'Drunk' pilot arrested by police at Gatwick

Cornelia Mascio
Gennaio 20, 2018

Armed police boarded a flight seconds before takeoff after cabin crew called for help over fears the pilot was drunk.

Airline colleagues believing they could smell booze on him dialled 999 anxious about the safety of up to 300 passengers and crew.

"The first officer was cuffed and led away", an airport source told The Sun.

"It's terrifying to think what might've happened".

A replacement pilot was found and the plane left at 10.56pm, arriving in Mauritius at 2.07pm local time yesterday - almost two hours later than scheduled.

British Airways says it is taking the matter
JACK TAYLOR GETTY IMAGES British Airways says it is taking the matter"extremely seriously

"We are sorry for the delay to our customers".

The first officer on the Boeing 777 flight 2063 to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, which takes 11 hours, was arrested and led away.

"The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority".

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "At about 8.25pm on Thursday (January 18), police received a report of a member of airline staff suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol at Gatwick Airport".

A 49-year-old man, from Harmondsworth, West London, remained in custody yesterday.

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