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Pilot, co-pilot fall asleep, putting passengers at risk

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Pilot, co-pilot fall asleep, putting passengers at risk

A Batik Air flight in Indonesia veered off its intended course after both the pilot and co-pilot dozed off for nearly half an hour, raising concerns about passenger safety.

The alarming incident, which occurred in January, unfolded as the two crew members in the cockpit nodded off, causing the aircraft to deviate from its planned route. T

his lapse in vigilance could have resulted in a catastrophic outcome for the 153 passengers onboard.

Maintaining the correct flight path is crucial for pilots as it ensures the safety of air traffic by preventing potential collisions with other aircraft.

The flight was en route from South East Sulawesi to Jakarta, the capital city.

According to reports, one of the pilots had insufficient rest the night before the flight, possibly contributing to the lapse in alertness during the journey.

Approximately thirty minutes after takeoff, the captain requested permission from the co-pilot to take a short rest, which was granted.

However, the co-pilot also succumbed to sleep, leaving the aircraft without an awake pilot. Shortly after the co-pilot’s last recorded communication, air traffic control in Jakarta attempted to establish contact with the plane but received no response.

It wasn’t until twenty-eight minutes later that the pilot woke up, realising the critical situation.

He promptly alerted his sleeping colleague, responded to communications from air traffic control, and corrected the aircraft’s course.

Although the incident led to navigation errors, the Airbus A320 safely completed its two-hour-and-thirty-five-minute journey, with all passengers and crew members unharmed. I

n response to the incident, Indonesia’s transport ministry issued a stern rebuke to Batik Air, emphasizing the importance of ensuring adequate rest for flight crews.

The ministry announced plans to investigate the incident and review night flight operations across the country to enhance fatigue risk management.

Batik Air released a statement affirming its commitment to safety and stating that the pilots involved had been temporarily suspended pending further investigation.

The aircraft landed safely following the incident, but the identities of the pilots, both Indonesian nationals aged 32 and 28, were not disclosed.

Indonesia’s transport ministry has announced an inquiry into the airline to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

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