View Full Version : Airline Pilot Dozes With Inspector Aboard

30th Apr 2004, 06:07
TOKYO (AP) - A Japanese airline pilot nodded off twice while at the controls of a domestic flight last month - in front of a transport official who happened to be on board for a routine inspection.

The 50-year-old All Nippon Airlines pilot has been grounded pending an internal probe ordered by industry regulators, company spokesman Kunio Shibata said Friday.

Shibata said the 80 passengers on the flight from Tokyo to the southwestern city of Ube were never in danger because the Boeing 767-300 was flying on autopilot at the time of the March 23 incident.

He called it "extremely regrettable" and said Japan's second-largest airline was redoubling efforts to ensure safety.

According to the airline, the pilot started to doze off after the aircraft had reached its cruising altitude and the autopilot had been engaged. He roused after an official from the Transport Ministry on board for a routine inspection noticed and tapped the co-pilot on the shoulder.

The airline is conducting an investigation into the incident ordered by the ministry to determine whether the pilot was negligent or is suffering from a sleeping disorder, Shibata said.

30th Apr 2004, 06:26
I start yawning every time I see my uniform!

30th Apr 2004, 07:05
Poor ******:hmm:

Where else are these guys meant to get their shut eye?:zzz:

After all they are doing 60-65 hours a month and only making USD 300,000 per annum. Imagine how tired they would be doing 90+ hours per month on a third the salary!

The F/O must have thought he was in pig heaven...having a chance to actually do something....until the tap on the shoulder of course.

An F/O should never wake a sleeping LHS unless of course he/she is busting for a leak.

Having said that the JCAB rissole who was on the flight deck wouldn't have missed the chance to stick in the knife as part of his quest for relevance. They are indeed a faceless, flavorless and talentless bunch of wannabes.

Anyone would tell you that the old Jacobsen flare calculus is easier to compute after a quick 20 minute shut eye!

Anyone who can claim to have never nodded off peering into the evening sun or the morning sunrise has never flown.

Total beatup by a government agency looking for that relevance that justifies the costs they add to the average ticket.

stable approach
30th Apr 2004, 07:49
Sorry Traffic,
Wouldn't matter how much sleep I got, I still wouldn't be able to handle the maths required to work out the Jacobson flare.
Hope the F/O remembered to hit the stopwatch when the Capt nodded off - to log the command time.

30th Apr 2004, 11:59
RHS... "V1"

LHS... "zzzzzzzzzzzzz"

30th Apr 2004, 12:25
I can't help but feel sorry for the guy, so he was knackered, and had a little kip...big deal!

As long as he's not leant on the yoke, I don't see it as a big problem, better to have 15mins and be alert for the more demanding stages of a flight than be struggling to stay awake on approach!

30th Apr 2004, 13:03
The 50-year-old All Nippon Airlines pilot has been grounded pending an internal probe ordered by industry regulators, company spokesman Kunio Shibata said Friday.

internal probe

That should wake him up!

30th Apr 2004, 13:27

Thank goodness that autopilot kept the pesky F/O from getting his hands on the controls. Nearly a major disaster there!!!:rolleyes:

30th Apr 2004, 17:24
In defence of the the said Captain, please check out the following link (see second paragraph) in which NASA conducted trials regarding short naps in the flightdeck.


What we found was that performance was improved 34 percent and their alertness was improved 54 percent. I always challenge people to name another productivity tool that's as simple and straightforward to help improve performance, productivity and safety as a quick nap.
Conclusion: a short nap during the cruise actually improves flight safety!

Which airline can actually in good faith prosecute an improvement in flight safety? :mad:

30th Apr 2004, 21:14
Sure, a short nap on the flight deck might improve flight safety.

But - you should tell your FO/CPT before taking a nap.

6th May 2004, 13:03
the correct way would be to tell the fellow pilot about the requirement for the power nap and to be woken up before the INSPECTOR was allowed in the cockpit.
or was he already in the cockpit then......

i actually wanted some of the captains/fos i flew with to sleep during the entire flight ...this was in the interest of flight safety.

7th May 2004, 10:12
It is interesting that this post appears shortly after one about "commuting" or other activities prior to starting a tour of duty. It occurs to me that this pilot fell asleep shortly after the top of climb on a relatively short sector. Was it the first leg of a tour of duty or was it the last leg of a long day? If it was the former then there is no excuse!
I dont think that there is any thing wrong with one pilot having a "power nap" in cruise as long as the other pilot has been thoroughly briefed and the next hour or so of the flight is expected to be normal from a weather or operational point of view.
The fact that an Inspector was known to be on board causes me to wonder about the attitude of the Captain. The Inspector was perfectly within his rights to make a report on the incident as that was his duty. Perhaps by reporting matters such as this something may be done to address the matter of pilot fatigue. As a former long haul pilot I have been exposed to conditions of "extreme" fatigue and it is not a pretty picture. Fortunately aircraft are now more automated and therefore generally safer but the downside of this is complacency and lack of stimulii to keep one alert.

7th May 2004, 22:15
pilot has been grounded pending an internal probe


Hmm I can see the headlines now...

'Pilot shafted by inspector'

'Rude awakening for pilot'

Formally Known As
9th May 2004, 09:10
Full marks to that chap for his ability to relax in a stressful situation!! What a boy.:}