A pilot was escorted off an aircraft and then arrested at the gate on Tuesday, after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff smelled alcohol on his breath and suspected he was intoxicated.
Gabriel Lyle Schroeder, 37, was in the cockpit of a fully boarded plane, conducting pre-flight checks on a Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport to San Diego, when the Airport Police Department intervened and arrested him.
Suspicions arose about the pilot, according to an arrest report provided to Yahoo Lifestyle by Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesperson Patrick Hoger, when he backtracked and left a security screening area, realizing that TSA officers were performing additional screening in the “Known Crew Members” line.
After he was arrested, Schroeder was found to be in possession of “an alcoholic container” and was suspected to allegedly be impaired.
The pilot was charged for being under the influence “of alcohol/drugs” as an aircraft operator, but has since been released, pending toxicology reports and a subsequent formal complaint.
Hoger declined to provide additional comment because the case is still under investigation.
The Federal Aviation Administration recommends that pilots should wait “8 hours from ‘bottle to throttle,’” and maintain a blood alcohol level lower than 0.04 percent. It’s unclear whether Schroeder’s BAC was higher than this at the time.
In a statement provided to Yahoo Lifestyle, Delta Air Lines confirms that it is working with authorities to address the incident.
“Delta’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation,” the statement reads. “Delta is cooperating with local authorities in their investigation.”
The flight was delayed approximately one hour as a replacement crew member was called in.
This isn’t the first time Delta Air Lines has been under the spotlight recently. On July 10, a Delta flight was forced to make an emergency landing after an engine issue, which a passenger captured on camera. On July 15, a passenger allegedly overdosed and died onboard, and people called out the airline for not carrying the life-saving Narcan on board.