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Drunk Pilot? Suspicion Delays Omaha Flight

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(OMAHA, Neb.) -- A Frontier Airlines flight from Omaha, Neb., to Milwaukee was delayed Thursday when the pilot was suspected of being drunk and kept from boarding the plane.

"Our police received information alleging that a Frontier crew member was impaired and, acting on that information, our police intercepted the employee before he boarded the flight," Chris Martin, director of operations for Omaha's Eppley Airfield, told ABC News.

"They spoke with him, and asked him a few questions, and determined there was reasonable suspicion that he was impaired and turned it over to Frontier Airlines staff," Martin said.

A hotel shuttle driver tipped off the police, Martin said.

The pilot, identified only as a man, was not arrested.

"We acted on it immediately, as soon as we were made aware of a potential situation," Martin said. "We never arrested him. We talked with him and turned him over to the local Frontier Airlines staff."

Flight 1894, a regional aircraft operated by Chautauqua Airlines, was scheduled to leave Omaha at 6 a.m., but did not leave until 8 a.m. because the airline needed to bring in another pilot, according to ABC News Omaha affiliate KETV.

The flight's 29 passengers did not have to wait on the tarmac, however. They were permitted back in the airport to wait.

Martin said Frontier has deemed the incident a "personnel matter."

Representatives of Frontier Airlines did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"I know they have advised the FAA, as have we, so I'm sure they will also do an investigation," Martin said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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