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A Drunk Delta Pilot Almost Flew Passengers to San Diego?

A Delta Airlines pilot was removed from an already boarded flight at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) after being accused of reporting for duty while under the influence. TSA screeners who first suspected the aviator of being intoxicated say that alcohol was also found among his personal belongings.

Authorities say a Delta Air Lines pilot was arrested on the flight deck of a plane preparing to depart Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) on Wednesday. Police say Gabriel Lyle Schroeder was taken into custody on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol.

The 37-year-old airline employee first drew the suspicion of TSA screeners when he abruptly left a screening line before later returning and eventually boarding his flight. The screeners reported their suspicions to airport police officers after allegedly discovering an unidentified form of alcohol among the pilot’s carry-on items.

“The individual left the line, which drew suspicion,” MSP airport spokesperson Patrick Hogan told CNN praising both TSA officers and local law enforcement. “There’s always a chance the plane might have taken off. There’s a possibility of that.”

Officials confirmed that boarding had already completed for Delta Air Lines Flight 1728 and the San Diego International Airport (SAN)-bound plane was preparing for departure when officers arrived to take the pilot into custody. Police say no charges have yet been filed against Schroeder, who has already been released from custody, pending the results of toxicology tests which are not expected to be available for several days.

“Delta’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for [the] violation,” a Delta Air Lines spokesperson told reporters in a statement. “Delta is cooperating with local authorities in their investigation.”


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