Sudan: Pilots fall asleep in a moving plane, miss landing

According to media reports, during the flight from Sudan to Ethiopia, two pilots fell asleep and missed the landing. The incident took place on an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 flying from Khartoum to Addis Ababa, according to a report by the Aviation Herald, a commercial aviation news site.

Data obtained by the website indicated that the plane was cruising on autopilot at 37,000 feet when it failed to land at its scheduled destination, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, on August 15. The air traffic control was unable to reach the crew despite several attempts. However, an alarm was triggered when the aircraft overtook the runway. In a letter to airline executives in April, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association told CNN that fatigue poses a safety threat to Southwest Airlines.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data shows the aircraft is flying over the runway before starting the maneuver for its landing and second approach. Aviation analyst Alex Maceras tweeted that it was a serious incident and could be the result of pilot exhaustion.

Aviation analyst Alex Maceras said pilot fatigue is nothing new and one of the most significant threats to air safety internationally. The report comes months after pilots of Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines warned airline executives. It was stated that the pilot’s exhaustion was increasing and he was urged to treat the fatigue and the resulting mistakes as a safety risk.

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