Drink charge pilot from Gosport due to be sentenced

Ian Jennings
Ian Jennings

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A GOSPORT pilot who flew a passenger jet from Spain while three times the alcohol limit is due to be sentenced today.

Ian Jennings, 47, from Gale Moor Avenue, Gosport, was arrested at Norwich Airport after landing a commercial chartered plane with about 10 people on board.

At an earlier hearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court he admitted flying while the alcohol in his breath was over the prescribed limit.

He is due to appear at Norwich Crown Court this afternoon where he will be sentenced for the offence which carries a maximum term of two years in prison.

Speaking at the previous hearing, prosecutor Lesla Small said: ‘The police had received information from a member of the public and attended Norwich Airport.

‘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.’

Officers detected 31 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 militres of breath – the limit for pilots is nine microgrammes while the limit for drivers is 35.

Marcus Crosskell, mitigating for Jennings, said: ‘He is a gentleman of unblemished character with a 20-year-plus career as a pilot.’

Jennings was released on bail on the condition he does not fly any aircraft.

His licence has been suspended by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The plane is believed to have been a Canadair CL601-3A Challenger.