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Pilot Fails Breathalyzer Just Before Takeoff

Police remove American Eagle pilot from passenger jet
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2013 4:10 PM CST

(Newser) – Everything was going fine for an American Eagle pilot making his preflight checks—until police arrived in the cockpit with a Breathalyzer. After the 48-year-old blew a bad score, police arrested him on suspicion of being under the influence and escorted him from the plane at the Minneapolis airport, reports the Star Tribune. He was about to take off for LaGuardia with 53 passengers aboard.

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Tipsters alerted police when the pilot walked past a checkpoint en route to the plane smelling of alcohol, reports AP. Authorities did not release his blood-alcohol level and say more comprehensive test results won't be known for a while. He is suspended in the meantime as the investigation continues. The legal limit to fly in Minnesota is 0.04%, half the level for car drivers. (Read more Minneapolis airport stories.)

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