Two pilots fall asleep mid-flight with more than 150 on board

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Following the disclosure in an incident report that they both dozed off on a flight in January carrying over 150 passengers, two pilots employed by an Indonesian airline have come under fire. After about 30 minutes of being inaccessible, the pilots awoke to discover that the aircraft had deviated from its intended path, according to the report.

The incident happened on January 25, during a round-trip flight operated by Batik Air Indonesia between Halu Oleo Airport in Kendari and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. According to a report by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, the second-in-command pilot, a 28-year-old with about 1,600 hours of flying experience, informed the pilot in command that he had not had enough sleep during the preparation for the first leg of the flight from Jakarta to Kendari. During that portion of the journey, the secondary was permitted to take a brief break for approximately thirty minutes by the commanding pilot, a thirty-two-year-old with approximately 6,300 flight hours.

The commanding pilot requested the secondary, who had dozed off on the first leg, to have a turn to rest on the 153 passenger and four flight attendant flight back to Jakarta. The secondary was allowed to do so. When the other pilot awoke a short while later, the pilot asked if they wanted to take a nap, but they declined.

The second pilot “inadvertently fell asleep” about 20 minutes later, according to the incident report, while they were approximately 36,000 feet in the air.

The pilots who were napping were not amenable to contact attempts by air traffic controllers or other pilots. Upon waking up, the commanding pilot realized that the aircraft was not in the correct flight path, which occurred 28 minutes after the last transmission that was recorded. “.”.

As per the report, “the SIC [second in command] was sleeping when the PIC [pilot in command] noticed it and woke him up.”. “The PIC answered the call from Jakarta ACC and another pilot around the same time. The PIC informed the Jakarta ACC that BTK6723 was having trouble with radio communication, but that the issue has now been fixed. The aircraft then carried on and made an uneventful landing in Jakarta. “.”.

The flight path of flight BTK763 and the timeframe of the pilots’ mid-air sleep episodes are depicted in this picture. Committee for National Transportation Safety in Indonesia.

According to investigators, there were no injuries and the aircraft remained undamaged.

Prior to the incident, the unidentified primary pilot on the flights had 35 hours of rest, which included exercising, seeing family, and getting some rest. The unidentified secondary pilot on the flights, however, had 53 hours of rest.

A month-old pair of twins who had moved two days prior to takeoff make up the secondary pilot’s family, the report says. In order to assist with his children’s care the day before the flight, he “had to wake up several times,” and he “felt his sleep quality had degraded” as a result, he told investigators.

Both pilots have been suspended, Batik Air announced on Saturday, AFP reports.

The Safety Board has suggested actions to keep similar mishaps from occurring in the future. Expanding Batik Air Indonesia’s pilot personal checklist is one of those suggestions; it helps pilots assess their own health before takeoff by looking for signs of disease, prescription drug interactions, stress, alcohol, weariness, and emotional instability.

According to the incident report, “pilots might not have been able to appropriately assess their physical and mental condition due to the lack of detailed guidance and procedure.”. As a result, KNKT advises Batik Air Indonesia to create comprehensive policies and guidelines to guarantee that the IM SAFE personal checklist can be appropriately utilized to evaluate pilots’ physical and mental health. ****.

Every 30 minutes, the plane’s cockpit is also meant to be inspected; however, the inquiry discovered that there was a “lack of detailed procedures,” which could have prevented the policy from being correctly implemented. “.”.

According to AFP, the airline stated that it “operates with adequate rest policy” and that it is “committed to implement all safety recommendations.”. ****.

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