'Drunk' airline pilot removed from cockpit just before take-off

Updated: 


'Drunk' airline pilot taxi-d down the runwayPA


A pilot of a commercial passenger jet who who tried to take off while drunk has been suspended from service.

Australian airline Qantas has confirmed that the female captain was removed from her flight just moments before it was due to leave Sydney airport.

A passenger on board flight QF516 to Brisbane told the Herald Sun that the aircraft taxi-d down to the runway before the pilot announced there was a problem and that they needed to turn back.

The aircraft returned to the gate, and passengers were told they could spend up to AS$30 in the terminal while they waited.

The plane was delayed about an hour, and a new flight crew boarded.

Qantas says the pilot was being withheld from duty while investigations continued into her positive breath test. However, the airline has not revealed the pilot's blood-alcohol level.

The Herald Sun report says that flight attendants had suspected the pilot had been drinking and told airline operations managers.

Earlier this year, a pilot was arrested in similar circumstances at Bristol Airport.

The pilot, who was due to fly an Aer Arran flight to Ireland, failed a breath test ten minutes before he was due to take off.

Revealed! The worst airlines in the world

Revealed! The worst airlines in the world