Plane Misses Destination as Pilots Sleep

Ethiopian Airlines jet landed safely later
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2022 2:13 PM CDT
Plane Misses Destination as Pilots Sleep
   (Getty/Arkadiusz Wargula)

Airline pilots have warned about exhaustion among flight crews increasingly becoming a problem. A missed landing this week might be an example. Two pilots on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Khartoum to Addis Ababa apparently fell asleep at the switch and didn't wake up until their Boeing 737-800 had flown past the airport where they were supposed to land, CNN reports. An alarm sounded when the airliner overflew its destination, still at 37,000 feet, waking the pilots up. The plane then maneuvered back to the runway and landed safely. Flight data confirmed the plane's movements, per the Aviation Herald.

Air traffic control had not been able to raise the crew. "Pilot fatigue is nothing new, and continues to pose one of the most significant threats to air safety—internationally," an analyst tweeted Thursday. Southwest Airlines pilots who protested in June in Dallas said their biggest concerns were fatigue and stress. Two ITA Airways pilots slept through much of their New York-Rome trip in April, per the Irish Sun. One of them slept through France while on his break, but the other pilot also dozed off. (In 2018, a charter pilot bound for Tasmania was 30 miles past his destination before he woke up.)

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