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Friday, August 19, 2022 – Two pilots of a passenger airplane fell asleep mid-flight- while flying but were able to land their plane.
According to Mail Online, Flight ET343 was travelling from Khartoum to Addis Ababa on August 15 when the incident happened at 37,000 ft.
The pilots were meant to begin their descent to Addis Ababa Bole Airport.
Aviation Herald reported that Air Traffic Control attempted to contact the pilots but were unsuccessful. Later, the crew awoke, after the aircraft’s autopilot disconnected and sounded an alarm.
The pilots managed to land the plane safely and it stayed on the runway for around two-and-a-half hours before it left for its next flight.
Data confirms the incident, which shows that the aircraft had overflown the runway and managed to make another approach when the pilots awoke.
Aviation analyst Alex Macheras wrote on Twitter: ‘Deeply concerning incident at Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 #ET343 was still at cruising altitude of 37,000ft by the time it reached destination Addis Ababa.
‘Why hadn’t it started to descend for landing? Both pilots were asleep.
He referred to ‘pilot fatigue’ which he described as ‘nothing new’.