Drunk American Airlines Pilot Arrested At Detroit Metro Airport – Flight Cancelled!


An American Airlines First Officer has been arrested at Detroit Metro Airport after it has been suspected that he was intoxicated.

American B777 DRUNKThe flight was subsequently cancelled and all passengers had to be accommodated onto other flights.

2 days ago John wrote about Emirates pilots who suffered from exhaustion and fatigue, today it’s another situation reflecting on pilots who violate the law and company guidelines when it comes to consumption of alcohol in between and especially right before their flights.

ABC News had a short report on the situation in Detroit (see here).

Federal authorities say an American Airlines co-pilot has been detained at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after he was suspected of being drunk.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the co-pilot was held from a Saturday morning flight from Detroit to Philadelphia. He’s suspected of having a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

The pilot was detained after arriving at the suburban Detroit airport. Airport spokesman Michael Conway says the pilot has been released as authorities determine whether charges will be filed.

Conway says the pilot is in his early 50s and from Pennsylvania. Officials wouldn’t release more information. American Airlines spokeswoman Laura Nedbal said in a statement the flight was cancelled and customers are taking other flights.

Airline officials declined to discuss the co-pilot, but say they are assisting investigators.

It was not stated at who and at what point someone detected intoxication on the First Officer and where (at the airport) he was initially detained.

To be fair, considering the amount of flights daily it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of pilots are trustworthy and follow the guidelines in regards to alcohol consumption.

I have however seen cockpit crew at hotel lounges (many hotels allow lounge access for the pilots) where they had a pretty good time including the consumption of quite a lot of alcoholic beverages.  Either that airline (Air Canada) has a very lax policy or the pilots disregarded the regulations.


Such incidents as the one in Detroit are very rare but they happen from time to time. After all pilots are just humans like everybody else even though we necessarily place more trust in them due to the nature of their profession. One could maybe compare with how often Surgeons get relieved of their shift due to suspected intoxication. This is also very seldom.

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