American Airlines Pilot Removed From Flight, Arrested After Failing Breathalyzer

Image courtesy of yooperann

Travelers on an American Airlines flight to Philadelphia encountered an unusual delay on Saturday, when the co-pilot of the plane was arrested after failing a breathalyzer test, resulting in the cancellation of the flight. 

The ordeal began early Saturday morning when the co-pilot for American Airlines flight 736 from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Philadelphia was arrested on the tarmac, WXYZ News in Detroit reports.

Michael Conway, director of public affairs at the airport, said that a Transportation Security Administration officer noticed the co-pilot acting strangely, and notified airport security that they should check him out.

Shortly before the flight was scheduled to take off, airport police arrived to administer a breathalyzer test.

Conway says the co-pilot failed the initial field test, was subsequently arrested, and then failed a second test at the police station.

Under Federal Aviation Administration rules “no person may operate or attempt to operate an aircraft” within eight hours of having consumed alcohol or “with a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent or greater.”

A spokesperson for the agency confirmed that the American Airlines co-pilot arrived at work with a BAC level over the legal limit.

American Airlines apologized for the ordeal and said it was investigating the incident:

“This is a serious matter and we are assisting local law enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration with the investigation. We will handle this matter appropriately as the safety and care of our customers and employees is our highest priority. Flight 736 has cancelled and we are reaccommodating our customers on other flights. We apologize to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans.”

A group of teenage passengers, who were traveling to a spring break trip, tell WXYZ they couldn’t believe what was happening while they were in the plane.

“I honestly just couldn’t believe — I was just speechless — that something like that could happen and again, that he could get so close to the aircraft,” one of the teens says.

American Airlines co-pilot who was allegedly drunk detained at Detroit Metro Airport [WXYZ]