Drunk pilot grounded for 9 months after posing flight risk

2013-11-25 08:52

London - A Pakistani pilot who was found to be over three times Britain's legal alcohol limit for flying just before he was due to take off with 156 people aboard, was jailed for nine months on Friday.

Irfan Faiz, a pilot for Pakistan International Airlines, was set to fly an Airbus from Leeds Bradford airport to Islamabad in September, but staff ordered him from the cockpit after noticing that he was wobbly and smelled of alcohol during pre-flight checks.

The 55-year-old later told police he had had three-quarters of a bottle of whisky but had stopped drinking at 02:00 GMT, before the flight at 09:10 GMT. Pakistan's flight rules stipulate a 12-hour period between drinking and flying.

Under British law, pilots can only have a limit of 9 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. Faiz's levels initially came in at 41 microgrammes, and a later reading at 28.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Faiz, who admitted being over the limit, had a clean record and was an experienced pilot, but that he had been under intense pressure after kidnappers threatened his family.

Despite Faiz's experience, the court was told that he was not aware of UK rules on drinking before flying.

Read more on:    flights  |  aviaiton  |  travel international

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