Pilot admits being over drink limit after landing at Norwich Airport
13:13 13 November 2014
A pilot was over three times the alcohol limit when he flew a private jet from Spain to Norwich.
Ian Jennings, 47, of Gale Moor Avenue, Gosport, Hampshire, was arrested at Norwich Airport last month after touching down in the UK from Palma with 10 people on board.
At Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday the pilot, with more than 20 years’ experience, admitted flying while the alcohol in his breath was over the prescribed limit.
The offence carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
Officers from Norfolk police detected 31 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millitres of breath – the limit for pilots is nine microgrammes. The limit for drivers is 35.
The court heard how police received information about Jennings and swooped to arrest him after the plane, believed to have been a Canadair CL601-3A Challenger, landed at about 1pm.
Prosecutor Lesla Small said: “The passengers were allowed to get off the aircraft and he was breathalysed.
“This offence is aggravated by the fact he had flown from Spain with passengers on board.”
Marcus Croskell, mitigating for Jennings, described the pilot as a “gentleman of an unblemished history”.
But magistrates said the case was so serious it would have to be sentenced by a crown court judge.
Jennings’ flying licence has been suspended by the Civil Aviation Authority pending the outcome of the case. He was released on bail on the condition he does not fly any aircraft.