Asleep in the Cockpit? Flight Dives as Pilot Dozes Off

A plane full of sleeping passengers, a tranquil flight. A cockpit full of sleeping pilots, a potential disaster. Thanks to Mark from Yahoo! for sharing this story coming out of India.

Air regulators in India are investigating a scary incident on August 8 when a Jet Airways Boeing 777-300 dropped more than 5,000 feet while its pilot was dozing off. The incident occurred on a flight from Mumbai to Brussels. The Times of India reports the pilot was taking what’s called a “controlled rest” as called for by international standards for long flights. The co-pilot was supposed to handle flying responsibilities while the pilot was asleep. But she reportedly says she was working on her flight tablet and didn’t notice when the plane descended from its assigned level of 34,000 feet as they were flying over Turkey. Fortunately Turkish air traffic controllers did notice and alerted the pilots to climb back toward their assigned altitude. Now both pilots are suspended pending an investigation. Regulators reportedly are looking into whether the co-pilot had dozed off, too.

Jet Airways Asleep

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  1. There is something missing / phony in this story. If a flight is on autopilot, there is surely no reason for it to descend all by itself.

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