increasingly showing up in cocaine and other drugs, including counterfeit pills resembling prescription drugs.

A synthetic opioid so potent it can bring down an elephant is partly responsible for the deaths of a Centerville airline pilot and his wife, according to autopsies released Tuesday. 

What’s unclear is whether Brian and Courtney Halye knowingly took carfentanil or if the drug hundreds of times more potent than heroin was laced into the cocaine also detected in their bodies.

It is known that dealers are increasingly putting fentanyl and carfentanil — both extraordinarily powerful opioids often used to boost the potency of street heroin — into other drugs, including cocaine, according to officials. 

It’s a frightening prospect to street drug users, considering a few granules of carfentanil no larger than table salt can kill a person. 

Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Its primary legitimate purpose is a tranquilizer for large animals like rhinos and elephants. Carfentanil has been linked to a significant number of overdose deaths nationwide, including fatalities in Montgomery County.

Last September, the DEA issued a nationwide warning about the health and safety risks of carfentanil that can also resemble powdered cocaine.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office attributed 19 deaths in January to cocaine mixed with more powerful opioids. 

"If someone is using cocaine, they might not be expecting it to be mixed with fentanyl," U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon told Cleveland.com.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.mydaytondailynews.com


Brian Halye and son








Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, shown in early 2016, said the state is suing five drugmakers.



The Wall Street Journal
By Jeanne Whalen
Updated May 31, 2017 2:48 p.m. ET


Ohio is suing five drugmakers, the state’s attorney general said Wednesday, alleging they fueled an opioid crisis in the state by misrepresenting the addictive risks of their painkillers.

The lawsuit, filed in state court in Ross County, targets parent companies and various subsidiaries, including Purdue Pharma LP, Johnson & Johnson , Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. , Allergan PLC and Endo International PLC’s Endo Health Solutions unit.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said at a news conference that the companies were dishonest with doctors about their painkillers’ risks. He said they marketed heavily to general practitioners, who “may not have a particular specialty in that area.”

“The evidence is going to show they knew what they were saying was not true and they did it to increase sales,” Mr. DeWine said.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson, parent of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which sells Duragesic, said: “We firmly believe the allegations in this lawsuit are both legally and factually unfounded. Janssen has acted appropriately, responsibly and in the best interests of patients regarding our opioid pain medications, which are FDA-approved and carry FDA-mandated warnings about the known risks of the medications on every product label.”

Teva said it is reviewing the complaint and didn’t have an immediate comment. Teva and its Cephalon Inc. unit sell the painkillers Actiq and Fentora.

Purdue, maker of the painkiller OxyContin, said: “We share the attorney general’s concerns about the opioid crisis and we are committed to working collaboratively to find solutions.”

Allergan and Endo declined to comment. Allergan sells Kadian, Norco and generic opioids. Endo, parent of Endo Health Solutions, makes the painkiller Opana.

Ohio has been among the states hardest hit by opioid addiction, which has helped drive U.S. overdose deaths to all-time highs. Many people became addicted by taking powerful opioid painkillers, and often then turned to heroin if they couldn’t get access to pills. Public-health officials have long blamed aggressive company marketing and lax opioid painkiller prescribing for sparking the crisis.

In an interview, Mr. DeWine said Ohio’s lawsuit is among the most comprehensive taken by any state against opioid-painkiller makers. He said he believed only Mississippi has filed a suit similar in scope to Ohio’s.

Some cities and counties, including Chicago and California’s Orange and Santa Clara counties, have also sued opioid painkiller makers, alleging misleading marketing that fueled addiction. West Virginia sued drug distributors, alleging they improperly flooded the state with addictive painkillers.

Perhaps the biggest legal hit to a painkiller company came in 2007, when Purdue Frederick Co., an affiliate of Purdue Pharma, and three of its executives pleaded guilty in federal court to criminal charges of misleading the public about the addictive qualities of OxyContin, and agreed to pay the federal government and a group of states $634.5 million in fines. That settlement grew out of a multistate investigation and a federal lawsuit.

