A British Airways pilot was fired after confessing to a colleague that he used cocaine at a party in South Africa, moments before piloting a flight to London.. The person was identified as Mike Beaton, who participated in a night of excess that included alcohol, drugs and women, as revealed by the British newspaper The Sun.
Beaton shared details of his behavior in text messages with a flight attendant, which ultimately led to his dismissal. The flight was cancelled, resulting in estimated losses of around $120,000 for the airline. After arriving in London, Beaton underwent a drug test that came back positive..
Beaton was about to fly from South Africa to London when the flight attendant, concerned about what had happened and the state of the pilot, raised the alarm.
Beaton, who is married and the father of one son, had a day off in Johannesburg which he used to have a night of debauchery. However, the next day he had a 12-hour flight waiting for him. The event occurred four weeks ago in the South African capital.
The pilot’s text messages
As revealed by the British media, Beaton bragged about what happened and told a flight attendant through text messages. “I have been a very naughty boy,” he wrote in one. The pilot met two South Africans, a woman from Wales and a young Spaniard in a nightclub in Johannesburg. After many drinks, the fun continued, the after partyin the apartment of one of the South Africans.
In the department the debauchery was total: there was cocaine in droves and women in topless that they were dancing. The pilot wrote to his co-worker: “I lost my shirt somewhere and one of the local guys pulled out a plate with some lines of coke on it. Then there was a debate about which breasts are best for doing a bump”.
And he added triumphantly: “That’s the story of how I ended up snorting coke off a girl’s tits in Johannesburg.”
The pilot later confessed how the night of excesses had taken its toll on him. “I spent the night with the Welsh girl, but I screwed up with her (I guess the coke played a role) and then I was so screwed that I couldn’t even lift my head until after 2.”
Beaton worked for British Airways, which fired him after the scandal. A company source told The Sun who were shocked by the behavior of their former employee.
“Of all the bad behavior that occurs en route between flights, this incident is hard to believe. A first officer receives rigorous training and knows the law inside out. Its mission is to protect the safety of passengers“added the source to the British newspaper.
“This behavior was the opposite of what is expected of British Airways pilots. The airline is in shock. The idea of sending details of your drinking and drug session to a flight attendant between flights is extraordinarily silly,” he continued.
He concluded: “The furious managers followed protocol and the pilot was subjected to a drugs test upon his return to the UK. The alcohol would no longer have been found in his system, but the Class A drug would have been found. He will never fly again.”