Airline praises pilot who stopped drunk co-pilot from flying

AP News
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Posted: Aug 26, 2016 4:29 PM

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A charter airline is praising a pilot who blew the whistle on a co-pilot he suspected of being drunk before a plane was scheduled to take off from a northern Michigan airport.

Traverse City police Capt. Kevin Dunklow says a breath test Thursday showed the co-pilot had a blood-alcohol level of 0.30, nearly four times the legal threshold for driving.

The plane didn't leave Cherry Capital Airport.

Talon Air says the co-pilot has been fired. The company based in Farmingdale, New York, says it's "very proud" of airline Capt. Manny Ramirez, who discovered the problem.

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The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that 35-year-old Sean Michael Fitzgerald of Boca Raton, Florida, was arraigned Friday on a misdemeanor charge.

Defense attorney Patrick Fragel declined to comment. Fitzgerald's preliminary examination is Sept. 8.