Original article can be found here:  https://www.wsj.com




The four children woke up and were about to start getting ready for school when they found their parents, Brian and Courtney Halye, unresponsive and cold in their bedroom.

The children, ages 9 to 13, dialed 911.

“My mom's on the floor and my stepdad's basically pale and they're not waking up,” Courtney Halye's daughter told an emergency dispatcher through tears.

Indeed, they were dead, and Montgomery County, Ohio, Coroner's Office Director Ken Betz told the Dayton Daily News that the “preliminary indication is probable accidental drug overdose.” Authorities think the culprit may be heroin that was mixed with fentanyl — a deadly combination that has claimed countless lives across the country.

In a second 911 call Thursday from the home in southwestern Ohio, another child, a 13-year-old, tried to answer a dispatcher's questions as his siblings could be heard wailing in the background.

“Are they breathing?” the dispatcher asked.

“I don't think so,” the boy responded.

“Have they been feeling ill?” a medic asked.

“No, they were just fine,” he replied. He called out to his sisters, “Guys, did you see anything? What was wrong with them?”

“They said that my stepdad's face was pale and there was black lines all over his face,” the boy then said.

“Are they warm or cold to the touch?” the medic said.

“They were very cold,” he responded.

“Do you guys have gas appliances?” the medic asked.

“What is a gas appliance?” he replied.

When authorities arrived, the boy could be heard directing them to his parents' bedroom at their home in Centerville, not far from Dayton: “My parents are upstairs to the left — the last door to the left.”

The boy continued talking to the dispatcher, telling her that he had stepped outside. When asked whether he was cold, he replied, “A little bit; I'm fine.”

He could be heard sniffling as the recording cut out.

As with much of the United States, Ohio is in the throes of a ruthless opioid epidemic that shows no signs of abating.

Children have become innocent victims; some have seen their parents shoot up and overdose, occasionally with fatal consequences. Others have unwittingly and unwillingly faced overdoses themselves.

In September 2016, a chilling photograph distributed by the authorities captured the innocence lost on a 4-year-old’s face in East Liverpool, Ohio, where a man and woman were seen slumped over after overdosing in a vehicle, the boy still strapped into his car seat in the back. A week later and 600 miles away, at a Family Dollar store in Lawrence, Mass., a hysterical toddler was captured on a cellphone video as she tried to wake her mother after an apparent drug overdose.

The video showed the toddler, dressed in pink-and-purple “Frozen” pajamas, pulling her mother’s fingers, then sitting down beside her and shaking her mother’s face.

In October, a 7-year-old girl in McKeesport, Pa., told her school bus driver that she hadn’t been able to wake the adults in her house for days, and that their bodies were beginning to change colors. She had been caring for three other children in the home — ages 5, 3 and 9 months — and had gotten herself back and forth to school, police said. Her parents were dead.

Then, a couple in Washington state made news when authorities said they had been injecting their young children with heroin, reportedly calling it “feel good medicine.”

Synthetic opioids, including heroin and its deadlier cousin, fentanyl, are the main drivers of overdose deaths across the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Ohio Department of Health reports that the number of opioid-related deaths in the state skyrocketed from 296 in 2003 to 2,590 in 2015 — a 775 percent jump over a 12-year period. These numbers include deaths involving prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl, which is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times as potent.

Centerville police spokesman John Davis said Brian and Courtney Halye were the city's fifth and sixth fatal overdose victims this year. Last year, there were just five.

“It doesn't matter who you are or where you are — this epidemic knows no boundaries,” Davis told The Washington Post, adding that the Centerville case illustrates that.

Davis said the couple's deaths appeared to be drug-related because drug paraphernalia was found at the scene and that it “meets all the criteria” for a heroin-fentanyl overdose. But authorities are awaiting the toxicology results, he said.

