Police: Intoxicated Pilot Removed From Airliner Bound for NY
An American Eagle captain preparing his jet for takeoff Friday morning from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was removed from the aircraft and arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol, an airport spokesman said.
Airport police boarded the Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft at about 5:57 a.m. as the 48-year-old pilot from Raleigh, N.C., was seated in the cockpit and making his pre-flight checks for the 6:10 a.m. flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, said Twin Cities airport spokesman Patrick Hogan.
The pilot of the 65-seat airliner came under suspicion when officers and a TSA agent at a checkpoint “detected the odor of a consumed alcohol beverage as they passed by [the pilot] waiting to enter the elevator,” police said in a release of public arrest data.
The pilot for the regional airline, which is owned by American Airlines, was given and failed a preliminary alcohol breath test, and he was taken into custody and brought to Fairview Southdale Hospital for a blood-alcohol test, Hogan added. Passengers had yet to board, he added.
Hogan said he has yet to receive any specific measurement for the pilot’s blood alcohol level. The legal limit for flying in Minnesota is 0.04 percent, which is also what federal regulations require. That is half the legal limit in Minnesota for driving a motor vehicle.