WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) - An Atlantic Southeast Airlines pilot under investigation for allegedly showing up for work drunk has resigned, the airline said Wednesday.
The pilot, whose name was not released, had been pulled from active duty by the Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL). affiliate while authorities investigated whether he was drunk when he reported for work Sunday morning in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The Atlanta-bound turboprop the pilot was scheduled to fly was delayed nearly four hours past its scheduled 6:15 a.m. EDT departure after an airport security guard reported that he smelled of alcohol.
"The pilot resigned prior to the conclusion of ASA's investigation process," the airline said in a statement.
The company said it would continue its investigation and would share its findings with the Federal Aviation Administration, which is also looking into the incident.
An FAA spokesman declined to comment on the investigation, other than to note the agency does not have the authority to file criminal charges.
An ASA spokeswoman said the Atlanta-based pilot was licensed to fly an Embraer (EMBR3) Brasilia plane, a 30-seat turboprop, and held the position of first officer, typically second in command to the captain on an airplane.
The incident marks the second time in a month that pilots have been investigated for violating drinking-and-flying rules.
On July 1 two America West (AWA) pilots who were taxiing for takeoff from Miami were ordered to turn around and arrested for operating an aircraft under the influence of alcohol. The two were later fired and face criminal charges.