Monday, 19 November, 2018

Drunk Japanese pilot arrested at Heathrow Airport

The pilot was due to take off in Japan Airlines flight from Heathrow Image The pilot had been due to fly a Japan Airlines plane from Heathrow to Tokyo
Andy Castillo | 04 November, 2018, 11:57

He was detained after the driver of the crew bus noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath.

The Boeing 777 aircraft took off after a 69-minute delay.

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 - nearly 10 times the 20-milligramme limit for a pilot.

Tests found the 42-year-old first officer had 189 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system, nearly 10 times the 20mg limit for a pilot.

Jitsukawa, 42, attributed the elevated alcohol levels to a bout of serious drinking the previous night in his hotel bar and room, according to NHK.

According to the the company, the copilot and two captains were supposed to operate JAL Flight 44 scheduled to depart Heathrow at 7 p.m. Sunday local time.

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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The driver then took his right arm off the steering wheel as he tried to defend himself. Rescuers lifted the wreck of the bus from the river Wednesday night.

"It is regrettable because (the co-pilot's drinking) could have affected the safe operation of the flight and damaged public confidence in Japanese aviation", Ishii said.

At a press conference Thursday in Tokyo, JAL Director and Senior Management Executive Officer Toshinori Shin said, "We feel responsible for failing to detect [the copilot's inebriation] through our company's test and that this was reported by a third party".

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.

As a result of the incident, the flight departed an hour late and flew with two pilots rather than three.

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

Japan's Transport Ministry on Thursday issued a document directing all Japanese airlines to report by month-end measures being taken to control drinking by flight staff.

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