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Ethiopian Airlines pilots fall asleep mid-flight; miss landing at Addis Ababa airport

Ethiopian Airlines pilots fall asleep mid-flight; miss landing at Addis Ababa airport

The pilots were meant to begin the flight’s descent to Addis Ababa’s Bole Airport.

It also mentioned the aircraft remained on the ground for about 2.5 hours before departing for its next flight.  It also mentioned the aircraft remained on the ground for about 2.5 hours before departing for its next flight. 

Ethiopian Airlines pilots fell asleep while enroute from Khartoum in Sudan to Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and missed the landing. The pilots were meant to begin the flight’s descent to Addis Ababa’s Bole Airport. The radar data, however, indicates that they overshot their destination, as per an Aviation Herald report.

The report further noted that the Air Traffic Control (ATC) alerted the crew flight ET343 approached the airport but did not start the landing. It also mentioned the aircraft remained on the ground for about 2.5 hours before departing for its next flight. 

Later, the ATC tried contacting the pilots many times but failed. When the plane overflew the runway where it was supposed to land, the autopilot disconnected and the disconnect wailer woke up the crew. They then maneouvered the aircraft for about 25 minutes for a safe landing on runway 25L. 

Aviation expert Alex Macheras tweeted on the incident and wrote, “Deeply concerning incident at Africa’s largest airline – Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 ET343 was still at cruising altitude of 37,000 ft by the time it reached destination Addis Ababa. Why hadn’t it started to descend for landing? Both pilots were asleep.”

He also went on to talk about pilot fatigue and wrote, “Pilot fatigue is nothing new, and continues to pose one of the most significant threats to air safety- internationally. Just last week, pilots publicly criticised UK leisure airline Jet2 for “refusing to recognise concerns about pilot fatigue.” ”