Pilot arrested for being almost 10 times over the alcohol limit before a flight
Katsutoshi Jitsukawa failed a breath test and is now awaiting sentencing. He was arrested only minutes before the flight to Japan should have departed.
The Guardian reported that police arrested the pilot when a crew bus driver alerted them of a strong alcohol smell on 42-year-old Jitsukawa. His flight was due for take-off 50 minutes later.
He later pleaded guilty to going over the alcohol limit in court. He admitted to drinking about two wine bottles and a beer pitcher according to NHK. Two remaining pilots covered the flight later.
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Jitsukawa's flight could carry up to 244 passengers on a Boeing 777 plane. It was due to fly from Heathrow airport to Tokyo. He would have operated Japan Airlines (JAL) flight JL44.
The Uxbridge magistrates court hearing revealed that the pilot had 189mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood within his system. The limit for a pilot is 20mg.
In comparison, 80 mg is the drink-drive limit in Britain.
Jitsukawa's actions cause a 69-minute delay for passengers. The airline released an apology statement pledging to "implement immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence" of what had happened.
The Isleworth crown court is set to sentence Jitsukawak on November 29.
Months earlier in January 2018, a British Airways pilot was arrested before his flight when a technician smelled alcohol on him.
Julian Monaghan confessed to drinking three double vodkas the day before he was due to fly from Gatwick to Mauritius.
However, he claimed he felt fine and had waited the allotted time before he was due to pilot the Boeing 777 that would carry 300 people.
A pilot admitted that he had consumed two bottles of wine and five cans of beer hours before a flight https://t.co/n0751tNqAR— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 2, 2018
Tests showed that 86mg per 100ml of blood was present in Monaghan's system. And in June 2018, he was sentenced to eight months in jail.
In April 2018, a horrific incident occurred when pilot James Pedroza flew along with five others in a private plane.
The 28-year-old was found to have cocaine in his system following the crash on April 9th. It's not clear if he was in control of the aircraft for the flight.
Erik Valente, 26, was also a certified pilot was died in the crash along with 4 other Instagram influencers.