Pi­lot 10 times over al­co­hol limit ar­rested at Heathrow

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A JA­PANESE pi­lot has ad­mit­ted be­ing al­most 10 times over the al­co­hol limit shortly be­fore a flight from Heathrow Air­port, po­lice have said.

Drunk first of­fi­cer Kat­su­toshi Jit­sukawa, 42, was ar­rested at the air­port af­ter fail­ing a breath test just 50 min­utes be­fore Ja­pan Air­lines flight JL44 to Tokyo was due to take off with him in the cock­pit.

Ja­panese broad­caster NHK re­ported that the driver of a crew bus alerted po­lice af­ter smelling al­co­hol on the pi­lot.

The flight was op­er­ated by a Boe­ing 777 air­craft which holds up to 244 pas­sen­gers.

A Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice spokesman said Jit­sukawa pleaded guilty to ex­ceed­ing the al­co­hol limit at Uxbridge Mag­is­trates’ Court on Thurs­day. Tests re­vealed he had 189mg of al­co­hol per 100ml of blood in his sys­tem, al­most 10 times the 20mg limit for a pi­lot.

The drink-drive limit in Eng­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land is 80mg.

He was re­manded in cus­tody and will be sen­tenced at Isle­worth Crown Court on Novem­ber 29.

Ja­pan Air­lines is­sued an apol­ogy and pledged to “im­ple­ment im­me­di­ate ac­tions to prevent any fu­ture oc­cur­rence”, adding that “safety re­mains our ut­most pri­or­ity”.

The flight de­parted af­ter a 69-minute de­lay.

In June an ex­pe­ri­enced British Air­ways pi­lot was jailed for eight months for be­ing caught on duty while more than four times the al­co­hol limit.

Ju­lian Mon­aghan drank three dou­ble vod­kas in his ho­tel room on an empty stom­ach be­fore he was due on board a flight from Gatwick Air­port to Mau­ri­tius on Jan­uary 18.

Ja­pan Air­lines has apol­o­gised for the in­ci­dent

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