Drunk US pilot kicks off plane


A Delta Airlines aircraft
@AP_A Delta Airlines aircraft

A Delta Air Lines pilot suspected of drinking before his flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was arrested Tuesday morning. The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits any pilot from flying within eight hours of drinking alcohol.

Officers and TSA agents discovered the pilot had an “alcoholic container” in his possession and was suspected he was impaired, according to an airport police report obtained by USA TODAY Wednesday morning.

The police report says he was booked and then released three hours later, pending a formal complaint. He was scheduled to fly to San Diego the morning of his arrest.

Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Minneapolis airport, told The Minneapolis Star that  final toxicology results are pending and the case remains under investigation.

The pilot, who was booked and released pending a formal complaint, has not been charged with a crime yet.

In a statement released to USA TODAY, Delta spokeswoman Kate Modolo confirmed the airline was cooperating with local authorities in their investigation.

“Delta’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation,” Modolo said, though she did not indicate whether their policy differs from the FAA or how.

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