Just because Bieber’s behavior occurred on a private jet doesn’t put him outside the law’s reach.
Private chartered aircraft are covered by the the same federal safety regulations as commercial aircraft, according to The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association representing the nation’s airlines.
Because Bieber’s flight originated in Canada and landed in the United States, it’s also governed by international treaties that impose safety requirements on commercially chartered aircraft as well.
Details of the flight involving Bieber, his father Jeremy Bieber and others were aired by NBC News today (Feb. 5). (See Below)
Based on that information, Bieber and his father many have committed multiple felonies while in flight, according to an examination of applicable federal regulations.
Foremost, Bieber and his father allegedly refused a pilot’s direct order to stop smoking pot during the flight. It’s a clear violation of federal law to refuse a direct order from a pilot who is responsible for the overall safety of his plane and passengers.
Pilots are give fairly wide latitude to assess and determine what’s necessary to deal with disruptive passengers, according to federal regulations. But in this case, the flight captain may also have made serious error in judgment.
Once the pilot detected marijuana smoke and the Biebers refused to comply with his request, the pilot should have notified law enforcement authorities and landed the jet at the nearest airport.
Bieber and his entourage should have been promptly turned over to authorities once the plane was on the ground. By continuing the flight, the pilot may have endangered the safety of his crew and the plane itself. But, again, that’s a judgment call.
According to NBC and a separate report by CNN, however, the marijuana smoke was so thick, the pilots were force to wear their oxygen masks to avoid intoxication, which could had led to a positive drug test and jeopardized their licenses.
The Biebers compounded the situation after they became abusive toward the crew. It’s a violation of FAA regulations (FARS, 14 CFR) for a passenger to verbally abuse, threaten or intimidate or interfere with the duties of an aircraft crew member, according to the IATA.
In fact, Bieber and his father were so verbally abusive to a flight attendant, the pilot told her to stay close to the cockpit to avoid further contact with them, according to reports.
Although the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers searched the plane for drugs, and questioned Bieber, they aren’t the agencies that would bring criminal charges.
That power rests with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey and local prosecutors, who also have jurisdiction over flights that land in their state.
It’s unknown, at this point whether further action is forthcoming. But an investigation seems to be in order. Check out the video below and be sure to follow TheImproper on Twitter for further developments in this case.