Pilot Admits to Being Almost 10 Times Over Alcohol Limit Before Takeoff

JAL pilot admits being almost 10 times over alcohol limit

A Japan Airlines co-pilot was arrested earlier this week after he was found to be almost ten times over the legal alcohol limit shortly before takeoff at Heathrow Airport.

LONDON-The crew of a Japan Airlines flight was travelling by bus to Heathrow Airport here when the bus driver had a suspicion that there was something wrong with the co-pilot.

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

JAL said the co-pilot, whose name was withheld, acknowledged that breath and blood tests found alcohol levels "ten times" over the legal limit.

Results from the breathalyzer test showed he had 189 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system. The limit for drivers in Britain is 80 milligrams.

He appeared in court in London on Thursday and pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol limit, according to the BBC. He is now in custody and will be sentenced on November 29 at the Isleworth Crown Court. The flight took off more than an hour late.

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

The pilot reportedly drank two bottles of wine and five cans of beer over a six-hour period the night before the scheduled flight from London to Tokyo.

The airline issued an apology, promising "immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence".

In comments quoted by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, the Japanese transport minister has indicated the government will toughen regulations on alcohol consumption by pilots in the wake of the incident.

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