Davis said the danger is that, in many cases, drug dealers have no idea what they are selling — and users have no idea what they are buying.

Brian Halye, a 36-year-old pilot for Spirit Airlines, married Courtney in 2013, according to his obituary. Each had two children from previous relationships, police said.

Spirit Airlines said in a statement that Halye had worked for the company for more than nine years and had flown his final flight March 10.

“Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Captain Halye,” Spirit Airlines spokesman Paul Berry said in a statement.

Berry said that Transportation Department and Federal Aviation Administration regulations require airlines to conduct tests for pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and dispatchers, including “random and reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing.” If someone in one of these “safety-sensitive positions” tests positive, that person would be “immediately removed from their position,” he said.

Another spokesman said the company would not be providing any further comment.

Courtney Halye, 34, was described in her obituary as “a kind loving generous soul.”

“She had a smile that lit up a room which made her very much loved by all her family and friends,” it read. “Courtney was a wonderful nurturing mother to two beautiful children.”

The Dayton Daily News reported that Courtney Halye apparently had a history that involved drugs. In 2007, Jacob Castor, her then-husband and father of her children, died of a drug overdose, the newspaper reported, citing the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

In 2009 she was convicted of felony drug possession, although the case was later expunged, according to the Dayton Daily News.

The Dayton Daily News also reported:

In January of 2016, Nancy Casey, Courtney Halye’s mother, contacted Centerville police and said she felt her daughter threatened to harm herself and was abusing narcotics.

Casey told officers her daughter had been “hooked on drugs” on and off for about seven years. The mother suspected her daughter was high when talking with her that day, the report said.

In that same report, which covered events of Jan. 5-6, 2016, Brian Halye contacted police after he had returned from Detroit, where he worked for Spirit Airlines as a pilot. Brian Halye told officers he had called and texted his wife, who had hung up on him and would not tell him where she was.

Police used her cellphone to determine she was in east Dayton but did not immediately find her. When officers found her vehicle, Courtney Halye was not there.

Later on Jan. 6, 2016, Brian Halye told police his wife had returned to their house but had locked him out. He worried that she was trying to get to two unloaded guns he kept inside, so he forced entry.

Courtney Halye was holding both guns, the report said, and her husband took them from her just as officers arrived there.

Police said that she appeared mentally unstable and possibly intoxicated or having a medical issue related to diabetes. The officer requested medics, who took her to the hospital for treatment.

Brian Halye told officers that day his wife had battled heroin and cocaine addiction “for quite some time.”

Casey recently told NBC News that Courtney Halye had Type 1 diabetes and was on medication for depression; but she said she did not think her daughter and son-in-law had a persistent drug problem.

“I don't know if they decided they were going to party, or went and they got ahold of this bad stuff going around town,” Casey said. But she added that she had been concerned since she talked to them the day before the couple was found dead.

“I had this dreadful feeling all day,” she told NBC News. “Something was off with her and something was off with him.”

Original article can be found here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com





The Spirit Airlines pilot whose death authorities call a likely overdose may not have been drug tested in years, because while federal regulations require airlines to drug test under certain conditions, airline pilots are not drug tested during yearly physical exams.

Centerville police have not indicated whether they believe Brian Halye, 36, had used drugs on occasions prior to his March 16 death alongside his wife, Courtney Halye, 34, who had a history of drug use, according to police reports. Nor has Spirit Airlines said whether and when its 9-year veteran pilot was drug tested, though the company said it follows the law.

“I’d be surprised if he went through there nine years and never got tested, but it could happen,” said Shawn Pruchnicki, an Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies lecturer, former Comair Airlines pilot and pharmacist who is trained in toxicology. “It’s a numbers game.”

Federal regulations require airlines to administer pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, random, post-accident, reasonable cause and follow-up testing for drugs and alcohol, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said.

