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American Eagle pilot Captain Kolbjorn Jarle Kristiansen arrested after failing breathalyzer test

7:36 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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Captain Kolbjorn Jarle Kristiansen, 48, a pilot for American Eagle Airlines, was arrested after failing a Breathalyzer test, Friday, Jan. 4, 2012, in Minneapolis. / Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Police

MINNEAPOLIS -  An airport spokesman says an American Eagle pilot preparing for takeoff has been arrested after failing a blood-alcohol test at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Spokesman Patrick Hogan says witnesses alerted airport police that the pilot smelled like alcohol before he boarded the plane.

CBS Station WCCO reports that the captain was performing preflight checks on American Eagle flight 4590 to New York when someone noticed the smell of alcohol on the pilot's breath.

Officers were contacted and the captain was removed from his plane after failing an alcohol Breathalyzer test.

The captain was taken to Fairview Southdale Hospital for blood alcohol tests en route to Hennepin County Jail.

The pilot, Kolbjorn Jarle Kristiansen, of Raleigh, N.C., was later released on his own recognizance.

A spokesperson for the FAA confirmed the incident to CBS News, and said it is investigating the incident.

Passengers had not yet boarded the flight to La Guardia, New York City.

American Eagle is owned by American Airlines.

American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller says the pilot has been suspended pending an investigation, and that the airline is cooperating with authorities.

In a statement the airline said, "American Eagle has a well-established substance abuse policy that is designed to put the safety of our customers and employees first."

CBS

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