Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Airline delays flight as pilot too drunk to fly

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
Orlando Vargas | 02 November, 2018, 19:04

Japan Airlines Co. apologized Thursday after one of its co-pilots was arrested in London for failing an alcohol test before departing on a London-Tokyo flight.

After being arrested, he was required to undergo a blood test which revealed his alcohol level.

A Japan Airlines copilot was arrested in London earlier this week after he was found to almost ten times over the legal alcohol limit shortly before takeoff.

JAL withheld the co-pilot's identify, but London's Metropolitan Police identified him as 42-year-old Katsutoshi Jitsukawa.

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 mg per 100 ml of blood.

The co-pilot acknowledged he drank about two bottles of wine and a pitcher of beer the previous night, NHK said.

Jitsukawa was scheduled to fly a 244-seater Boeing 777 aircraft.

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The case came to light a day after All Nippon Airways apologised for five flight delays in Okinawa last week because a pilot was hung-over after a night of drinking.

The airline issued an apology, promising "immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence".

Believing that Jitsukawa might have cheated when he had previously taken the company's internal breath test, the airline said Friday it has changed its internal rules.

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. He will be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on November 29.

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.

"We are certain (the in-house breath test) wasn't conducted properly", Muneaki Kitahara, Japan Airlines' head of communications, told a press conference. It will also prohibit pilots from drinking alcohol 24 hours prior to flights, compared to the current 12 hours.

It apologized today for the incident.

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