Friday, 16 November, 2018


Drunk Japanese pilot was 'almost 10 times over limit'

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was arrested Sunday at Heathrow Airport for violating British aviation law Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was arrested Sunday at Heathrow Airport for violating British aviation law
Conrad Doyle | 02 November, 2018, 19:00

London's Metropolitan Police force say Katsutoshi Jitsukawa appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in west London on Thursday and admitted to exceeding the alcohol limit.

JAL said from now on it will involve airport staff in alcohol checks rather than getting pilots to test each other.

Japan Airlines co-pilot arrested after failing a breath test shortly before a London to Tokyo flight pleaded guilty today to being nearly 10 times over the legal limit for alcohol.

The driver of a Heathrow Airport crew bus noticed the smell of alcohol on the co-pilot's breath and reported it to police, according to JAL.

A test later revealed that Jitsukawa had 189mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, almost 10 times the U.K.'s legal limit of 20 mg for pilots, according to the BBC.

For road drivers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the drink-drive limit is 80mg.

Jitsukawa said he had drunk about two bottles of wine and a pitcher of beer the previous night, NHK said.

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

Jitsukawa was due to be in the cockpit of the Boeing 777 aircraft that holds up to 244 passengers.

It apologised on Thursday for the incident.

In a separate incident, it was revealed Wednesday that a captain of an ANA Group company was unable to operate a flight due to the influence of alcohol, resulting in delays to five flights.

JAL's company rules prohibit its pilots from drinking alcohol less than 12 hours before flying any planes.

The male pilot in his 40s called in sick after a night of drinking on the remote resort island of Ishigaki in southern Okinawa prefecture, the company said.

According to NHK, the first pre-flight test did not detect alcohol on Jitsukawa's breath.

But under Japan's current system, while plane crew members are banned from drinking within eight hours of working, there is no legal limit set and breath tests are not required.

The last-minute sickie forced the airline to delay five flights linking Okinawa island and smaller regional islands, affecting 619 passengers.

The incident is "deeply deplorable as it may undermine people's confidence in aviation security", Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Toursim Minister Keiichi Ishii said at a press conference on Friday after a Cabinet meeting.

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