An American Airlines co-pilot didn’t pass a breathalyzer test and he was arrested on the tarmac as alarmed passengers watched out the plane’s windows. This breathalyzer test was a “fail” just as this guy was walking onto a flight that he was about to co-pilot and this flight was shortly slated for takeoff.
According to MSN News on March 26, the American Airlines co-pilot was carted off by local authorities because he was suspected of being drunk. But that didn’t seem to stand in his way of trying to make it onto the flight and into the cockpit before they stopped him.
What did stand in his way was an alert TSA agent, American Airlines officials and a breathalyzer kit. He was held back from the flight slated to leave from Detroit and headed to Philadelphia, but that flight was canceled due to his condition. Does this mean he gets a FUI as opposed to a DUI?
The Chicago Tribune reports the pilot was detained on the tarmac as stunned passengers looked on at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The flight headed for Philadelphia, Flight 736, was due to liftoff about 7 a.m., but it was “immediately canceled.” The early morning passengers who thought they were getting a jump on their day on this flight, were so wrong. They ended up with a delay as other flights were found for them and some couldn’t fly out until the next day.
It was a TSA agent who blew the whistle on the co-pilot after he witnessed him acting “suspiciously.” He failed a breathalyzer test at the security checkpoint and after he was arrested he was given another one, which he failed again!
Passengers were privy to the co-pilot being taken away in handcuffs. Some on the flight were headed out for their spring break. Amanda Albrecht, a teenage passenger, was one of the passengers who snapped a photo of the handcuffed pilot. Under the hashtag “Quality hire” she posted the pic to Twitter! Amanda said to the media:
“I honesty just couldn’t believe — I was speechless — that something like that could happen and, again, that he could get that close to the aircraft,” she told the station. “I kind of just wanted American Airlines to be like, ‘Hey, sorry, can we do something about it?'”
While American Airlines is assisting local law enforcement agencies over this incident, they decline to comment on the co-pilot or his condition. After showing up with a suspected blood alcohol level above the legal limit for this Saturday morning flight, the passengers were inconvenienced due to his condition, but better to be inconvenienced while still on the ground than being inconvenienced in mid-air! This seemed to be the consensus of the passengers interviewed.