Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Commercial Pilots Fall Asleep Mid-Flight!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Commercial Pilots Fall Asleep Mid-Flight!

I can't figure out whether this makes me sympathetic to pilots unions -- given that the incident was due to a taxing schedule of four 8-hour red eye flights in a row, or whether it makes me pissed off at the pilots unions -- your job is to not fall asleep in a metal can going 600+ mph at 30,000+ feet, people!


DENVER - Two commercial pilots allegedly fell asleep on a flight between Baltimore and Denver, with one pilot waking up to "frantic" calls from air traffic controllers warning them they were approaching the airport at twice the speed allowed.

"Last 45 mins of flt (flight) I fell asleep and so did the FO (first officer)," according to the narrative in the report.

The captain noted they were approaching a point where they were to begin their descent into Denver International Airport about 60 miles southeast of there at 35,000 feet, much higher than required, and at Mach .82, or 608 mph, instead of a required slower speed.

"I woke up, why I don't know, and heard frantic calls from ATC ... I answered ATC and abided by all instructions to get down. Woke FO (first officer) up."

He spiraled the jet down to a lower altitude as ordered, then landed "with no further incidents."

The pilot had been switched to three nights in a row of flying the overnight, eight-hour round trip.