2 pilots fell asleep while a British-operated airbus flight was on autopilot according to a shocking new report. On Sept. 26, CBS News reported that the two pilots "took turns napping" after getting about 5 hours of sleep over two nights. However, both of them fell asleep at the same time during a flight last month. It is unknown how long the two pilots dozed off. The specific airline or flight were not released in the initial report.
This case is being investigated by the CAA and the airline. Working conditions for pilots are being blamed for this in-flight snooze, which is very frightening for many passengers.
The 2 pilots fell asleep while in the cockpit, which is not uncommon. Apparently, pilots who fly many flights a day or who are on flights that last many hours have been known to sleep because of exhaustion. While this on its own is scary (how can a pilot wake up from a dead sleep and act quickly during an emergency?), learning that both pilots conked out during a flight is even more alarming -- and if it happened once, perhaps it has happened multiple times on multiple flights/airlines etc..
"Safety is the CAA's number one priority. We take fatigue related incidents extremely seriously and will address detailed questions to individual airlines when problems emerge. The UK has an excellent safety record, but we are constantly striving to improve air safety and strongly encourage anyone in the aviation industry, especially pilots, to use our completely confidential reporting procedure to tell us of any concerns they may have," said the CAA in a statement.
Does the 2 pilots fell asleep story surprise you? Does it make you more anxious to fly? It's important to note that the flight landed safely and passengers had no idea that their pilots were snoozing up front.
© Effie Orfanides 2013