Drunk Japanese pilot arrested one hour before his flight

04 November, 2018, 11:59 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • JAL's airplane is seen at Haneda Airport in Tokyo Japan Feburuary 9 2018

He was detected by the sensitive nose of a crew bus driver, who smelled alcohol and reported him to police, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

London police said Katsutoshi Jitsukawa appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court in west London on Thursday and admitted exceeding the alcohol limit.

He was found to have 189mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system - the legal limit for a pilot is 20mg.

He was arrested on October 28 just 50 minutes before the plane was due to leave, with the flight finally taking off after a 69-minute delay.

Under Japan's Road Traffic Law, drivers are considered to be driving under the influence if they have an alcohol-per-liter-of-breath reading of 0.15 milligrams or higher.

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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.

He was charged with performing an aviation function with alcohol in his blood over the legal limit.

In the United States, a baggage handler working on an American Airlines flight at Kansas City International Airport while allegedly drunk on Saturday fell asleep in the forward cargo hold of a Boeing 737-800 and flew to Chicago.

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

"The company sincerely apologises to the passengers and to all affected by the employee's actions", Japan Airlines said in the statement.

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Pilots should be highly responsible and should adhere to safety standards when it comes to both the craft, as well as themselves.

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 for Tokyo's Haneda airport after a delay of one hour and 9 minutes, forcing the airline to operate the flight with two pilots rather than the customary three.

"Although we conduct regular or unannounced safety inspections for airlines, detailed drinking regulations are left to the discretion of each company", said an official at the transport ministry's aviation safety and security department.

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