Case dismissed against SkyWest pilot arrested on alcohol charges

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The Pennington County State's Attorney Office prosecutor has dismissed a criminal charge against SkyWest pilot Russel Duszak.

Duszak was scheduled for an initial appearance in circuit court on Nov. 14 but was not present. Instead, his representing attorney made his way to the stand. Before the attorney even sat down, the prosecutor announced that the state was dismissing the case. 

Pennington County Chief Deputy State's Attorney Lara Roetzel said the state filed for dismissal because a blood draw showed no measurable alcohol in Duszak's system.


RAPID CITY, S.D. - The Rapid City Police Department says they have arrested a SkyWest pilot for allegedly being intoxicated on duty.

Officers responded to the Rapid City Regional Airport Wednesday morning for a report of a pilot smelling of alcohol. Police determined that 38-year-old Russel Duszak of Salt Lake City was in violation of SDCL 50-13-17, which prohibits the operation of an aircraft with a blood alcohol level above .04.

Duszak was arrested for Operating an Aircraft Under the Influence of Alcohol. SkyWest issued a statement Wednesday, stating that the pilot is on administrative leave during the investigation process

SkyWest holds its employees to the highest standards of professionalism and the safety and security of our customers and people are our top priority. We apologize to our passengers for the delay of SkyWest flight #4574, operating as Delta Connection from Rapid City to Salt Lake City, due to a crewmember issue. The crewmember has been placed on administrative leave and removed from flying duties as we investigate this situation. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement’s investigation into this matter.

SkyWest flies out of Rapid City as Delta Connection. Delta Flight 4574 was scheduled to take off for Salt Lake City at 8:30 a.m. but was delayed until 10:30 a.m.

RCPD Chief Karl Jegeris issued the following tweet after saying that airport management and airline officials helped to ensure passenger safety.

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