BA says 'report senior staff for drug use' after pilot sacked for snorting cocaine off woman's breasts before flight

27 September 2023, 22:19 | Updated: 28 September 2023, 00:47

Beaton has been sacked after admitting taking drugs to a stewardess
Beaton has been sacked after admitting taking drugs to a stewardess. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Will Taylor

British Airways has told staff to report senior colleagues if they have taken drugs after a pilot was sacked for snorting cocaine before attempting to fly a passenger jet back to the UK.

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Mike Beaton was dismissed after bosses were tipped off that he had taken the drug during a night out in South Africa.

The married first officer had boasted to a colleague about how he snorted the substance of a woman's breasts and had sex with a woman he met.

The airline has now told its workers: "Today's coverage is a reminder to everyone that we all have an obligation to immediately report any concerns that we have, even if they concern our close colleagues, be they our peers or those more senior to us."

Beaton took the drug in Johannesburg four weeks ago but the flight he was due to be on was cancelled by the airline at the cost of £100,000 after bosses were tipped off.

The first officer was sacked after failing a drugs test as BA said no passengers were at risk
The first officer was sacked after failing a drugs test as BA said no passengers were at risk. Picture: Alamy

The father-of-one from Devon was flown back from South Africa for a drugs test at Heathrow the next day and he was fired after it came back positive.

He revealed what happened on the night out to a stewardess, a close friend of his.

Beaton said he met a female Welsh tourist and a Spanish woman while he was at a nightclub in the South African city.

"We all walk (stagger) back up to the hotel bar for 'one last one before bed'," he messaged in a chat obtained by The Sun.

"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."

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He said the girls began dancing topless before "one of the local lads" arrived with cocaine before they discussed whose chest they should take the drug on.

"That's the story of how I ended up snorting coke off a girl's t**s in Joburg," he said.

The pilot admitted he had sex with the Welsh woman - despite being married.

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BA insisted passengers were never put at risk.

"Safety is always our top priority. The matter was referred to the CAA and this individual no longer works for us," a spokesperson said.

The Civil Aviation Authority said: "An airline must immediately inform us if a UK pilot has misused drink or drugs boarding, or being on board, an aircraft.

"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 medical would only be reinstated if we were completely satisfied."