Abel Castillo worked his way up to 1500 hours as a CFI and was hired by a regional airline, rising to the position of Captain on a Regional Jet. His goal was to advance to a legacy airline, and he had just been hired by another, better-paying, regional airline. He had completed all pre-employment documentation and was given a five-day window to complete his pre-employment drug screening.
He showed up for the drug screening on his way to catch a flight home to see his daughter. Unfortunately, he could not produce the required volume of urine required for the test. He drank more water and tried again, but again came up short. He advised the testing facility that he needed to catch a flight and would return in a few days during the drug test window. The facility reported that he had "refused" the test, and his nightmare began.
The FAA immediately revoked all of his flight certificates and he was terminated from his airline job. He must now wait up to two years before attempting to regain his certificates by taking written and practical tests for Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Instrument, Multi-engine and Airline Transport Pilot certificates. He gets to keep his flight hours.
Abel hopes that sharing his experience can help other pilots avoid this experience.