A refueling tanker was ordered to stop as it was preparing to take off at RAF Akrotiri, after station commanders were told about a “riotous” party involving crew the night before.
According to media reports, the pilot of a Voyager refueling tanker was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in the cockpit, after Akrotiri commanders got wind of allegations of inappropriate behavior the night before, including public drunkenness and fire extinguisher pranks.
Pilot instructed to hold short of runway
Reports said the tanker was taxiing on the runway when it was instructed to “hold short” behind the line, just metres from the runway. The aircraft was then ordered to abort takeoff and the pilot was detained after allegedly failing to pass a Breathalyzer test.
According to media sources, an officer at the base was unable to sleep the night before after he was abruptly woken up by noise, with reports saying the incident involved drunken behavior and the use of fire extinguishers.
It was understood that the Voyager pilot and crew may have been involved in the late night incident, with reports saying the captain of the plane and another crew member were taken to a military detention centre.
“When people found out the drunken crew were due to fly the next day they had to brief the chain of command because at that stage there was a serious safety issue,” a source was quoted as saying in British media.