A captain of an RAF Voyager on Monday was still held in a military detention centre after his arrest on suspicion of drink-flying moments before his jet was due to take off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
“Yes, he is still in detention…investigations are ongoing, all in line with military procedures,” a British bases spokesperson told in-cyprus.com
Military police last week stopped the refuelling tanker as it was taxiing down the runway, according to a report by the Mail on Sunday.
The pilot and one crew member were arrested after allegedly failing a breathalyser test.
An insider said it came after station commanders became aware of a ‘riotous’ party at the base the night before in which fire extinguishers were set off as a prank.
The source said: ‘An officer who got rudely woken up by the party decided to get his revenge on the Voyager crew by tipping off top brass at the air base.
‘The Voyager got as far as the runway “hold short” location before military police ordered it to stop.
They had really infuriated people the night before with their behaviour so somebody was always going to get their own back.
‘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.’
Voyagers – known as the petrol stations of the skies – support sorties by RAF Lightning and Typhoon strike aircraft used for precision bombing of Islamic State strongholds in Iraq.
The RAF confirmed last week’s incident but declined to answer questions about the nature of the Voyager’s mission.