SONOMA COUNTY (CBS SF) — A pilot was arrested in Sonoma County on suspicion of flying while intoxicated Tuesday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP officers from the department’s air operations unit spotted a plane flying recklessly while on a routine patrol along state Highway 37 in Sonoma County.

According to the CHP, the 62-year-old pilot was flying as low as 50 feet and within 100 feet of highway traffic, which is a violation of federal aviation regulations, CHP officials said.

The CHP officers noted the aircraft’s tail number, which indicated the plane was registered out of Penngrove, according to the CHP.

The officers contacted the pilot when he landed at Petaluma Municipal Airport and smelled alcohol on the man’s breath, CHP officials said.

The officers administered field sobriety tests and arrested the pilot on suspicion of operating an aircraft under the influence of alcohol.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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