Drunk Japanese pilot sentenced to 10 months in jail

A Japanese pilot has been handed a 10-month jail sentence after being found guilty of consuming two bottles of wine and beer before being due to operate a commercial flight from London to Tokyo.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, a pilot with Japan Airlines, was sentenced to 10 months in jail at Isleworth Crown Court after being found to have consumed alcohol that put him nine times over the legal limit. An alcohol breath test showed the pilot had a blood alcohol level of 189 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. The legal limit for pilots is 20 mg.

Jitsukawa was supposed to co-pilot JAL Flight 44 carrying 244 passengers from London to Tokyo when a bus driver noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath.

Judge Phillip Matthews ruling the case reprimanded the pilot’s behaviour as, “too appalling to contemplate”, according to a BBC report.

“Most important is the safety of all persons on board that very long-haul flight, potentially 12 hours or more. Their safety was put at risk by your inebriation and drunkenness,” he stated.

“The prospect of you taking over control of that aircraft is too appalling to contemplate. The potential consequences for those on board was catastrophic,” he continued.

The pilot has been fired from his post since then, and it promoted Japan Airlines to introduce a new breathalyser system at airports abroad.

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