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Drunk pilot en route to LaGuardia from Minneapolis removed from American Eagle plane and arrested

Posted: 12:27 PM, Jan 04, 2013
Updated: 2013-01-04 12:55:44-05

American AirlinesAn American Eagle pilot was busted after almost flying a plane from Minneapolis to LaGuardia Airport while drunk, according to reports.

Someone smelled alcohol on the breath of the pilot, whose name was not immediately released. The pilot was administered a breath test aboard the plane by police, which he failed. He was taken to a Minneapolis hospital for a blood-alcohol test.

He was arrested and charged with suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol, an airline spokesman told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

American Eagle is a regional carrier that is a division of American Airlines. The flight, with 53 passengers on board, was supposed to leave Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at 6:10 a.m., but eventually took off at 8:50 with another pilot in the cockpit.

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

More updates later on PIX11.com and on the PIX11 News at 5.