Pilots allegedly doze off, causing an aeroplane to crash, According to a report published by the commercial aviation news website Aviation Herald on Monday, two pilots on a trip from Sudan to Ethiopia are alleged to have fallen asleep and missed their opportunity to land the aircraft.
According to the report, the incident took place on board an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 as it was traveling from Khartoum to Addis Ababa. It was “when the pilots fell asleep,” and “the aircraft went past the top of descent,” the report stated.
According to information gathered by the website, the aeroplane was flying at an altitude of 37,000 feet while it was using the autopilot on August 15, the day it missed its landing at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, which was its intended destination.
Despite making multiple attempts to make contact with the crew, it appears that air traffic control was unable to reach them. The alarm was set off, however, when the plane missed the runway entirely and proceeded on its path.
After that, the aeroplane started its descent, and approximately 25 minutes later, it landed without incident.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data reveals that the airplane flew high over the runway before resuming its descent and doing further maneuvers in preparation for another approach.
Ethiopian Airlines released a statement on Friday that reads, “We have received a report which indicates Ethiopian flight number ET343 en route from Khartoum to Addis Ababa temporarily lost communication with Addis Ababa Air Traffic Control on 15 August 2022.” The statement refers to an incident that occurred on August 15.
After some time had passed and contact had been fixed, the flight eventually landed without incident. The crew members in question have been taken out of service awaiting the outcome of the ongoing investigation. In light of the findings of the investigation, appropriate corrective action will be implemented at the appropriate time. According to what was stated in the statement, “safety has always been and will continue to be our first priority.”
“Extremely cause for concern”
Since then, aviation specialist Alex Macheras has moved to Twitter to express his dismay at the “very worrying occurrence,” which he says may have been the consequence of pilot exhaustion. Macheras also suggests that fatigue may have been a contributing factor.
On Thursday, he tweeted, “Pilot weariness is nothing new, and continues to pose one of the most major risks to air safety — internationally.” “Pilot fatigue is not new, and continues to pose one of the most important challenges to air safety,”
This revelation comes just a few short months after pilots at Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines alerted executives at airline companies that pilot fatigue was on the rise and advised them to handle fatigue and the mistakes that occur from it as a safety risk.
In a letter that was sent to the executives of Southwest Airlines back in April, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, also known as SWAPA, stated that “fatigue, both acute and cumulative, has become Southwest Airlines’ number-one safety hazard.”
According to the letter, one of the reasons for the rise in pilot tiredness is the increased demand for air travel as the industry continues to bounce back from the Covid-19 outbreak. Another reason is the cancellation confusion brought about by extreme weather.
An article that was published in the Italian newspaper Repubblica in the month of May stated that an ITA pilot was terminated after “falling asleep” during a trip between New York and Rome.
According to the report, the Airbus A330’s co-pilot was alleged to have been having a “approved break” at the time, which caused the aircraft to lose touch with air traffic control for a period of ten minutes.