Pilot found 10 times over alcohol limit just before flight

05 November, 2018, 17:14 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • JAL pilot admits being almost 10 times over alcohol limit

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

He was arrested just 50 minutes before he was scheduled to co-pilot Japan Airlines (JAL) flight JL44 to Tokyo after he failed a breathalyzer test.

London's Metropolitan Police force say Katsutoshi Jitsukawa appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in west London on Thursday and admitted to exceeding the alcohol limit.

A test later revealed that Jitsukawa had 189mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, almost 10 times the U.K.'s legal limit of 20 mg for pilots, according to the BBC.

He was detected by the sensitive nose of a crew bus driver, who smelled alcohol and reported him to police, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The drink-drive limit in England is 80 milligrams. He is expected to remain in custody until his sentencing on November 29.


According to reports in Japan, the co-pilot arrested on Sunday had consumed two bottles of wine, three bottles of beer and two cans of beer the night before his flight.

The apology came a day after another major Japanese airline, All Nippon Airways, apologized for causing delays to five domestic flights after a pilot became unwell due to heavy drinking the night before.

In a statement, the airline said: "The company sincerely apologises to the passengers and to all affected by the employee's actions".

The Japanese airline said the flight was delayed by more than an hour as a result and had to be operated by only two pilots.

"We will implement immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence and to regain our customer's trust".

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