Pilots Fall Asleep In Cockpit Of Commercial Flight

Preliminary findings from an investigation by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee indicate that a commercial passenger plane veered off course after both pilots nodded off while in flight.

The pilots reportedly slept for 28 minutes on January 25 while flying a Batik Air plane from Kendari, a province in Southeast Sulawesi, to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.

On board the airplane were 153 passengers and 4 flight attendants. According to the report, nobody on board was hurt.

The pilots were identified as Indonesian, but their names were omitted from the report. The two pilots, one in command and the other second in command were in their thirties. Both had cleared medical screenings and alcohol tests.

According to the report, the pilot in charge requested permission to rest when the plane reached a cruising altitude of 36,000 feet approximately 30 minutes into the journey.

The pilot in charge dozed off for around an hour after the second-in-command gave his OK. The commanding pilot asked his deputy whether he wanted to sleep when he woke up, but the latter rejected. The in-command pilot returned to his slumber after that.

The chief pilot awoke about 28 minutes after the last transmission and saw that the jet was off course. He roused the second-in-command and soon had the flight back on course.

Per the report, the second-in-command had earlier informed the pilot-in-command that he had not gotten “proper rest” during the day. Just the day before takeoff, he relocated to a new house with his one-month-old twins. He had to wake up several times to help his wife care for the babies, the report claimed of the second-in-command.

  1. Kristi Endah Murni, director-general of civil aviation in Indonesia, stated that the transport ministry will initiate an investigation into this deeply troubling occurrence.

The initial report stated that the pilot-in-command lied to the area control center that the flight had encountered a “radio communication problem” that had been remedied, adding insult to injury after they understood the seriousness of their error.