June 24th, 2005

Norsk flagg

Norwegian court convicts British Airways pilot to 6 months prison

Norwegian court convicts British Airways pilot to 6 months prison

In the court Eidsvoll Tingrett, a British Airways pilot was convicted to six months in prison for planning to take off with an intoxicated crew, and a purser to 45 days in prison for intoxication on duty, while the case against one other pilot, charged with intoxication on duty, was postponed.

On November 11th the convicted pilot was the captain of a BA flight due to carry 56 passengers from Oslo to Heathrow. Following a tip from British Airways, Norwegian police boarded the aircraft shortly before take-off, detained the seven strong crew and took breathalizer tests of all crewmembers. According to newsreports at the time, the police had stated that the captain, first officer and purser all tested positive, but it has later appeared that the captain was not intoxicated. Further bloodtests were taken of the crewmembers in question, and it was determined that the first officer had a blood alcohol content of 0.102 percent, and the pusers 0.134 percent (is permill for 1/1000 used in English?).

While the captain himself was not intoxicated, the court gave him severe punishment (by Norwegian standards, anyway), since as the highest authority onboard he was responsible for the aircraft's security, as well as for ensuring that the crew was in a state where they were capable of carrying out their duties. The court also found that the captain had to have known the crewmembers were intoxicated - according to the police the intoxication was evident by sight and by smell.

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