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American Eagle pilot arrested after breath test

A pilot for AMR’s American Eagle regional unit was arrested Friday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after failing an alcohol breath test before a flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Passengers hadn’t yet boarded the plane, and a replacement pilot was brought in to make the trip, said Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission in Minnesota. Flight 4590 was a regional jet carrying 53 people, AMR said.

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The pilot was performing preflight checks about 6:30 a.m. when witnesses reported smelling alcohol, Hogan said. Airport police gave the unidentified pilot a breath test, and he was taken to a hospital for blood alcohol screening.

The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits pilots from flying while under the influence of alcohol, specifically when their blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent or higher or within eight hours of consuming any alcoholic drinks.

AMR said the pilot is suspended from flying until the inquiry is completed.

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