It would be horrible to just think that both pilots of your flight sleep during your flight, it will be just like; “how will we land now?!” A couple of days ago it occurred on one of Ethiopian Airlines’ flights; ET343. Let’s dig into the details.
ET343 a usual Ethiopian Airlines flight, from Khartoum to Addis Ababa. The plane, a Boeing 737 registered as ET-EOB, departed Khartoum at 01:26 UTC (03:26 local time) for Addis Ababa as the plane approached the city, the plane overflew the airport at 37,000 feet at 02:51 UTC (05:51 local time).
According to media reports; the Air Traffic Control (ATC) raised an alert when the flight approached the airport but did not get any response from the crew. The plane was in autopilot mode and it kept the plane cruising at 37,000 feet. When the plane overflew the runway where it was supposed to land, the autopilot disconnected. That triggered an alarm, which woke up the pilots. They then maneuvered the aircraft around for landing on the runway 25 minutes later.
However, the plane landed safely. The aviation surveillance system ADS-B confirmed the incident and posted a photo of the aircraft’s flight path, which shows an infinity-like loop near the Addis Ababa airport.
“According to media reports, the pilots were asleep on the flight deck at the time and were awoken by the aural warning associated with the autopilot disconnecting after overflying the airport. The flight subsequently made a left turn and began descending back toward Addis Ababa, landing at 03:16 UTC, 25 minutes after first overflying the airport.”Flightradar24
Earlier this year, a similar incident occurred when two pilots fell asleep on a flight from New York to Rome. The plane overflew at 38,000 feet. Let’s take a look at what the media reported on that incident.
Some believe humans are the backup if the computer fails to do the commands given by the humans. But what if humans do the mistake? Is firing them from the hot seat the only way to deal with this situation or are there more ways to tackle this problem, if you readers have any suggestions please let us know in the comments if is there any better way you suggest to tackle this problem of fatigue of flight crew.