Co-pilot allegedly found drunk before flight charged

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

An American Airlines co-pilot has been charged with a misdemeanor after he allegedly was found drunk in the cockpit before a flight from Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Pennsylvania native John Francis Maguire, 50, is charged with operating an aircraft under the influence, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

He was detained and subsequently arrested around 6:30 a.m. Saturday at Detroit Metro, officials said. He later was released pending charges.

An arraignment date in 34th District Court has not yet been scheduled.

“Although we do not often hear of pilots being allegedly intoxicated, the laws apply to everyone — whether one is on the roads or airways,” Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

Maguire was detained before a morning flight from Detroit to Philadelphia, officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said. He was suspected of having a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

The flight was canceled and customers were re-booked on other flights, according to airline spokeswoman Laura Nedbal.

The airline declined to discuss Maguire, but said they were assisting investigators.


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The Associated Press contributed.