Sleep-deprived pilot dozes off mid-flight, misses airport

 

Sleep-deprived pilot dozes off mid-flight, misses airport

Sydney - The pilot had reportedly been awake for about 24 hours before taking off.

By Web Report

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Published: Wed 26 Jun 2019, 10:06 AM

Last updated: Wed 26 Jun 2019, 8:19 PM

A sleep-deprived pilot of a twin-propeller plane flying from Tasmania to Bass Strait fell asleep at the controls and overflew his destination by 78km.
The pilot had reportedly been awake for about 24 hours before taking off. According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report, the pilot had been awake after being unable to sleep prior to taking off and his fatigue was at a level known to affect his performance. The report added that even if the pilot had been able to sleep before the flight, he would have still been fatigued.
The incident happened on November 8 last year and the pilot was the only person aboard the twin-propeller plane flying from Devonport city in Tasmania to King Island in Bass Strait. The report said that after leaving Devonport, the Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftain aircraft operated by Vortex Air, reached an altitude of 6,000 feet while the pilot dozed off.
Although air traffic control and other pilots tried to reach the pilot's plane they were unsuccessful. When he woke up, he discovered his autopilot had taken the aircraft 78km north of his intended destination, News.com.au quoted the report. The pilot landed the plane at King Island without injury or aircraft damage. "This investigation highlights the need for pilots to assess their level of fatigue before and during their flight," ATSB added.


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