“In other words, there are several times during a pilot’s air transport career when he or she will be tested,” said Elizabeth Cory, an FAA spokeswoman, by email.

But the exact operating specifications that cover each airline’s operations, including crew training, testing, and oversight are proprietary, Cory said, and cannot be released under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

A Centerville police spokesman said the department reached out to Spirit Airlines as part of the investigation, but could not elaborate on the nature of contact. Officer John Davis, the department spokesman, said whether the pilot used drugs during his time as an airline pilot is not the main focus of the death investigation.

“That’s a whole other issue for people to worry about,” Davis said. “Right now we’re trying to get a full picture of what led up to (the deaths) and how things occurred.”

Spirit Airlines said the carrier operates “with the highest degree of safety” and is “fully compliant” with FAA and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations regarding drug use and testing on “safety-sensitive employees,” including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and dispatchers.

“In the event that someone in a safety sensitive position tests positive, they would be immediately removed from their position,” airline spokesman Paul Berry said in an email statement. The airline has not addressed the newspaper’s requests for the dates and results of Halye’s drug tests.

Pilot medical exams required by law might not detect drug use either, experts said.

Pilots must possess valid medical certificates to fly. For pilots under age 40, the first-class medical certificate must be updated every 12 months. In Halye’s case, his last medical certificate was issued in September 2016, at which time he would have been required to undergo a medical exam.

But the corresponding medical exam would not have required a drug test, Pruchnicki and other experts said, as urine collected during the exam isn’t tested to detect drugs, but diseases. The OSU lecturer said the cost of drug testing is cost prohibitive and burdensome to pilots who may be victim to false positive results.

“Just because someone tests positive for a drug does not mean you’re under the influence of it,” said Pruchnicki. “There are thousands and thousands of these (medical exams) done per day … (drug tests) would completely bog down the medical systems.”

“From what we’ve seen, drug abuse of medication, illicit medication, is quite small,” he said. “Just sitting in the cockpit, if you smell alcohol, everything comes to a screeching halt. A lot of times, not all the time, you can tell if someone is under the influence of alcohol or heroin or Vicodin.”

Pruchnicki also said all pilots who die in crashes are screened for drugs, but with the exception of some over-the-counter medications “we’ve just never had an accident where someone has tested positive for anything.”

Original article can be found here: http://www.daytondailynews.com




Brian J. Halye

Age 36, of Centerville, Ohio, passed away unexpectedly Thursday Morning, March 16, 2017 at home.

He was born November 26, 1980  in Kettering, son of James & Cindy (Groves) Halye.   On June 29, 2013 in Dayton, Ohio, he married Courtney Castor Halye, who also passed away on March 16, 2017.

Brian worked as a  Pilot Captain for Spirit Airlines, had attended the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and was a 1999 graduate of the Spring Valley academy.

In addition to his parents, other surviving family members are his daughters- Elaina & Lydia Halye, both of Centerville; mother of the children- Rochelle Dyer, Centerville; step-children- Coby & Carly Castor, both at home; sister- Kathleen (Jorge) Delgado, Delaware, OH; brother- Myles (Jessica) Halye, Jamestown; Paternal grandmother- Nayon Halye, Hamburg, PA; maternal grandparents- Clarence & Marge Groves, Flagler Beach, FL; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. 

Funeral Services will be held 10 AM, Tuesday, March 21, 2017  at Fisher-Edgington Funeral Home, 97 West Locust Street at North Mulberry Street, Wilmington with Pastor Roy Lawinsky  officiating.  Interment will follow in the Miller Cemetery, Wilmington, Ohio.

 Friends will be received from 4-7 PM Monday evening, March 20 at the Fisher-Edgington Funeral Home, Wilmington.

 Contributions may be made to the Wings of Mercy Inc., 100 South Pine Street, Suite #393, Zeeland, MI 49464.  To sign the online guest book, please go to edgingtonfuneralhomes.com.

