MINNEAPOLIS - A pilot in Minnesota who was preparing to fly a commercial jet halfway across the country has been arrested after a witness smelled alcohol on the pilot and he failed a preliminary breath test, an airport spokesman said Friday.
The arrest happened Friday morning as American Eagle flight 4590 was preparing to take off from Minneapolis-St. Paul International for LaGuardia Airport in New York.
Police were tipped off by a witness who claimed to have smelled alcohol on the pilot, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan told CNN. The pilot was taken to a hospital for blood tests.
Fifty-three passengers were scheduled to be on board the Bombardier CRJ700 regional jet for the flight. However, Hogan said none were aboard at the time of the arrest.
"American Eagle has a well-established substance abuse policy that is designed to put the safety of our customers and employees first," airline spokesman Matt Miller told CNN in a statement. "We are cooperating with authorities and conducting a full internal investigation."
The pilot is being withheld from service until the investigation is completed, he said.
Flight 4590 eventually arrived in New York, with a different crew at the controls, nearly 2½ hours late, according to American Airlines' website.
FAA regulations say "No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft ... within eight hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage," and a pilot's blood alcohol concentration is limited to .04%.
For comparison, drivers are often limited to the higher .08%.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
We’ve turned a corner! The weather is warming up so it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy some fantastic weather.
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
The next storm system is moving through Arizona bringing chances for rain and mountain snow to our state overnight Thursday. Find out if those chances will be sticking around on Friday.
The family of an officer killed earlier this year in a crash caused by a distracted driver says they plan to sue both the big rig driver and trucking company.
Authorities say golfer Tiger Woods' stepbrother was arrested in Phoenix Thursday after calling in a fake bomb threat to the building where he works.
Candy Crush and Farmville among games part of class action settlement.
The last time we saw Doan on the ice was Dec. 4 against the Flames. Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders marks the third game he’s missed.
The spectacular annual Geminid meteor shower kicks into high gear Thursday night, NASA said, and people around the world will be able to enjoy it.