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Ethiopian Airlines Flight Misses Landing As Both Pilots Fall Asleep At 37,000 Feet

Indiatimes logo Indiatimes 19-08-2022 Isha Sharma
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Fear of turbulence on flights is a real struggle for many. The primary reason many are scared of flying is for multiple reasons. Not just turbulence, but the whole sense of not having any control over the mode of travel makes it a scary experience for some flyers. 

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But worse fears came true for many on an Ethiopian Airlines flight on August 15th when both the pilots fell asleep. 

While en route from Khartoum, Sudan, to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, two Ethiopian Airlines pilots fell asleep and missed their landing.

A report from Aviation Herald states that the incident happened on Monday. According to the investigation, when flight ET343 approached the airport but did not begin its descent, Air Traffic Control (ATC) raised an alert.

The Boeing 737's autopilot system maintained the aircraft cruising at 37,000 feet while the pilots slept.

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It said the plane stayed on the ground for around 2.5 hours before taking off on its next flight. The ATC made numerous attempts to get in touch with the pilots but failed. 

The autopilot disconnected as soon as the aircraft crossed the landing strip. That set off an alert, which, according to Aviation Herald, woke up the pilots.

After that, 25 minutes later, they maneuvered the plane in preparation for a runway landing. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and the aircraft could descend without mishap.

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ADS-B data from the aviation surveillance system showed evidence that the incident occurred and the plane missed the runway. It has released a picture of the plane's flight path, which shows an endless circle close to the airport in Addis Abeba. 

Alex Macheras, an aviation analyst, also tweeted about the incident and termed it "very alarming." He also attributed this to pilot fatigue.

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An eerily similar event occurred when two pilots on a trip from New York to Rome reported falling asleep while flying at 38,000 feet in May. 

The aviation regulator conducted an inquiry, showing evidence that both ITA Airways' pilots slept while their Airbus 330 flew over France.

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