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Wed, Nov 07, 2018

JAL Pilot Arrested For Being 10 Times Over Alcohol Limit

Taken Into Custody At Heathrow As He Was Going To Work

A Japan Airlines first officer was arrested last week at Heathrow Airport after admitting he had exceeded the legal limit for alcohol consumption before flying. Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, appeared Friday in Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in west London where he admitted to having consumed two bottles of wine and a pitcher of beer the night before he was scheduled to fly.

The Associated Press reports that, according to Japan's NHK public television, the driver of a crew bus at Heathrow smelled alcohol on Jitsukawa's breath and reported it to police. When he was arrested, a breath test showed he had 189 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood in his system. The legal limit for a pilot is 20 milligrams.

The New York Daily News reports that Jitsukawa had passed a pre-flight test administered by the airline. Officials believe another pilot somehow rigged the test so that Jitsukawa could be cleared to fly.

The JAL flight on which Jitsukawa was to have been part of the crew was delayed by more than an hour, and eventually had to be completed by the other two pilots scheduled for the flight. Jitsukawa was ordered detained until his sentencing on November 29.

The airline apologized for the incident, saying it would "implement immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence. Safety remains our utmost priority," the statement read.

(Image from file)

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