A Delta Airlines pilot has been arrested on suspicion of being intoxicated while his fully boarded plane was waiting for takeoff. This happened at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Tuesday, July 30th, 2019. The 37-year-old Minnesota native was ready to fly the plane to San Diego and was being screened by enhanced airport security when a bottle of alcohol was found on his person.
The flight, Delta Flight 1728, was deboarded after the situation was discovered. This caused a delay in takeoff but the plane eventually arrived safely at its final destination later that day. Every single time an airline pilot is found to have been drinking is a serious breach of security and safety protocols. Airlines and authorities deal with this with zero tolerance and that also extends to any type of drug abuse or misuse.
The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) along with an airline spokesman report that the suspicion began when the pilot suddenly left the airport staff security line, then returned later.
“Delta’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation. Delta is cooperating with local authorities in their investigation,” the airline’s statement said.
Being under the influence of alcohol and operating heavy machinery, especially a jumbo jet airliner, endangers the lives of hundreds of people. Airlines are always committed to removing any staff members under the influence, or even the slightest suspicion of being drunk, and these various security checks were added to prevent incidents exactly like this one.
Intoxicated Delta Pilot Removed From Plane
There have been no formal charges placed on the pilot because authorities are waiting for pending toxicology reports. The pilot, whose name is Gabriel Schroeder, was booked and released pending results of the investigation.
There is always a risk that some pilots and airport staff may slip through the cracks and board or operate a plane under the influence. If you know a friend or loved one that is a problem drinker, it may be time to look into therapy and counseling for that individual. Recreate Life Counseling offers alcoholism treatment in an evidence-based approach that is safe, comfortable, and effective.