Japan Airlines

British judge jails drunk Japan Airlines pilot Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, who was 10 times over legal limit, saying he posed a ‘catastrophic’ risk

  • Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was sentenced to 10 months’ prison after he turned up for a London-to-Tokyo flight last month reeking of alcohol
PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 3:41am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 4:47am

A Japan Airlines pilot who reported for a London-to-Tokyo flight almost 10 times over the alcohol limit has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was arrested on October 28 after the driver of a Heathrow Airport crew bus smelled alcohol on him and reported it to security officials.

Tests found the 42-year-old first officer had 189 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system, almost 10 times the 20 milligrams limit for a pilot. The limit for drivers in Britain is 80 milligrams.

Drunk-pilot scandal prompts Japan Airlines subsidiaries to impose preflight drinking ban

Judge Phillip Matthews said Jitsukawa had put passengers at risk and the consequences could have been “catastrophic.”

Passing sentence Thursday at London’s Isleworth Crown Court, the judge said “the prospect of you taking over control of that aircraft is too appalling to contemplate.”

Japan Airlines and its subsidiaries have imposed a ban on drinking by its pilots in the 24 hours before flying, since news of Jitsukawa’s arrest emerged.