Authorities stopped a Delta Air Lines pilot from taking off Tuesday because he was suspected of being intoxicated, according to a police report.
Gabriel Lyle Schroeder left a screening line at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport before returning to the line and making it onto the San Diego-bound aircraft before his removal, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan told The Washington Post. But the 37-year-old pilot from Rosemount, Minn., was taken off Delta Flight 1728 at about 11 a.m., after law enforcement officers found that he had a container of alcohol and suspected he was intoxicated, the police report states, adding that formal charges are pending.
The Washington Post could not immediately reach Schroeder for comment.
It’s illegal for pilots to fly with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 or higher, and Federal Aviation Administration rules prohibit pilots from drinking within eight hours of a flight.
Delta spokesman Michael Thomas told The Post that Shroeder will not be flying while the investigation continues. He said the flight to San Diego was delayed by an hour while the airline called in another crew member.
Thomas also disputed earlier reports that the plane was fully boarded when Schroeder was apprehended, telling The Post that general boarding had not started yet.
“Delta’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation,” Thomas wrote in a statement Wednesday, adding that Delta is cooperating with local authorities.
Hogan said the airport is awaiting the results of a final toxicology report, which could take several days. The airport is not disclosing the nature of the alcohol found, he said, adding that more details of the incident will have to wait until the investigation ends. But authorities have said Schroeder failed an initial sobriety test.
The Hennepin County attorney’s office, which would prosecute the case, did not immediately respond to an inquiry about charges.