London, November 2: A Japan Airlines pilot has admitted to failing a breath test shortly before he was due to fly from London to Tokyo, the police said. Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, had almost 10 times more than the legal permitted amount of alcohol in his bloodstream when he was arrested, CNN quoted the Metropolitan Police as saying on Thursday. At Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Thursday, the pilot pleaded guilty to being over the alcohol limit.
Japan Airlines flight JL44 was due to take off just 50 minutes after tests showed that First Officer Jitsukawa had 189 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood in his body. The legal limit for pilots is 20 mg, while drivers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are allowed as much as 80 mg. Philippines: Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737-800 Crash-Lands at Manila Airport, Narrow Escape For Passengers.
He was caught after the driver of a crew bus smelled alcohol and called the police, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK. Jitsukawa was scheduled to fly a 244-seater Boeing 777 aircraft. He was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced November 29. Japan Airlines has apologised for the incident, saying that "safety remains our utmost priority" and it will "implement immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence".