Both pilots of Boeing 737 reportedly 'fall asleep' in cockpit

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By stefan armitage

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Two pilots are facing an investigation after both reportedly "fell asleep" while in the cockpit of a flying Boeing 737-800.

The alleged incident occurred on Monday (August 15), per CNN, on board an Ethiopian Airlines that was traveling from Khartoum to Addis Ababa.

According to a report from the commercial aviation news site Aviation Herald, both pilots are believed to have fallen asleep in the cockpit as the plane was due to start its descent to the runway at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. However, rather than descending, flight ET343 continued to cruise at 37,000 feet on autopilot.

After the bizarre situation was noticed by air traffic controllers, they attempted to contact the crew onboard the plane.

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An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (file photo). Credit: Trevisan Aviation Images / Alamy

However, once the plane overshot the airport, an alarm was triggered inside the cockpit.

Shortly after, the plane started its descent and landed safely at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport approximately 25 minutes later.

Data from the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data shows the aircraft overflying the runway, before maneuvering for another approach and subsequently starting its descent.

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The flight path of flight ET343, showing the maneuver the plane took in order to reach the airport. Credit: flightaware.com (Screenshot)

Per CNN, officials from Ethiopian Airlines issued a statement on Friday in response to the bizarre situation.

"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 reads. "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," the statement adds. "Safety has always been and will continue to be our first priority."

In response to the incident, Aviation analyst Alex Macheras took to Twitter to label the situation as "deeply concerning".

"Pilot fatigue is nothing new, and continues to pose one of the most significant threats to air safety - internationally," Macheras wrote.

Featured image credit: Mike Fuchslocher / Alamy

Both pilots of Boeing 737 reportedly 'fall asleep' in cockpit

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Two pilots are facing an investigation after both reportedly "fell asleep" while in the cockpit of a flying Boeing 737-800.

The alleged incident occurred on Monday (August 15), per CNN, on board an Ethiopian Airlines that was traveling from Khartoum to Addis Ababa.

According to a report from the commercial aviation news site Aviation Herald, both pilots are believed to have fallen asleep in the cockpit as the plane was due to start its descent to the runway at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. However, rather than descending, flight ET343 continued to cruise at 37,000 feet on autopilot.

After the bizarre situation was noticed by air traffic controllers, they attempted to contact the crew onboard the plane.

size-large wp-image-1263165962
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (file photo). Credit: Trevisan Aviation Images / Alamy

However, once the plane overshot the airport, an alarm was triggered inside the cockpit.

Shortly after, the plane started its descent and landed safely at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport approximately 25 minutes later.

Data from the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data shows the aircraft overflying the runway, before maneuvering for another approach and subsequently starting its descent.

size-large wp-image-1263165961
The flight path of flight ET343, showing the maneuver the plane took in order to reach the airport. Credit: flightaware.com (Screenshot)

Per CNN, officials from Ethiopian Airlines issued a statement on Friday in response to the bizarre situation.

"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 reads. "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," the statement adds. "Safety has always been and will continue to be our first priority."

In response to the incident, Aviation analyst Alex Macheras took to Twitter to label the situation as "deeply concerning".

"Pilot fatigue is nothing new, and continues to pose one of the most significant threats to air safety - internationally," Macheras wrote.

Featured image credit: Mike Fuchslocher / Alamy