BA Gatwick Airport pilot jailed for being over the alcohol limit

14 Juin, 2018, 14:43 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Julian Monaghan

He was removed from the cockpit in handcuffs after some passengers had already boarded.

Sentencing him at Lewes Crown Court, Judge Janet Waddicor told him he had taken a "risk" that "didn't pay off because you were caught".

Monaghan would not have had to take up the role of pilot until three-and-a-half hours into the flight, the court heard.

Julian Monaghan, who worked for British Airways, went to work with a blood alcohol level far above the legal limit and has now been jailed.

The court had been told he had one glass of wine on an overnight flight to Gatwick from Cape Town, on which he travelled as a passenger.

He insisted he obeyed the airline's eight-hour "bottle to throttle rule", which forbids pilots from drinking for that amount of time before going on duty.

Mr Jones said Monaghan remembered drinking three miniature bottles of vodka.

Julian Monaghan
Image Monaghan worked for BA for 17 years

He had worked for British Airways for 17 years and has resigned. The safety, if not the lives, indeed, of passengers and crew members are in the hands of the pilot. He had not eaten and barely slept.

Monaghan was shocked by his arrest, surprised by the readings, his fall from grace had been very public and has caused huge embarrassment, Mr Jones said.

His childhood dream was to be a pilot and he was "proud and delighted" to work for BA, where he was "well-liked" and "trusted" by colleagues.

But she added: "What better deterrent for a pilot as to what can happen if you drink than to see what has happened to you".

Mr Jones said Monaghan's "career and livelihood and personal and professional reputation are all up in smoke". He appears before your honour as a shadow of the man he once was.

Det Con Stuart Macpherson, of Sussex Police, said: "Had Monaghan been required to take control of the aircraft in the event of an emergency on the flight deck in the early stages of the flight, his judgement and abilities would have been impaired".

Submissions which pointed out Monaghan was only a fraction over the drink-drive limit of 80mg per 100ml of blood were branded irrelevant by the judge.

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