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Former Airline Pilot Arrested for Operating a Commercial Aircraft While Under the Influence of Alcohol

On January 20, 2016, DOT-OIG agents arrested David Arntson based on a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Los Angeles, California, charging that he operated a commercial aircraft while under the influence of alcohol.

Arntson was a pilot and Captain for Alaska Airlines, Inc. (Alaska) for over 30 years. On June 20, 2014, he allegedly performed safety sensitive functions as the Captain on Alaska Flights 580 and 573 while under the influence of alcohol. Arntson piloted Alaska Flight 573 from San Diego, California, to Portland, Oregon, and Flight 580 from Portland to in Santa Ana, California. He was selected for a random drug and alcohol screening which took place at the conclusion of Flight 580 at the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. Arntson’s breath alcohol concentration from the first test was .134 percent.

A second required test was administered 15 minutes later and his breath alcohol concentration was .142 percent.  

Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.