The last thing most people want on a flight is their pilot taking a nap. During a flight from Sudan to Ethiopia, two pilots were believed to have fallen asleep and missed their landing.
The incident occurred on an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 that was heading from Khartoum to Addis Ababa. A report about the incident said: “When the pilots fell asleep, the aircraft continued past the top of descent.”
The aircraft had been cruising at a cool 37,000 feet on autopilot when it failed to descend into Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, the plane’s scheduled landing zone. Air traffic control was unable to reach the crew despite making multiple attempts to contact them. Thankfully, an alarm was triggered after the plane missed its landing.
“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…
“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,” a statement said.
Around 25 minutes later, the airplane finally began to descend and did land safely. By then, the pilots were certainly awake.