Japan Airlines pilot caught at Heathrow Airport WAY over alcohol limit

The pilot was due to take off in Japan Airlines flight from Heathrow

Image The pilot had been due to fly a Japan Airlines plane from Heathrow to Tokyo

Japan Airlines Co. apologized Thursday after one of its co-pilots was arrested in London for failing an alcohol test before departing on a London-Tokyo flight.

Earlier, the police were alerted by the crew bus driver, who smelled alcohol on the pilot, as reported Japanese broadcaster NHK.

A Japan Airlines co-pilot arrested after failing a breath test shortly before a London to Tokyo flight has pleaded guilty to being nearly 10 times over the legal limit for alcohol.

The legal limit for on-duty is 20mg, making him 10 times over the alcohol limit.

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

He was arrested on October 28 just 50 minutes before the plane was due to leave, with the flight finally taking off after a 69-minute delay.

JAL issued an apology and pledged to "implement immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence", adding that "safety remains our utmost priority".

For the London-Haneda flight, the airline operates the route with three pilots aboard although the flying time is under 12 hours.

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Tests revealed he had 189mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system.

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

'We are certain (the in-house breath test) wasn't conducted properly, ' Muneaki Kitahara, JAL's head of communications, told a press conference.

Under Japan's Road Traffic Law, drivers are considered to be driving under the influence if they have an alcohol-per-liter-of-breath reading of 0.15 milligrams or higher.

In a separate incident, it was revealed Wednesday that a captain of an ANA Group company was unable to operate a flight due to the influence of alcohol, resulting in delays to five flights.

Under its internal rules, JAL limits two-pilot flights to routes of up to 12 hours.

Following the two incidents, the transport ministry urged airline companies to strictly comply with rules on drinking.

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