A captain of American Eagle — the regional airline of American Airlines — was reportedly removed from the aircraft at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport before piloting a Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft to LaGuardia Airport in New York and arrested after supposedly failing a sobriety test.
The unidentified pilot — currently suspended from flying until an inquiry pertaining to the incident is completed — was suspected of being under the influence after witnesses reportedly noted the scent of alcohol. The blood alcohol level recorded by a preliminary alcohol breath test supposedly surpassed the legal limit to pilot a commercial aircraft, although the exact reading is unknown.
The 53 passengers aboard American Eagle flight 4590 finally arrived at their destination approximately 2.5 hours late as a result of this incident. The captain was brought to Fairview Southdale Hospital in Minnesota for another test of the alcohol in his blood before being released on his own recognizance.
While FlyerTalk members speculate about this incident — including the possibility that the pilot may have take medication which could affect a blood alcohol test — there is no excuse of which I can think that would justify any airplane pilot to have alcohol in his or her bloodstream, in my opinion.