A British Airways pilot who flies the double-deck Airbus A380 superjumbo has been sacked by the airline after allegedly snorting lines of cocaine off a woman’s breasts during a layover in the South African city of Johannesburg.
The First Officer was due to fly British Airways flight BA56 to London Heathrow on August 27 but after the airline was alerted to the allegations the flight had to be scrapped at the last minute.
According to The Sun, married pilot Mike Beaton boasted to a member of cabin crew who he considered to be a friend of taking part in a “drug and drink orgy” during the layover in South Africa.
Beaton is said to have shared intimate details of the wild night out in a series of text messages to his friend. The crew member was, however, so appalled by what she was told that she immediately decided to alert British Airways, fearing Beaton wouldn’t be fit to fly.
After cancelling the flight at an estimated cost of £100,000, Beaton had to be flown home as a passenger the following day where he was required to complete a drug test.
The Sun reports that Beaton tested positive, leading to his termination.
In the leaked text messages, Beaton describes how he met up with a couple of local men, along with two female holidaymakers in a club in Johannesburg. They headed back to the hotel bar before one last drink but ended up going from there to someone’s apartment where the drugs arrived.
“I’ve lost my shirt somewhere and one of the local lads produces a plate with a few lines of coke,” one of the messages read. “So then there’s a debate about whose chest is the best to do a bump off.”
“That’s the story of how I ended up snorting coke off a girl’s t**s in Joburg.”
In a statement, British Airways said the matter had been referred to the Civil Aviation Authority and that the pilot no longer works for the airline. “Safety is always our top priority,” a spokesperson for the airline said.
The CAA told The Sun that a pilot suspected of drug abuse would have their medical certificate immediately withdrawn and would have to go through a ‘comprehensive rehabilitation programme’ to have it reinstated.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.