Japan Airlines Pilot Arrested at Heathrow Airport for Being Drunk

Japan Airlines Pilot Arrested at Heathrow Airport for Being Drunk

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said Jitsukawa pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol limit at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

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

A spokesman for the London police said a test on the co-pilot taken 50 minutes before the flight's scheduled departure revealed 189 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system - nearly 10 times the 20-milligram limit for a pilot.

The driver of a crew bus at Heathrow Airport smelled alcohol on the co-pilot and reported it to police, Japan's NHK public television said.

When tested for alcohol after suspicions were aroused, police found he had 189mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system.

The legal limit for pilots is 20 mg, while drivers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are allowed as much as 80 mg.

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

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He had reportedly consumed two bottles of wine and more than 1.8 litres (nearly four United States pints) of beer over six hours on the night before the flight. He was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced November 29.

The flight was operated in a Boeing 777 aircraft which can hold up to 244 passengers.

It apologised on Thursday for the incident.

Japan Airlines issued an apology and pledged to "implement immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence", adding that "safety remains our utmost priority".

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.

Following the two incidents, the transport ministry urged airline companies to strictly comply with rules on drinking.

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

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