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20th Jan 2018

British Airways pilot arrested by armed police for allegedly being drunk

Michael Lanigan

He was arrested moments before an 11 hour plane journey.

A British Airways pilot was arrested by armed police for allegedly being drunk.

The 49-year-old pilot from West Drayton, London was arrested in Gatwick Airport on a flight bound for Mauritius.

Police were notified, after cabin crew alleged that they could smell alcohol on his breath, the Telegraph reports.

Attendants on the Boeing 777 flight 2063 were forced to call 999 out of fear.

According to reports, police boarded the plane shortly before it was due to take off at 8.20pm on Thursday (18 January).

He was arrested on suspicion of attempting to perform aviation functions, while his blood-alcohol levels were over the legal limit. Police in Sussex have stated in reports that he remains in their custody.

The flight was delayed until 10.56pm, after a replacement pilot was found.

A spokesperson for British Airways said:

“We’re taking this matter extremely seriously and are assisting the police with their inquiries.

“We are sorry for the delay to our customers. The aircraft remained at the gate until an alternative third pilot joined the flight crew.”