Source: http://www.edgingtonfuneralhomes.com 



HALYE (Castor, Casey)

Courtney Ann Age 34 of Centerville, Ohio. Born February 25, 1983 in Kettering, Ohio, died March 16, 2017.

Courtney was a kind loving generous soul. She had a smile that lit up a room which made her very much loved by all her family and friends. 

Courtney was a wonderful nurturing mother to two beautiful children. She is preceded in death by her sister Kelly Casey, husbands Jacob Castor and Brian Halye. 

Courtney is survived by her children Coby and Carly Castor, step-daughters Elaina and Lydia Halye, mother Nancy Casey, her "two dad's" Daniel(Cheryl)Casey and Matthew(Abby)Tyner, grandparents Ann (John) Hogberg and extended family and friends. 

Family will receive friends 4:00PM to 6:00PM Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at the TOBIAS FUNERAL HOME-Far Hills Chapel; where service will be held 6:00PM Tuesday with Jeffrey Campbell of St. John's UCC officiating. 

In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in Courtney's memory to the American Diabetes Association 2555 S. Dixie Dr. Dayton, Ohio 45409.


Source:   http://www.legacy.com




March 17--Federal Aviation Administration officials said the medical certifications of the deceased Spirit Airlines pilot from Centerville who died of a likely drug overdose were up-to-date but have not said why the agency's publicly-available database used by crash investigators suggests he was unable to fly any aircraft in the United States.

The four children of Brian Halye, a pilot, and Courtney Halye found the couple dead in the bedroom of their Centerville home Thursday in Montgomery County Coroner's Office Director Ken Betz called a "probable accidental drug overdose."

Betz said examinations on the couple have been completed, but a final determination on the cause and manner will take six weeks until toxicology reports are completed. Since Jan. 1, Montgomery County has had 155 accidental drug overdoses, Betz said.

The case attracted national media attention Friday.




Officer John Davis, Centerville Police spokesman, said, "I think maybe just where it occurred, and what occurred, has drawn some attention to that. I know that the speculation as to Mr. Halye's employment has also drawn attention to it. That's not the focus of our investigation at this time."

Investigators have not given any indication the Spirit Airlines pilot used drugs prior to his death. Brian Halye's last flight for the company before his death was March 10, a Spirit Airlines spokesman said.

Questions remain about why a federal database did not show up-to-date information on Brian Halye.

Aviation safety expert Shawn Pruchnicki of Ohio State University told the Dayton Daily News the database is one of the tools used by the National Transportation Safety Board during investigations of air disasters.

The FAA told the Dayton Daily News on Thursday that Brian Halye had a valid first-class medical certificate allowing him to fly. But the agency could not definitively answer why the public database of airmen indicated the certificate expired more than four years ago.



The Dayton Daily News has filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request for Brian Halye's medical certificates.

Pilots must hold valid medical certificates in order to fly. The Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which he held, requires a first-class medical certificate, which must be updated every 12 months for a pilot under the age of 40. Brian Halye was 36.

The FAA database lists Brian Halye's medical certificate date as September, 2011, more than five years ago. No class of pilot is allowed to go that long without a medical exam. Asked Thursday to double check, Cory said Brian Halye's certificate was up-to-date, with it due to expire this fall.

"I'm not sure why the online database does not have that information," Cory said in an email to the Dayton Daily News on Thursday. "The system could be in the process of update."

The database is updated each federal working day at midnight, according to the FAA's website.



Cory said she asked another FAA employee on Thursday to check Brian Halye's medical certification. The employee, a medical doctor, Cory said, "went into the airman's file and looked it up."

"The online database is one of many that we have," she said Friday. "It is a very basic listing of name and certificate. It is separate from an in-depth medical file. It is not the only database we have."

Pruchnicki, a lecturer at OSU's Center for Aviation Studies and a pharmacist, said he's never had a problem seeing his medical certifications in the airmen database.

