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Ethiopian asleep

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Ethiopian asleep

Old 19th Aug 2022, 08:03
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LEM
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Ethiopian asleep

Still at 37000 ft over Addis...

they were woken up by the autopilot disconnecting (?)....
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 13:11
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Here is a news story with a bit more detail.
Ethiopian Airlines pilots fell asleep while enroute from Khartoum in Sudan to Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and missed the landing. The pilots were meant to begin the flight’s descent to Addis Ababa’s Bole Airport. The radar data, however, indicates that they overshot their destination, as per an Aviation Herald report.

The report further noted that the Air Traffic Control (ATC) alerted the crew flight ET343 approached the airport but did not start the landing. It also mentioned the aircraft remained on the ground for about 2.5 hours before departing for its next flight.

Later, the ATC tried contacting the pilots many times but failed. When the plane overflew the runway where it was supposed to land, the autopilot disconnected and the disconnect wailer woke up the crew. They then maneouvered the aircraft for about 25 minutes for a safe landing on runway 25L.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 19th Aug 2022 at 13:25.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 13:42
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No fatigue problems of course.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 13:57
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I hope that each airline where this type of incident occurs asks itself the right questions:
- what combination of circumstances have led to BOTH pilots falling asleep in cruise?
- what must be changed to avoid a repetition of these circumstances?
- what safeguarding procedure can be put in place to wake up the pilots well before before a cavalry charge does it?
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 14:22
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Does the A/P on the 737 disengage at the end of a FMC programmed route whilst in LNAV?
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 15:35
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I was under the impression that cabin crew were required to make fairly regular visits to the FD? Note that although a fairly short flight (90 mins or so) it departs ADD at 0110, returning at 0620. The question is, do the crew make an earlier couple of rotations before that?
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 21:26
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Originally Posted by FUMR View Post
I was under the impression that cabin crew were required to make fairly regular visits to the FD
Was this a pax or cargo flt?
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 22:29
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Zzzzzzz…..

An interesting case.

after a long boring leg over the big blue ocean, can’t really blame the crew for nodding off, especially if one of the crew was scheduled for a bit of “rest in chair” it doesn’t take too much for the other to be drawn into similar state.

thankfully as the A/P reached it’s end of programming and the “boop boop boop” began booping - someone woke up.

It’s a fine example as to why descent still needs to be dialled in and actively commanded and activated - surprised ATC let the aircraft get so far (overflying the intended destination field) without further investigation, how far would it have gone? fuel starvation? Engine flame out?

Obviously nobody knows what the glide distance is on a two engine out 787 from FL370 but I expect there are plenty of places this plane could of nailed in to - in adjoining countries and possible population areas……
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 23:00
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Coachcpt, just FYI, it was a relatively short overland flight by a B737-800. Today's flight is indeed operated by B787.

JanetFlight, I did check that and it's a pax flight.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 01:13
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Could happen to any of us (except, of course, to all of us retired guys) so, let's not judge too harshly. 😉
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 01:25
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Originally Posted by Emma Royds View Post
Does the A/P on the 737 disengage at the end of a FMC programmed route whilst in LNAV?
Didn't use to... maybe it wanted overtime.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 01:39
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I believe the aircraft would continue on its present heading.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 06:23
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No doubt both pilots scrupulously avoided reading a decent book or magazine or watched a movie to avoid forgetting where they were for a moment and getting lost in fiction/entertainment.

I bet they stuck to Ops manuals and tech docs to keep them sharp as tacks.

/satire
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 07:31
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Falling asleep at the wheel is unforgivable ......UNFORGIVABLE!!!!!!!!!
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 07:36
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Doubt the autopilot it would drop out at the end of the route. I think it just goes into track hold. More likely they were woken by the pilot response warning.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 08:00
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Little alarm clocks are cheap
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 10:13
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Standard response from Ethiopean (see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-62602611)

In a press release, Ethiopian Airlines confirmed that the the crew had been removed from future flights pending further investigation.

"Appropriate corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation" the statement read.
"Safety has always been and will continue to be our first priority."
My emphasis added, so why are they (and others) continuing to send out unrested pilots assuming fatigue to be a factor?

In a long gone era I would often ask to sit in the cockpit on long haul flights and can't help feel that the crew enjoyed some of the conversations we had and probably because it gave them a bit of variety. Though they usually seemed to have a fair bit of "admin" to do as well, I've no idea what it is like now.

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Old 20th Aug 2022, 10:57
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Originally Posted by p7lot View Post
Falling asleep at the wheel is unforgivable ......UNFORGIVABLE!!!!!!!!!
Well......if it happens, it happens for a reason. What would your solution be in this instance?

Normally cabin crew are required to contact the flight deck every 20 mins or so, in person or via the inter-phone, to check all is well.

I am wondering if something bad is happening to crew training now, as well as fatiguing rosters?

On quiet long-haul flights, if I wasn't reading something or doing the crossword, I would listen to Radio 4 on the ADF receiver, which helped keep me alert. Important to be doing something - in the absence of inputs a tired brain will tend to go to sleep.

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Old 20th Aug 2022, 11:43
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Listening to Radio 4 normally sends me to sleep.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 11:54
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Originally Posted by p7lot View Post
Falling asleep at the wheel is unforgivable ......UNFORGIVABLE!!!!!!!!!
you keep using that word… I don’t think it means what you think it means.
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