plane fails to descend as pilots reportedly fell asleep during flight
Ethiopia – The two pilots are believed to have fallen asleep and missed their landing on a flight from Sudan to Ethiopia on Monday.
The incident occurred aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 en route from Khartoum to Addis Ababa.
Data obtained by the Aviation Herald website indicates the plane was flying at 37,000 feet on autopilot when it failed to land at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on August 15, its scheduled destination.
Air traffic control was unable to contact the crew despite several attempts to make contact. When the plane crossed the runway and continued on its route, an alarm went off. The aircraft subsequently began to descend and landed safely about 25 minutes later.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS-B) data shows the aircraft overflying the runway before beginning to descend and maneuvering for another approach.
Ethiopian Airlines released a statement on Friday saying they received a message indicating that Ethiopian flight number ET343 en route from Khartoum to Addis Ababa temporarily lost contact with Addis Ababa air traffic control on August 15, 2022.
“The flight later landed safely after communication was restored. The concerned crew have been removed from operation pending further investigation. Appropriate corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation. Safety has always been and will continue to be our first priority, “, the statement says.
Aviation analyst Alex Maheras released a statement on Twitter in connection with the incident, suggesting that the incident could be the result of pilot exhaustion.
“Pilot fatigue is nothing new, and continues to pose one of the most significant threats to air safety — internationally,” he tweeted on Thursday.
A few months ago, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines pilots warned airline executives that pilot fatigue was on the rise and urged them to treat fatigue as a safety risk.
Growing demand for air travel has surged since the Covid-19 pandemic, and further cancellation chaos caused by severe weather has been among the reasons for increased pilot fatigue.