Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Economy | By

Pilot found 10 times over alcohol limit just before flight

Pilot found 10 times over alcohol limit just before flight

A Japan Airlines (JAL) pilot was arrested in London on Sunday after it was discovered that his blood-alcohol content was almost ten times over the legal limit.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was arrested by United Kingdom police at Heathrow airport for violating British aviation law, the airline said in a press release.

Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that police warned the driver of the airport bus, which breathed fumes pilot.

The co-pilot, identified as Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, was arrested by British police and required to undergo a blood test that confirmed those results.

Japan's Transport Ministry also responded to the incident, promising to institute a national standard for pilot blood-alcohol levels.

It was found that his body contains 189 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, although the allowable limit for pilots of 20 milligrams. The limit for drivers in Britain is 80 milligrams.


At Uxbridge Magistrates' Court Thursday, the pilot pleaded guilty to being over the alcohol limit.

Jitsukawa admitted he had consumed two bottles of wine and five cans of beer hours before he was to help pilot Flight JL044 last Wednesday, authorities said.

Sentencing for the pilot is set for November 29. He had been scheduled to serve on a flight to Tokyo, which took off just over an hour late.

Airlines have their own regulations, with JAL saying its rules banned pilots from drinking 12 hours before flying - a limit they now said would be pushed back to 24 hours.

In a statement, Japan Airlines said: "The company does not condone the individual's actions and takes this violation seriously, as safety remains our utmost priority".

Like this: