Ethiopian Airlines both pilots fell asleep while flying a flight from Sudan’s Khartoum to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa and missed their landing.
Air Traffic Control
The incident took place on Monday, according to Aviation Herald, which said that the Air Traffic Control (ATC) increased an alert when flight ET343 approached the airport but did not begin the descent.
While the pilots fell asleep, the Boeing 737’s autopilot system kept the plane cruising at 37,000 feet, the outlet further stated. It further told that the aircraft stayed on the ground for about 2.5 hours before departing for its next flight.
The Air Traffic Control (ATC) tried to contact the pilots several times but couldn’t succeed. When the flight overflew the runway where it was supposed to land, the autopilot disconnected. That triggered an alarm, which woke up the pilots, according to Aviation Herald.
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Addis Ababa airport
Fortunately, no one was harmed and the plane landed safely. Data from the aviation surveillance system ADS-B assured that the incident took place and the plane flew over the runway. It has posted an image of the aircraft’s flight path, which shows an infinity-like loop around the Addis Ababa airport.
Aviation analyst Alex Macheras also posted about the event on Twitter, calling it “deeply concerning”. He also blamed pilot fatigue for it.
A similar incident was reported in May when 2 pilots fell asleep on a flight from New York to Rome as the plane traveled 38,000 feet above the ground.
An investigation was carried out by the aviation regulator, which confirmed that both the pilots of ITA Airways were sleeping as their Airbus 330 flew over France.
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