Suspected drunken Delta pilot arrested at MSP before flight to San Diego

A Delta Airlines pilot was arrested under suspicion of being impaired Tuesday morning at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The pilot, a 37-year-old man, was set to fly to San Diego on Delta flight 1728. According to the search warrant, he was in the first officer's chari in the cockpit when he was taken into custody. 

According to the police report, Airport Police and TSA were conducting additional screening at the Known Crew Member entrance when they came across a subject who left the screening line around 11 a.m.

He later returned to the line, was screened and boarded the aircraft.

Because he left the line, authorities suspected he was impaired. The search warrant states, when detectives approached the pilot, they smelled alcohol on his breath. They also found a discarded unopened bottle of vodka in the Delta Crew restroom after he was seen on camera leaving the bathroom. When the pilot took a preliminary breath test, he blew a 0.065. He was booked and released pending charges.

All passengers were removed from the flight briefly, but the flight left as scheduled without him at 12:23 p.m.

Delta Airlines released the following statement about the incident:

Delta’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation. Delta is cooperating with local authorities in their investigation.