An unidentified American Eagle pilot was removed from his plane before takeoff this morning, as airport police say “a witness smelled what they believe was alcohol” on the pilot’s breath.
The American Eagle pilot had been preparing for Flight 4590 service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to LaGuardia when airport police forced him to take a breathalyzer test, which he failed, according to Patrick Hogan, an airport spokesman.
American Eagle, not to be confused with the clothing brand, is a regional airline that is a subdivision of American Airlines.
American Eagle released the following official statement:
“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.”
It is unclear whether or not passengers had yet boarded the plane. Formal charges are awaiting blood test results from a nearby hospital.
James Gilbert | Elite.