A pilot was removed from the cockpit of an American Eagle flight Friday morning at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol.
According to the police report, the pilot was identified as 48-year-old Kolbjorn Jarle Kristiansen of Raleigh, N.C. American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the pilot was on American Eagle Flight 4590 from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to New York LaGuardia (LGA).
According to the police report, officers and TSA agents at a security checkpoint smelled alcohol on Kristiansen, who was waiting to enter an elevator.
Airport spokesman Pat Hogan confirmed airport police took the pilot into custody at 6:19 a.m. CT. Kristiansen failed a breathalyzer at the scene, but was taken to Fairview Southdale hospital to test for blood alcohol content.
American Airlines said Kristiansen will be grounded until the investigation is complete.
"American Eagle has a well-established substance abuse policy that is designed to put the safety of our customers and employees first," the airline said in a statement. "We are cooperating with authorities and conducting a full internal investigation. The pilot will be withheld from service pending the outcome of the investigation."
American Eagle Flight 4590 was scheduled to depart Minneapolis at 6:10 a.m. Friday, but was delayed until 8:50 a.m. The flight arrived in New York shortly after noon.
Number of commercial pilot alcohol violations, 1995-2010
(confirmed breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater)
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