American Eagle Pilot Arrested Preparing for Takeoff

Friday, Jan 4, 2013  |  Updated 1:17 PM CDT
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American Eagle Pilot Arrested Preparing for Takeoff

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An airport spokesman says an American Eagle pilot preparing for takeoff has been arrested after failing a blood-alcohol test at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Spokesman Patrick Hogan said witnesses alerted airport police that the pilot smelled like alcohol before he boarded the plane. Hogan said the pilot was conducting preflight checks about 6:30 a.m. Friday when officers boarded, conducted a Breathalyzer test and arrested him on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol.

Passengers had not yet boarded the flight to La Guardia, New York City.

American Eagle is owned by American Airlines.

American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the pilot has been suspended pending an investigation. Miller said the airline is cooperating with authorities.

“American Eagle has a well-established substance abuse policy that is designed to put the safety of our customers and employees first. We are cooperating with authorities and conducting a full internal investigation. The pilot will be withheld from service pending the outcome of the investigation," Miller said.

Hogan said the pilot was taken to a hospital for a blood test.

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