Drunk pi­lot was 'al­most 10 times over limit'

Observer on Saturday - - News -

TOKYO - A Ja­pan Air­lines pi­lot who was ar­rested in Bri­tain shortly be­fore a flight for be­ing drunk was al­most 10 times over the le­gal blood al­co­hol limit for a pi­lot, London po­lice said.

The in­ci­dent came a day af­ter an­other Ja­panese car­rier apol­o­gised for mul­ti­ple de­lays af­ter a hun­gover pi­lot called in sick.

JAL ex­ec­u­tives told re­porters in Ja­pan that the co-pi­lot cleared an in­house breath test but aroused the sus­pi­cion of a bus driver tak­ing him to the plane at Heathrow Air­port on Sun­day.

The co-pi­lot, iden­ti­fied as Kat­su­toshi Jit­sukawa, 42, was ar­rested by Bri­tish po­lice and re­quired to un­dergo a blood test that con­firmed those results.

Con­sumed

He had re­port­edly con­sumed two bot­tles of wine and more than 1.8 litres (nearly four US pints) of beer over six hours on the night be­fore the flight.

"We are cer­tain (the in-house breath test) wasn't con­ducted prop­erly," JAL Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Chief Mun ea ki Kit aha rat old re­porter son Thurs­day.

A spokesman for the London po­lice said a test on the co-pi­lot taken 50 min­utes be­fore the flight's sched­uled de­par­ture re­vealed 189 mil­ligrammes of al­co­hol per 100 millil­itres of blood in his sys­tem -- al­most 10 times the 20-mil­ligramme limit for a pi­lot.

The drink-drive limit in Eng­land is 80 mil­ligrammes.

The pi­lot later pleaded guilty be­fore a court to be­ing over the le­gal limit, and is ex­pected to be sen­tenced on Novem­ber 29. The plane de­parted London af­ter a de­lay of 69 min­utes.

"The com­pany sin­cerely apol­o­gises to the pas­sen­gers and to all af­fected by the em­ployee's ac­tions," JAL said in a press re­lease.

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