A Japanese pilot who was preparing to take off from Heathrow Airport while about 10 times over the alcohol limit has been jailed.
First officer Katsutoshi Jitsukawa (42) was arrested at the airport after failing a breath test 50 minutes before a Japan Airlines (JAL) flight was due to take off with him in the cockpit.
The co-pilot was caught after security noticed he smelled strongly of alcohol, seemed drunk and had "glazed eyes". An officer later noticed he had "difficulty standing straight".
As he was jailed for 10 months at Isleworth Crown Court yesterday, Judge Phillip Matthews said Jitsukawa was clearly "very intoxicated" prior to the evening take-off and had been drinking that day.
"You are an experienced pilot but you had clearly been drinking for a long period up to a time shortly before you were due to go into that plane," the judge said.
A preliminary breath test found him to be more than 10 times the limit with 93mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal flying limit is 9mg.