Pakistan pilot admits being drunk after arrest in cockpit at British airport

LONDON (AFP) - A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilot pleaded guilty on Friday to being drunk just before he was due to fly to Pakistan, court officials and the media said.

Irfan Faiz, 54, was more than four times the legal alcohol limit when he was arrested in the cockpit of a plane at Leeds Bradford airport in northern England, according to media reports of a court hearing.

An official at Leeds Magistrates Court confirmed to AFP that Faiz, a Pakistani national, had pleaded guilty at the hearing and his case was referred to a higher court for sentencing on October 18.

He was arrested shortly after 10pm on Wednesday and charged with "carrying out an activity ancillary to an aviation function while impaired by drink", the police said.

The court heard that Faiz had been unsteady on his feet before the flight and also smelled of alcohol, according to the BBC and local newspaper the Yorkshire Post.

A spokesman for PIA, Pakistan's national carrier, had told AFP on Thursday that if convicted, Faiz would be sacked.