All passengers had already boarded their Delta flight Tuesday morning when airport police pulled the pilot off the plane on suspicions that he was intoxicated. Those suspicions were first raised when Gabriel Lyle Schroeder, 37, stepped out of a TSA screening line for crew members after, apparently, noticing that agents were performing secondary screening. He later got back in line and eventually boarded the plane at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, but CBS News reports TSA agents smelled alcohol on him and notified airport police. Authorities say they found a container of alcohol in his possession and that he failed a sobriety check.
Passengers disembarked the plane, which was 20 minutes from takeoff and had not yet left the gate, and their flight to San Diego was delayed one hour, ABC News reports. Schroeder was booked and released; no formal charges have yet been filed as authorities await the results of toxicology tests, CNN reports. A blood alcohol level of .04 is illegal for pilots. A Delta statement says only, "Delta's alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation. Delta is cooperating with local authorities in their investigation." (Read more Delta Air Lines stories.)