British Airways pilot fired for taking cocaine before flight in Joburg

A pilot for British Airways has been sacked following reports he allegedly snorted cocaine off a topless woman before a scheduled flight.

The married male pilot, Mike Beaton, is alleged to have boasted to a cabin crew member about taking the Class A drug ahead of a long-haul flight from South Africa to London. The flight was ultimately cancelled when the female crew member raised the alarm.

The pilot is said to have bragged about the encounter in a text message after meeting four other tourists at a nightclub in Johannesburg during his time off between shifts. He allegedly said how he met two local men a female Welsh tourist and a “young Spanish bird” at the club, and later tested positive for the drug.

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According to the Sun, the pilot said: “We all walk (stagger) back up to the hotel bar for ‘one last one before bed’. Welsh and one of these guys is getting on very well, but she’s told him that I’m her boyfriend.

“Couple of drinks in the bar, bit of snogging, and then we’re somehow all on our way to this dude’s flat. Welsh has decided that I should actually be her boyfriend — Spanish has hooked up with one of the two local lads and is having her t**s sucked on their sofa.”

The pilot also divulged details in the text message about stripping off as the two women danced topless, before they started taking cocaine. He reportedly said: “I’ve lost my shirt somewhere and one of the local lads produces a plate with a few lines of coke. So then there’s a debate about whose chest is the best to do a bump off.” Adding: “That’s the story of how I ended up snorting coke off a girl’s t**s in Joburg.” He also allegedly told how he was so tired the following day he was so tired he couldn’t get up until 2pm.

The airline has now confirmed that a male pilot had been sacked following the allegation. A spokesperson for BA told the Mirror “Safety is always our top priority. The matter was referred to the CAA and this individual no longer works for us.”

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has also withdrawn the pilot’s medical certificate, meaning he would no longer be permitted to fly. “An airline must immediately inform us if a UK pilot has misused drink or drugs boarding, or being on board, an aircraft,” a CAA spokesperson told Sky News.

“In these cases we would immediately suspend the pilot’s medical which means they cannot fly. 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,” the spokesperson said. At the end of that process the medical would only be reinstated if we were completely satisfied.”

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