British Airways pilot sacked and banned from cockpit after cocaine binge before flight

The man was caught out after bragging about his night of partying in Johannesburg

Benjamin Parker
Wednesday 27 September 2023 14:18 BST
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<p>The shocking incident caused the flight to be cancelled </p>

The shocking incident caused the flight to be cancelled

A British Airways pilot has lost his job after he allegedly snorted cocaine off a topless woman before he was due to fly a plane full of passengers back to London.

A member of cabin crew raised the alarm about Mike Beaton’s behaviour on his night off in Johannesburg after he text her to “boast” about what he’d been up to, reports The Sun.

The flight attendant claims the father-of-one from Devon sent her texts bragging about his “naughty” antics with two local men, a Spanish woman and a Welsh tourist.

He said the group went to a flat belonging to one of the men, where class A drugs were shared.

“I’ve lost my shirt somewhere and one of the local lads produces a plate with a few lines of coke,” one of the texts read. They go on to state that there was “a debate about whose chest is the best to do a bump off”.

British Airways told The Independent: “Safety is always our top priority. The matter was referred to the CAA and this individual no longer works for us.”

A spokesperson confirmed there was no risk to passengers and the pilot did not fly the plane. Reports suggest that after his behaviour was shared, Mr Beaton failed a drugs test and was flown home the following day.

The Sun reports that the incident led to the 12-hour flight from South Africa to the UK being cancelled, costing BA around £100,000.

The pilot has had his medical certificate withdrawn by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which means he is now unable to fly.

“An airline must immediately inform us if a UK pilot has misused drink or drugs boarding, or being on board, an aircraft. In these cases we would immediately suspend the pilot’s medical which means they cannot fly,” a CAA spokesperson said.

“In most cases the pilot would have an assessment with an expert medical team and if they wished to return to flying then a comprehensive rehabilitation programme would be put in place. At the end of that process the medical would only be reinstated if we were completely satisfied.”

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