"I've always been able to pull up my own medicals to see," said Pruchnicki, a former Comair pilot, after hearing about the FAA's response to the newspaper.

The newspaper has asked Spirit Airlines if it is conducting an internal investigation into Brian Halye's death. The airline did not respond at time of publication.

Martin Rottler, also an OSU lecturer, said he did not expect "anything nefarious" was going on with the FAA's records.

"They have several hundred pilot records that are in there," Rottler said. "The carriers and the FAA have better records and far greater records than what you'll find on the FAA database."

Brian Halye had two children from a previous marriage, as did Courtney Halye. Her former husband, Jacob Castor, died in August 2007 from an accidental drug overdose, according to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office.

Two of the children attend Centerville schools. The other two attend Spring Valley Academy.

Spring Valley released a statement Friday that read in part: " ... we are doing all we can to provide all appropriate support for them and all their classmates who are affected by this heartbreaking loss. As a Christian community we take comfort in the promise of ultimate healing, restoration, and resurrection but at the moment we are deeply grieving with our students and their families."

Original article can be found here:  http://www.4-traders.com



Authorities on Friday were investigating the deaths of a Spirit Airlines pilot and his wife whose bodies were found by their children in their southwestern Ohio home. A coroner said the preliminary cause of death for both appears consistent with a drug overdose.


Pilot Brian Halye, 36, and wife Courtney, 34, were found dead Thursday in a bedroom of their home in Centerville, south of Dayton, police said. 


 The couple's children can be heard on a 911 call after their parents failed to wake them for school.


"They were very cold," their son told a dispatcher while his three sisters can be heard crying in the background. 


 The son added that they found their parents in bed not breathing and that his sisters described their father's face as "pale and there was black lines all over his face."


Spirit Airlines confirmed Friday of Halye's appointment and said his final flight was March 10.



Brian Halye with the couple’s three children



"Captain Halye served at the airline for just over nine years," Spirit Airlines said in a statement, noting that they run random drug and alcohol tests on all employees.


The airlines said anyone who tests positive for drugs is immediately fired. 


 Although authorities are still investigating, they say the deaths appear to be drug-related and are consistent with a heroin or fentanyl overdose. A toxicology report will take four to six weeks.


Centerville police added that the deaths appeared to be drug-related because narcotics paraphernalia was found at the scene.


The director for the Montgomery County Coroner's Office said heroin overdoses have reached "record numbers for January and February."


Courtney Halye's mother, Nancy Casey, said her daughter was a Type 1 diabetic, suffered from depression and was on medication. But Casey, 51, believes heroin or drugs were not a persistent problem in the parents' lives, and added that her daughter was well-liked and described her as "a light in the room."


"I don't know if they decided they were going to party, or went and they got a hold of this bad stuff going around town," she told NBC News, noting that her daughter should not be characterized as an "addict" or "low-life."


But she had a bad feeling after she talked to them earlier in the day.


"I had this dreadful feeling all day," Casey said. "Something was off with her and something was off with him." 


Story and video:  http://www.nbcnews.com



Brian Halye and son


CENTERVILLE - Four children found their parents – including their airline pilot father – dead Thursday in their Centerville, Ohio, home in what investigators said appears to be the latest incident in a scourge of drug deaths plaguing Montgomery County and Ohio.

The husband, Brian Halye, was an active pilot for Spirit Airlines, flying for them nine years, and captaining a passenger jet as recently as last Friday.

He and his wife, Courtney Halye, were found in a bedroom of their home on East Von Dette Circle, a suburban cul-de-sac.

The deaths appear “drug related due to paraphernalia found at the scene,” Centerville Police Officer John Davis said. Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, said the incident resembles other opioid cases and “could be consistent with what we’re seeing with fentanyl products in our community.”

“We’ve been talking about this for how long now?” Betz said by phone. “Here I go again … year-to-date, accidental drug overdoses exceeded 160 already this year.”

