American Eagle pilot arrested for smelling like alcohol, failing breath test

7:56 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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NEW YORK (WABC/CNN) - An airline pilot is under arrest in Minnesota for allegedly reeking of alcohol.

Police say a security agent at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport smelled alcohol on the 48-year-old American Eagle pilot. He was given a preliminary breath test, which authorities say he failed.

An airport spokesman says the pilot was taken to a nearby hospital for blood tests, and released to airline personnel.

Another crew took over the New York-bound American Eagle flight, which arrived two hours late at LaGuardia Airport.

American Eagle is a regional partner for American Airlines.

"I think that sort of puts the faith in the American Airlines system that they caught him before he took off. But yeah, I think that you just have to put trust in them because it's their job. But I feel awful, and I'm glad he was apprehended before anything bad happened," said traveler Devon Kinsella.

FAA regulations forbid airline crew members from drinking alcohol within eight hours of a flight. A pilot's blood alcohol limit tops out at .04. That's in comparison to the common .08 legal limit for drivers of cars.


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