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Ethiopian Airlines: Plane failed to descend as pilots reportedly fell asleep during flight

(CNN) — Two pilots are believed to have fallen asleep and missed their touchdown during a flight from Sudan to Ethiopia on Monday, in accordance to a report by industrial aviation information web site Aviation Herald.

The incident befell on board an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 en route from Khartoum to Addis Ababa, the report mentioned, “when the pilots fell asleep” and “the aircraft continued past the top of descent.”

Data obtained by the web site signifies that the plane was cruising at 37,000 ft on autopilot when it failed to descend at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, its scheduled vacation spot, on August 15.

Air site visitors management had been apparently unable to attain the crew regardless of making a number of makes an attempt at contact. However, an alarm was triggered when the aircraft overshot the runway and continued alongside the route.

The plane subsequently started to descend, touchdown safely round 25 minutes later.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) knowledge exhibits the plane overflying the runway, earlier than starting its descent and maneuvering for an additional method.

“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,” reads an announcement issued by Ethiopian Airlines on Friday.

“The flight later landed safely after communication was restored. The concerned crew have been removed from operation pending further investigation.

“Appropriate corrective motion will likely be taken primarily based on the result of the investigation. Safety has at all times been and can proceed to be our first precedence,” the statement said.

‘Deeply concerning’

Aviation analyst Alex Macheras has since taken to Twitter to express his shock at the “deeply regarding incident,” which he suggests may have been the result of pilot exhaustion.

“Pilot fatigue is nothing new, and continues to pose some of the important threats to air security — internationally,” he tweeted on Thursday.

“Fatigue, each acute and cumulative, has turn into Southwest Airlines’ number-one security menace,” the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, or SWAPA, told airline executives in a letter back in April.

According to the letter, the rising demand for air travel as the industry begins to bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic, and cancellation chaos brought about by severe weather were among the reasons for the increase in pilot exhaustion.

Back in May, Italian newspaper Repubblica reported that an ITA pilot had been fired after “falling asleep” during a flight between New York and Rome.

The co-pilot was said to be taking an “licensed relaxation” on the time, main to the Airbus A330 dropping communication with air site visitors management for ten minutes, in accordance to the report.

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