British Airways pilot jailed after trying to fly plane drunk in the UK
An airline pilot has been jailed for eight months after going to work drunk.
Julian Monaghan, who worked for British Airways, went to work with a blood alcohol level far above the legal limit.
He sentenced on Tuesday at Lewes Crown Court in England.
Judge Janet Waddicor said airline passengers are "entitled to feel that they are safe" on flights.
Monaghan was arrested on 18 January when a technician smelled alcohol on his breath as he prepared a Boeing 777 for take off on a flight from London to Mauritius.
He was removed from the cockpit in handcuffs after some passengers had already boarded.
Mr Monoghan had drank three miniature bottles of vodka with a Pepsi in his hotel room on an empty stomach, before heading to the airport, it was heard in court.
Monaghan pleaded guilty after blood tests showed he had more than four times the legal limit of alcohol for a pilot in his system.
Judge Waddicor, said: “You took a risk and it didn’t pay off because you were caught. You are in charge of a huge aircraft.
“The safety, if not the lives, indeed, of passengers and crew members are in the hands of the pilot. They are entitled to feel that they are safe.”
Emlyn Jones, defending, said Monaghan, “was not falling down drunk, making mistakes, being rude, picking fights”.
He had worked for British Airways for 17 years and has resigned.