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Pilot arrested after flunking blood-alcohol test

Pilot arrested after blood-alcohol test: An American Eagle pilot failed a blood alcohol test in Minneapolis. About 10,000 pilots are given a drug and alcohol test annually. Federal rules prohibit pilots from flying within eight hours of drinking or having a blood-alcohol level of 0.04 percent or higher,

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Airport police arrested an American Eagle pilot Friday after he failed a blood-alcohol breath test as he prepared to fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul to New York City. American Eagle and American Airlines are owned by AMR Corp.

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

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Airport police arrested an American Eagle pilot Friday after he failed a blood-alcohol breath test as he prepared to fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul to New York City, authorities said.

The pilot was conducting preflight checks at about 6:30 a.m. when airport police officers acting on a tip boarded the aircraft, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said. Officers made him take a Breathalyzer test and arrested him on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol.

"There was a witness who smelled what they thought was alcohol on the pilot's breath and notified police," Hogan said. Passengers had not yet boarded the flight to New York's LaGuardia Airport, he said.

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The pilot has been suspended pending an investigation, said Matt Miller, a spokesman for American Airlines, which uses Eagle to operate shorter connecting flights. Both airlines are owned by AMR Corp.

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