American Eagle Pilot Busted Before Takeoff

MINNEAPOLIS (January 4, 2013)—An American Eagle pilot who was preparing for takeoff Friday was arrested after failing a blood-alcohol test at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said.

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 at around 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 New York City’s La Guardia Airport.

American Eagle, which is owned by American Airlines, provides service to Waco and Killeen.

American spokesman Matt Miller sakid the pilot was suspended pending an investigation.

Miller said the airline is cooperating with authorities.

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

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