JAL Pilot Jailed For Being Drunk On Duty

November 29, 2018

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A Japan Airlines pilot who was found to be nearly ten times the legal alcohol limit for a commercial pilot was sentenced in London to a ten month prison term.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was scheduled as first officer on a JAL flight to Tokyo Haneda on October 28, but a breath analysis carried out about an hour prior to departure gave an over-limit reading and he was removed from the aircraft and arrested.

Jitsukawa was tested after a ground crew member smelled alcohol and reported him to authorities.

Later tests returned a blood alcohol level of 189mg per 100ml. The limit for commercial airline pilots is 20mg per 100ml.

Jitsukawa had pleaded guilty at an earlier appearance at Uxbridge Magistrates Court to performing an aviation function with alcohol in his blood exceeding the prescribed legal limit.

Aviation Policing Inspector Iain Goble said “This is an incredibly serious offence as Jitsukawa, a member of the airline crew, had responsibility for performing a critical role. This conviction reflects he displayed not only total disregard for the safety of all the passengers and staff on his flight, but also the wider public.

“Clearly, the consequences could potentially have been catastrophic had security staff and police not intervened and he had continued to perform his role on the aircraft in the state he was.”