A commercial pilot was arrested prior to boarding a plane this past Wednesday due to alleged DUI, delaying the flight as the airline sought a new pilot. Reportedly, the pilot smelled of alcohol and was arrested on charges of DUI just before the plane took off.
The flight was scheduled to take off for Salt Lake City at 8:30 a.m. The pilot was later arrested on a charge of operating an aircraft while under the influence. He was placed on administrative leave by his employer.
38-year-old Russel J. Duszak of Salt Lake City was detained at the Pennington County Jail on a DUI-aircraft charge. He was released a little under an hour later after posting $300 bail.
Though his actual blood-alcohol-level is still being determined, Rapid City Police did find that he was above the .04 threshold for pilots.
The Rapid City Police Department began the investigation after it was notified that a pilot “smelled of alcohol.” The report came from the Rapid City Regional Airport’s Transportation and Security Administration.
Duszak’s flight, which was scheduled to take off at 8:30 a.m. was delayed for 2.5 hours while the airline secured another pilot.
SkyWest Airlines said that it was cooperating with law enforcement.
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