Official causes of death for the couple have not been released, as a full medical exam will be performed today.

‘They were very cold’

The couple each had two children from previous marriages. In two 911 calls to Centerville police shortly before 8 a.m., the children ages 9 to 13 told dispatchers their parents are on the floor and “not waking up.”

“They were very cold,” said the oldest child, politely answering “yes, ma’am” to the dispatcher as his sisters cried in the background.

The children ran outside the home to relatives as police conducted an investigation. By 10:30, police and emergency response vehicles cleared the usually tranquil neighborhood.

The Halyes purchased their home in summer 2013. The neighborhood, Pellbrook Farm, is just southwest of the Ohio 725-Wilmington Pike intersection. The quiet suburban cul-de-sac features homes valued around $150,000 to $225,000.

Warren County Court records show Brian Halye was divorced in 2011 in a shared parenting case. Courtney Halye was convicted of a felony drug possession charge in 2009, but the case was expunged. Her previous husband Jacob Castor, the father of two of the children, died in 2007 at age 27.

Neighbors were stunned by Thursday’s news.

“There’s never much activity going on over there,” said a neighbor, who declined to be named. Added another neighbor, “That’s what surprises us, because he was an airline pilot, and he flew for Spirit.”

Pilot flew last week

Halye last flew for Spirit on Friday, according to the “ultra low fares” carrier. The pilot’s social media accounts indicate he was based at its Detroit operations center. The airline does not provide service to Dayton International Airport.

“Captain Halye served at the airline for just over nine years,” Paul Berry, the company’s spokesman, said in a statement expressing the company’s sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.

The Dayton Daily News asked Spirit Airlines officials to provide more details about Halye’s last-flown routes and upcoming flights, as well as the dates and results of any drug screenings. Spirit declined to answer.

Federal regulations require employers to administer drug and alcohol testing in pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, random, post-accident, reasonable cause and follow-up situations, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said.

Pilots must hold valid medical certificates in order to fly. The Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which Halye held, requires a first-class medical certificate, which must be updated every 12 months for a pilot under the age of 40. Halye was 36.

The FAA database lists Halye’s medical certificate date as September, 2011, which would mean the certificate expired more than four years ago. Asked to double check, Cory said Halye’s certificate was up-to-date, with it due to expire this fall.

“I’m not sure why the online database does not have that information,” Cory said in an email to the Dayton Daily News. “The system could be in the process of update.”

Dr. Richard Garrison is among the doctors who conducts such tests locally. Garrison said that exam is roughly similar to an annual physical, and also includes vision testing and EKG heart tests for pilots over a certain age. But he said those exams do not include substance-abuse testing.

Drug issues everywhere

Multiple-death overdoses at a single site happened at least four times in Montgomery County in 2016 — including to Jamie Haddix and Darrell Morgan, who were found dead on Christmas Eve. The place where they died, a four-unit apartment building on Wiltshire Boulevard in Kettering, isn’t ground zero in the region’s opioid crisis because there is no ground zero.

“You always hear, ‘It can’t happen in my neighborhood,’ ” said Michael Link, who lives around the corner from the Halyes in Centerville. “But it does.”

Centerville ranked comparatively low on Montgomery County’s 2016 overdose list, with only five residents dying from drug causes, according to preliminary coroner’s data. That’s much lower than comparably sized Trotwood (17), Miamisburg (14) and Riverside (13). But nearly every community in the county had a spot on that list, which included 355 deaths. 

Two of the children attended Centerville’s Tower Heights Middle School and two attended another district. Centerville schools Superintendent Tom Henderson said the district “continues to support friends of the students who were part of this family. Centerville had guidance counselors “on call and on deck as needed.”

Henderson said so many students know each other not only from school, but from sports and other cross-community activities that a tragedy like this can have a wider impact that people might think.

