Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Japanese pilot admits being drunk 10 times over alcohol limit

The pilot was due to take off in Japan Airlines flight from Heathrow Image The pilot had been due to fly a Japan Airlines plane from Heathrow to Tokyo
Russell Knight | 02 November, 2018, 18:58

JAL said the flight was delayed more than an hour and had to be operated by the remaining two pilots.

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

Japan Airlines co-pilot Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was arrested Sunday after failing a breath test shortly before a London to Tokyo flight and pleaded guilty in court today to being nearly 10 times over the legal limit for alcohol.

But Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority in the 2017-18 financial year carried out 12,130 drug and alcohol tests and got just eight positive results.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, had nearly 10 times more than the legally permitted amount of alcohol in his bloodstream when he was arrested, CNN quoted the Metropolitan Police as saying on Thursday.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, was arrested after being reported to police when an airport bus driver smelled alcohol on him.

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JAL's company rules prohibit its pilots from drinking alcohol less than 12 hours before flying any planes.

The drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg per 100ml of blood, compared to 20mg for pilots.

According to NHK, the first pre-flight test did not detect alcohol on Jitsukawa's breath. The cargo hold is heated and pressurised, according to American Airlines. When asked if he took the breath test properly, he apologized, saying, "I'm sorry".

Breath tests are not even required. Copilots are normally in charge of such tasks as checking meter gauges and conducting external communications, but they sometimes operate aircraft. The airline said that within the month, it would start using a new detection device used at Japanese airports at all airports worldwide.

The incident comes only a day after All Nippon Airways revealed a hung-over pilot had caused multiple flight delays.

Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii on Friday told reporters that the government would look into tightening the rules on drinking by flight crews.

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