Report: Delta Connection Pilot Arrested for Trying to Fly While Intoxicated

Police arrested SkyWest pilot Russell Duszak, 38, of Salt Lake City after it was reported that he smelled like alcohol. 

A Delta Air Lines plane MARCEL ANTONISSE/AFP/Getty Images

The Rapid City (S.D.) Police Department says that a pilot scheduled to fly a Delta Connection flight out of South Dakota’s Rapid City Regional Airport was arrested Wednesday morning on charges that he was intoxicated.

SkyWest pilot Russell Duszak, 38, of Salt Lake City was arrested for operating an aircraft under the influence of alcohol after police were notified that he smelled of alcohol shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Argus Leader reports.

As the Leader notes, to be arrested for operating an aircraft while intoxicated, the blood-alcohol level has to be above .04.

Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris said in a tweet, “The system worked the way it is designed to ensure passengers safety was not compromised.”

The Leader reports that SkyWest flies out of Rapid City as a Delta Airlines connection. The plane was headed to Salt Lake City.

“SkyWest holds its employees to the highest standards of professionalism and the safety and security of our customers and people are our top priority,” the airline said in a statement. “We apologize to our passengers for the delay of SkyWest flight #4574. … The crew member has been placed on administrative leave and removed from flying duties as we investigate this situation. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement’s investigation into this matter.”