Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

JAL pilot admits being almost 10 times over alcohol limit

JAL's airplane is seen at Haneda Airport in Tokyo Japan Feburuary 9 2018 He was due to fly from Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda
| 04 November, 2018, 12:00

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.

JAL executives told reporters in Japan that the co-pilot cleared an in-house breath test but aroused the suspicion of a bus driver taking him to the plane at Heathrow Airport on Sunday.

JAL said the flight was delayed more than an hour and had to be operated by the remaining two pilots.

Ishii's remarks came after co-pilot Katsutoshi Jitsukawa pleaded guilty to being over the legal alcohol limit at a United Kingdom court.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, had nearly 10 times more than the legally permitted amount of alcohol in his bloodstream when he was arrested, CNN quoted the Metropolitan Police as saying on Thursday.

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.

The drink-drive limit in England is 80 milligrams.

In June, British Airways pilot Julian Monaghan was jailed for eight months for being caught on duty with 86mg of alcohol in his system.


A Japanese pilot, who was on his way to fly a plane out of Heathrow Airport, has admitted to being drunk.

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

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

Long haul flights, particularly those longer than 12 hours, are normally piloted by two captains and a co-pilot so they can rotate breaks.

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

"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.

The incident came a day after another Japanese carrier apologised for multiple delays after a hungover pilot called in sick.

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