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A British Airways pilot was arrested in the cockpit of a Boeing 777 aircraft for having a blood alcohol level that was four times the limit for pilots. The arrest happened in January, but reports surfaced Thursday that the pilot was charged.
When Julian Monaghan, the 49-year-old pilot, boarded BA Flight 2063 at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) on January 18, the cabin crew noticed he smelled of alcohol and called the authorities before the plane left the gate. Police arrested Monaghan in the cockpit and escorted him off the aircraft in handcuffs.
The flight, which was heading from LGW to Mauritius (MRU), was delayed more than two hours because of the arrest. The route is a 12-hour flight, and the Boeing 777 was holding 300 passengers, reports say.
“We have taken this matter extremely seriously, and will continue to assist the police with their inquiries,” an airline spokesperson told The Daily Mail. “The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”
Monaghan had been a pilot with British Airways since 2001. An airline spokesperson said that he no longer works for the airline. He will appear in court in England on June 6.
Featured image by Nick Morrish/British Airways.
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