New Delhi: An Air India senior pilot was grounded on Sunday after he failed a breath analyser test.

Capt Arvind Kathpalia tested positive in a pre-flight breath analyser (BA) test and was deemed ‘not fit to fly’. He was scheduled to operate Delhi-London flight AI-111 that was to depart from Delhi at 2:45 pm.

This is the second time Kathpalia has been found with alcohol in his blood prior to a flight. According to the Indian Commercial Pilots Association, in January 2017, he was accused of skipping the mandatory BA test and then later tampering with evidence.

According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, 132 pilots were found drunk during the last three years during the pre-flight medical examinations. 45 such incidents have been recorded in 2017 alone. 

Another Air India flight was forced to turn back less than half an hour after departure because one of its pilots bunked the mandatory medical tests, which includes the breatheanalyser test.

The ground staff realised that the pilot of AI 332, from New Delhi to Bangkok had boarded the plane without being tested, following which Air Traffic Control asked the flight, which has 200 passengers, to turn back.