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Co-pilot, flight attendant pulled off Bemidji flight for having alcohol in system

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SkyWest Airlines pulled two crew members off a flight leaving Bemidji Thursday after tests determined they'd been drinking.

Forum News Service reports police tested the co-pilot and flight attendant at 5:19 a.m. after being alerted that flight crew members smelled of alcohol. The pair said they'd been drinking at the hotel bar the previous afternoon.

Breathalyzer tests showed the co-pilot with a blood alcohol content of .035 and the flight attendant .025. That's within the .04 legal threshold to operate a plane. But SkyWest suspended the two, citing zero tolerance for violating safety protocol.

An airline spokeswoman tells the newspaper service the flight was delayed by an unrelated mechanical problem and a substitute co-pilot was called in. A report was filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.

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