Pilot arrested for being 10 times over alcohol limit before takeoff

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A spokesman for the police said a test on the man, who was due to fly as co-pilot, revealed 189 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood - nearly 10 times the legal limit of 20 milligrams for a pilot.

Tests found the 42-year-old first officer had 189 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system, nearly 10 times the 20 milligrams limit for a pilot.

The driver of the crew bus smelt alcohol on his breath and thankfully alerted the police right before take-off.

Tests found the 42-year-old first officer had 189 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system, nearly 10 times the 20mg limit for a pilot.

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

The plane departed London after a delay of 69 minutes.

The airline said the pilot drank two bottles of wine and five cans of beer for six hours from 6 pm the night before the flight to Tokyo's Haneda airport.

He has been kept in custody and will be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on 29 November.

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

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Jitsukawa had reportedly passed an in-house breath test, which JAL executives said they did not believe had been conducted properly.

"The company sincerely apologises to the passengers and to all affected by the employee's actions", Japan Airlines said in the statement.

Japan Airlines, in turn, issued an apology for the incident.

In June an experienced British Airways pilot was jailed for eight months for being caught on duty while more than four times the alcohol limit.

The last-minute sickie forced the airline to delay five flights linking Okinawa island and smaller regional islands, affecting 619 passengers.

Jitsukawa was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London after failing an alcohol breath test.

The limit for a pilot intending to fly is 20mg.

Japan's Transport Ministry also responded to the incident, promising to institute a national standard for pilot blood-alcohol levels.