“These two students have come up through our district, so we try to be cognizant of that and get out to the other buildings they’ve attended,” Henderson said. “We’ll be ready (Friday) when students come in, and we’ll be ready when the students (in that family) come back to attend school again.”

Story and video:  http://www.wpxi.com

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Source:   http://www.daytondailynews.com

MIRAMAR, Fla. (WDTN) – Spirit Airlines, based in Florida, released a written statement after the death of one of their pilots and his wife last week in Centerville from an apparent overdose.

Spirit Airlines Spokesman Paul Berry said:

“Spirit Airlines is required by Federal Regulations to operate with the highest degree of safety. The DOT and FAA regulations require that the airline conduct various drug and alcohol tests on all safety-sensitive employees including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and dispatchers. 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.

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.

In the event that someone in a safety sensitive position tests positive, they would be immediately removed from their position.”

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Thursday Brian Halye, 36 and his wife Courtney Halye, 24 were found dead in their Centerville home after an apparent overdose.

Police said at the time they believed the deaths to be related to the drugs that were found in the home.  There were four children inside the home when the deaths happened.

Source: http://wdtn.com

Missouri governor to sell one state airplane

JEFFERSON CITY • Gov. Eric Greitens’ administration is taking a page from his counterparts in Illinois when it comes to the state’s fleet of aircraft.

Just as former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, and current Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, moved to jettison state-owned airplanes in the Land of Lincoln, Greitens is planning on selling one of the state's two passenger planes used by his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

Word of the grounding and potential sale of the state’s 1999 Beechcraft King Air C90 is contained in the latest budget proposal being mulled in the Missouri House of Representatives.

In the Department of Public Safety spending proposal, it calls for a $37,000 reduction in aircraft maintenance costs due to the sale of the twin-engine, six-passenger plane.

Rep. Kathie Conway, R-St. Charles, said the agency’s new director, Col. Sandy Karsten, gave the green light for the budget maneuver soon after she was sworn in earlier this month.

“She said we really did not have the need for the plane,” Conway told the Post-Dispatch Friday.

The decision comes after Greitens, a Republican who took office on Jan. 9, has said he is not planning to use the state plane.

That practice is a switch from the Nixon era, when the chief executive was routinely rapped by Republican lawmakers for his regular use of a taxpayer-funded state airplane to traverse the state.

However, now Democrats are complaining about Greitens use of private airplanes because the governor is not disclosing who is financing his flights.

In early March, the Post-Dispatch reported that the private plane that ferried Greitens from Jefferson City to Springfield to Las Vegas and to Washington, D.C. was owned by a company that operates newspapers and television stations from Missouri to California.

The governor’s office and top officials with the St. Joseph-based News-Press & Gazette Co. said the plane was leased by a third party because the company was not using it at the time.

Although taxpayers are not being billed for Greitens’ air travel, aides have not disclosed who is paying for the trips.

In Illinois, Quinn first announced the sale of nine of the state’s airplanes in 2014. Rauner inherited four unsold planes and one helicopter when he took over in 2015.

In the end, Illinois received $2.5 million for the aircraft and the reduction of an estimated $1 million in inspections and maintenance costs.

It was unclear Friday how Missouri might go about selling the airplane and how much it might bring into state coffers. When Illinois sold its 2000 King Air in 2015, the selling price was $1.7 million.

Conway said the remaining planes in Missouri’s fleet are not being eyed for grounding. The Department of Public Safety aircraft fleet consists of four helicopters, eight single-engine Cessnas and the King Airs.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.stltoday.com

Piper PA-28-180, N4722L, N4722L: Incident occurred January 16, 2017 in Camarillo, Ventura County, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N4722L

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys WP-01

Aircraft went off the runway after landing resulting in nose gear damage. 

Date: 16-MAR-17
Time: 18:22:00Z
Regis#: N4722L
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA-28-180
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: CAMARILLO
State: CALIFORNIA