Ethiopian Airlines Incident Raises Awareness around Pilot Fatigue

Two pilots are believed to have fallen asleep and missed their landing during a flight from Sudan to Ethiopia on Monday, according to a report by commercial aviation news site Aviation Herald. The incident took place on board an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 en route from Khartoum to Addis Ababa, the report said, “when the pilots fell asleep” and “the aircraft continued past the top of descent.” Data obtained by the website indicates that the aircraft was cruising at 37,000 feet on autopilot when it failed to descend at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, its scheduled destination, on August 15. Air traffic control were apparently unable to reach the crew despite making several attempts at contact. However, an alarm was triggered when the plane overshot the runway and continued along the route. The aircraft subsequently began to descend, landing safely around 25 minutes later. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data shows the aircraft overflying the runway, before beginning its descent and maneuvering for another approach. The report comes just months after pilots at Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines warned airline executives that pilot exhaustion was on the rise and urged them to treat fatigue and the resulting mistakes as a safety risk.

SOURCE: CNN

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