Drunk Japan pilot was ‘almost 10 times over limit’

05 November, 2018, 17:14 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • JAL pilot admits being almost 10 times over alcohol limit

A Japan Airlines pilot was on Thursday arrested shortly prior to his scheduled flight from London to Tokyo as alcohol in his bloodstream surpassed the legally permitted levels by nearly ten-folds.

He was arrested just 50 minutes before he was scheduled to co-pilot Japan Airlines (JAL) flight JL44 to Tokyo after he failed a breathalyzer test.

The driver of a crew bus at Heathrow Airport smelled alcohol on the co-pilot and reported it to police, Japan's NHK public television said.

Japan's Transport Ministry also responded to the incident, promising to institute a national standard for pilot blood-alcohol levels.

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

For comparison, the legal limit for drivers in England and the U.S.is 80 mg per 100 ml of blood, a BAC of 0.08%.

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He confessed he drank two bottles of wine and a pitcher of beer the night before his flight.

The plane departed London after a delay of 69 minutes.

He has since appeared in court in the United Kingdom, where he is reported to have pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol limit. He was detained until his sentencing November 29.

In a statement, the airline said: "The company sincerely apologises to the passengers and to all affected by the employee's actions".

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

Airlines have their own regulations, with JAL saying its rules banned pilots from drinking 12 hours before flying - a limit they now said would be pushed back to 24 hours.

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