JAL pilot, 10 times over alcohol limit, imprisoned for 10 months in the UK

A pilot in Japan Airlines was imprisoned for ten months on Thursday after being caught 10 times above the alcohol limit just before starting from London Heathrow Airport.

First Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, was sentenced at the Isleworth Crown Court in West London.

The Japanese co-pilot was arrested in Heathrow on October 28th after failing a breath test 50 minutes before Japan's JL44 flight to Tokyo took off in the cockpit.

A bus driver who transported the crew to the plane had noticed the smell of alcohol and alerted the airport's security staff. Jitsukawa used mouthwash before arrival of police officers and told security workers he had not drunk, Kyodo News reported.

"You are an experienced pilot, but you obviously had been drinking for a long time just before you were due to enter that plane," said Judge Philip Matthews. "Most importantly, the safety of all persons on board is the long-haul flight, potentially 1[ads1]2 hours or more. Your safety was at risk of your inebriation and intoxication. The prospect of taking control of the aircraft is too shaking until the Court heard that safety was noticed until he smelled heavily of alcohol, seemed full and had "glazed eyes" while an officer later discovered that he had "trouble standing."

A breath test found that he was more than 10 times over The limit of 93 milligrams of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. The legal flight limit is nine mg.

The Boeing 777 aircraft was due to planes that could hold up to 244 passengers, eventually taking 69 minutes late.

Jitsukawa was guilty of The responsibility for performing an aviation function as his ability was impaired through alcohol. He appeared in court via video link from Wandsworth Prison in South London.

Jitsukawa's lawyer Bill Emlyn Jones said the pilot developed insomnia and depression through wear on long distance.

Jitsukawa feels a "bad shame" and apologized to the airline, passengers and his family "for the shame he had brought over them," the lawyer said.

© 2018 AFP

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