Published on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

BA pilot jailed for being more than four times over the limit

A British Airways pilot has been jailed for eight months after turning up for work more than four times over the legal limit.

Julian Monaghan, 49, was arrested at Gatwick Airport in January and was found to have 86mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system - the legal limit for a pilot is 20mg.

He had been due to fly a Boeing 777 to Mauritius but a flight technician smelt alcohol on his breath and alerted police. The pilot was led from the aircraft in handcuffs just before it was due to take off.

Monaghan, who has since been dismissed by BA, pleaded guilty to the charge at Lewes Crown Court.

His defence lawyer said Monaghan had drunk a vodka and coke at 10.30am to help him sleep after an overnight flight and argued that he would not have had to take up the role of pilot until three-and-a-half hours into the flight.

A British Airways spokeswoman said: "This behaviour is completely unacceptable and not what we expect from our highly professional fleet of pilots.

"The safety and security of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority."

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