Hennepin County, MN – A pilot was arrested at Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport Friday after a sharp-nosed security agent smelled booze on his breath.
Capt. Kolbjorn Jarle Kristiansen was meant to fly an American Eagle route to New York, but was allegedly hammered at the time, reports MSN. Officers and a Transportation Security Administration agent “detected the odor of a consumed alcohol beverage as they passed by Kristiansen waiting to enter the elevator,” according to an Airport Police Department report.
CNN reports that the 48-year-old pilot was taken to a hospital for blood tests, was released to airline personnel, and charges are pending. Fifty-three passengers were to be aboard his flight, but none of them were on board when he was arrested.
“American Eagle has a well-established substance abuse policy that is designed to put the safety of our customers and employees first,” American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller wrote of the incident. “We are cooperating with authorities and conducting a full internal investigation.”
Kristiansen has his wings clipped for now. He’s grounded until the investigation is completed.
His flight eventually did touch down in New York with a difference crew … a whopping two-and-a-half hours late.
According to FAA regulations, “No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft … within eight hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage,” and a pilot’s blood alcohol concentration is limited to .04%.
Pilots are held to a higher standard that car drivers when it comes to alcohol consumption. Remember, the legal limit for driving is .08.