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Sun, Feb 12, 2006

AA Pilot Detained In Britain On Suspicion Of Being Drunk

Flight Departs Late, Makes Stop In NYC On Way To ORD

An American Airlines pilot was arrested and held briefly Saturday morning, when police at Manchester Airport detained him on suspicion of being drunk just before passengers began boarding the transatlantic flight to Chicago.

American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner confirmed the pilot -- one of three onboard the 767 (file photo of type, above) for its flight to the US, and identified only as a 45-year-old Ohio man -- was arrested. Greater Manchester police confirmed the arrest, adding the pilot was later released on bail pending the outcome of blood-alcohol content (BAC) tests. He is due to report to a Manchester police station Tuesday to face charges.

The flight, originally scheduled to leave at 10:30 am local time, departed Manchester about an hour late with a two-man flight crew, according to the Associated Press.

The loss of the detained pilot meant the flight had to make a brief stop at JFK International to pick up a third flight crew member before continuing onto O'Hare.

Three pilots are required on all commercial flights lasting longer than eight hours.

Spokesman Wagner was quick to describe the arrest as an "isolated incident," and said the airline had already begun an internal investigation.

FMI: www.aa.com

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