Cape Town based pilot, Julian Monaghan, pleaded guilty to attempting to fly a passenger jet carrying roughly 300 passengers, while 4 times over the legal alcohol limit. The 49-year-old British Airways employee appeared in court in Crawley, southern England on Wednesday for the conclusion of his trial.

Monaghan was arrested on January 18, and dragged from the Boeing 777 when he attempted to fly from London to Mauritius while under the influence. He was scheduled to pilot the Boeing 777 on a long haul flight from Gatwick Airport, when concerned staff reported Julian’s seemingly drunk condition shortly before take-off.

In a dramatic scene, Monaghan was arrested and removed from the aircraft in handcuffs by police. The flight was delayed by over 2 hours due to the incident.

The pilot was charged with having 86mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system. The drink-drive limit is 80mg and the limit for pilots is 20mg.

A British Airways spokesman told Daily Mail UK: “We have taken this matter extremely seriously, and will continue to assist the police with their inquiries. The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”

He has subsequently been fired from his job and will appear in court again later this month for sentencing.

Julian Monaghan. Picture: Sky News

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Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.