American Airlines pilot arrested after failing breathalyzer test

FILE: An American Airlines aircraft taxis to the gate.

An American Airlines co-pilot was arrested after he failed a breathalyzer test at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport this morning, an airport police spokesman told ABC News. The flight, bound for Philadelphia, was cancelled.

The co-pilot, whose identity was not released, was suspected of having a blood alcohol content over the legal limit when he arrived for his flight in Detroit this morning, Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration told ABC News.

He failed a field breathalyzer test and was then arrested and given another test, said Michael Conway, Director of Public Affairs at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The blood alcohol content was not released, but Conway said it was over the limit for a pilot.

FAA rules state that pilots cannot fly with a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent or greater.

In a statement, American Airlines said safety is the company's top priority:

"This is a serious matter and we are assisting local law enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration with the investigation. We will handle this matter appropriately as the safety and care of our customers and employees is our highest priority. Flight 736 has cancelled and we are reaccommodating our customers on other flights. We apologize to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans"

It's unclear where the co-pilot was at time of arrest, Conway said, but the airport police were called at 6:40 a.m. and the plane was due to take off around 7 a.m.

The co-pilot's identity was not released but Conway said he was born in 1965 and is from Pennsylvania.

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