Drunk pilot at MSP had BAC of more than .10, charges say


An American Eagle pilot suspected of being drunk on a jet at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in January has been charged.

The Star Tribune reports 48-year-old Kolbjorn J. Kristiansen of Raleigh, North Carolina is charged with attempting to operate an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol and two other misdemeanor counts.

On Jan. 4, Kristiansen was seated in the cockpit, conducting pre-flight checks on the plane bound for New York’s LaGuardia Airport when he failed the test and was taken into custody.

According to a criminal complaint, airport police officers smelled liquor as they passed Kristiansen, who was waiting to get on an elevator reserved for pilots and other flight crew.

Officers said Kristiansen's eyes were glassy and watery, and he was slow to respond to questions, the complaint states.

A preliminary breath test showed Kristiansen's blood-alcohol content was initially 0.107 percent. Follow-up blood test results showed a BAC of 0.09 percent.

For pilots, the legal limit is 0.04 percent.

Kristiansen was suspended soon after his arrest, said a spokesman for American Airlines, which uses American Eagle to operate shorter connecting flights

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