Passenger plane pilots ‘fall asleep at 37,000 feet’ and fly past airport – YouTube

Two pilots on an Ethiopian Airlines flight reportedly fell asleep and missed their landing, according to the commercial aviation news site Aviation Herald.

The Boeing 737-80 was en route to Ethiopia from Sudan on Monday when the pilots dozed off, causing the aircraft to fly past the runway at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

Air traffic control tried to contact the crew multiple times but could not reach anyone, Aviation Herald reported. Eventually, an alarm sounded in the plane waking the sleeping pilots, according to the news site.

The pilots safely landed the plane about 25 minutes later.

Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline, did not confirm that the pilots fell asleep but said it received a report about a flight temporarily losing communication with air traffic control.

“The flight later landed safely after communication was restored,” the airline said in a statement.

The involved crew was “removed from operation” pending an investigation, the statement continued.

Incident: Ethiopian B738 at Addis Ababa on Aug 15th 2022, pilots asleep

By Simon Hradecky, created Thursday, Aug 18th 2022 20:09Z, last updated Saturday, Aug 20th 2022 19:10Z

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration ET-AOB performing flight ET-343 from Khartoum (Sudan) to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), was enroute at FL370 when the pilots fell asleep. The aircraft continued past the top of descent maintaining FL370 and continued along the FMC route set up for an approach to runway 25L without descending however. ATC tried to contact the crew numerous times without success. After overflying runway 25L at FL370 the autopilot disconnected, the disconnect wailer woke the crew up who then maneouvered the aircraft for a safe landing on runway 25L about 25 minutes after overflying the runway at FL370.

The aircraft remained on the ground for about 2.5 hours before departing for its next flight.

ADS-B data confirm the information, The Aviation Herald received, showing the aircraft maintained FL370 until after overflying the runway before the aircraft began to descend and maneouver for another approach.

On Aug 20th 2022 the airline confirmed the incident advising that both pilots have been suspended pending further investigation. Appropriate action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation.


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