SkyWest Pilot Charged With Trying to Fly While Drunk at South Dakota Airport

The pilot could spend up to a year in prison if convicted

Police say an airline pilot in Rapid City, South Dakota, was arrested Wednesday and charged with attempting to fly while drunk, NBC News reported.

Authorities were called when the pilot, Russell Joseph Duszak, 38, showed up to Rapid City Regional Airport smelling of alcohol Wednesday morning. He was supposed to fly SkyWest Flight 4574 to Salt Lake City, but was taken off the plane, and arrested on a charge of operating an aircraft under the influence of alcohol.

The flight was delayed for more than two hours until a replacement pilot was found. A statement from the airline apologized for the incident, and said the pilot is barred from flying, pending investigation.

Duszak could spend up to a year in jail and face a $20,000 fine if convicted.

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