Skip to comments.Both Pilots Asleep At Controls of Packed Passenger Jet
Posted on 09/27/2013 1:12:28 PM PDT by grundle
Two pilots flying a commercial airliner filled with passengers were both asleep at the controls last month, leaving the jet on autopilot for an unknown amount of time, British aviation authorities said.
Authorities have not released the names of the pilots or the airline, but disclosed that the incident took place in August aboard an Airbus A330, capable of carrying up to 350 passengers, operated by a British-based airline.
The pilots came clean to authorities on their own, reporting the incident to their airline and the U.K.'s Civil Aviation Authority.
(Excerpt) Read more at gma.yahoo.com ...
Hey! It’s got to be a long flight; let ‘em catch a few z’s! /s;)
Were the pilots Wyatt Wooden Workman and Sum Ting Wong?
Don’t worry, if anything happens a nice lady’s voice comes on their headset yelling: PULL UP PULL UP PULL UP
During Flight School, for my Primary Helicopter cross country flight I flew from Pensacola to Eglin AFB with the squadron commander, a Lt. Col. as my co-pilot. We had supper at the O-Club then headed back to Pensacola. Long day, good meal, flying into the setting sun.... I looked over and the Skipper was snoozing.
Well, I thought, he must be comfortable with my flying. I guess that I'll pass this check ride!
(and no, I've never dozed off while flying)
Having been in a cockpit before 9-11 the auto-pilot few the entire way all the time. Even takes off and lands the plane. Pilots are only used today to taxi on the ground.
At least they had the integrity to report it themselves, even though doing so may cost them a job or possibly a career.
Sleepy pilots are a dime a dozen. Pilots with integrity are worth trying to keep. Discipline them, remedial training & probation.
The airline crew-day regs and their supervision need a good scrutiny also.
Well ya know all that drinkin makes you tired.
They didn’t release the name of the airline?
I think we should give them Colonel rank and put them on AF1.
Happens all the time.lock the door set up the AP (alarms and n otifiers,On,Check)
One of my friends was flying for UPS and they took off out of Seoul and everybody fell asleep. They had a Korean employee in the back who came up to the cockpit to ask how to start the coffee machine that found them all asleep.
To survive the landing, though...
I knew a guy once who told of being on a KC-135 flying to Hawaii at night (decades ago, before INS and GPS).
Everyone on the airplane fell asleep. At some point someone woke up and awakened everyone else.
The big question at that point was “Do we keep going and wait for Hawaii to show up, or do we turn around and go back”.
Recall at this time the only way to navigate overwater was Loran or celestial.
“Turn around and go back” won.
The pilots did everything they could to minimize fuel consumption.
They ran out of fuel as they were taxiing off the active runway.
I’m guessing the pre-landing crew conference was “Headwinds! That’s the story. Really bad headwinds!”.
Normal - no worries. There’s always some crew member awake. Plus they set an alarm.
That's nothing. Look at the number of POLITICIANS in WASH who are asleep as America continues to careen OUT of CONTROL.
“Pilots are only used today to taxi on the ground.”
That is news. Care to provide a link and/fact?
What is that about the sun that will put you to sleep when you tired?..I use to work nights and driving home east on a clear moring the rising sun would put you to sleep in a heartbeat
PING to BatGuano
“Pilots are only used today to taxi on the ground.”
A couple of years ago both pilot and co-pilot fell asleep and over flew Hilo. Finally someone in the field tower called and woke them up. They turned around, landed safely, and got a royal ass chewing from their company and the FAA. Don’t know if they lost their jobs or not.
Personal experience. Flew from Paris to London in 1986 when doors were open and you could visit the pilot during the flight and they told me. Said computer does virtually everything.
What’s even scarier is the air traffic controllers falling asleep. That was happening quite often a few years ago. Haven’t heard much about it lately.
I think there is some some type of program in Europe that encourages this self-reporting without repercussions.
The airplane only lands itself on Cat IIIc approaches, and those are very expensive to maintain, and are few and far between.
Should I leave the “nimrods” to you this time?
For the uninitiated this is a zero visibility approach and landing. UPS, FedEx and other cargo type carriers might attempt this type of landing no commercial passenger airline carrier will. Zero visibility means the pilots can't taxi the aircraft after landing it would need to be towed.
Wow! That was a close one.
This posted story reminds of a story I heard about an elderly guy who used to GA aircraft. He crashed and the investigators could not find any problems with his airplane.
They talked with his family and friends and found out that when he would get up to cruising altitude, set the alarm on his clock, set the auto-pilot and go to sleep. When he was close to his destination the alarm clock would wake him up and he would land. He did this all the time.
The reason why he crashed is because he forgot to fill the tanks with avgas before he took off that day. He took off, set the alarm clock, ran out of fuel, and the auto-pilot had a CFIT.
Wouldn’t necessarily have to be towed, but would need a guide (”Follow me”) vehicle.
I remember a story my father told about a B-36, (whose missions typically ran 24-36 hours) driving around at 40,000 ft, back when nobody else flew at 40,000 ft, late one night.
Both pilots asleep, at least one with his feet up on the glareshield.
Feet slide down off the glareshield, and on the way down hit the Master Fuel Shutoff knob.
Six 4400 cid radial engines shut down.
Suddenly, it’s really quiet.
Eventually, they figured out what was wrong, but they were down to 10,000 feet by then.
I think it best to let you educate. More your world than mine (I am a fighter pilot).
So what? Maybe they were hung over and needed to sleep off a drunk.
The thing is, I'm sure the passengers' screams would have woken them up if the plane started to nosedive.
I just don't see this as any big deal.
Or “Terrain. Terrain. Terrain.”
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the pilots are overpaid. Way overpaid. I mean, you could pull some line cook off a McDonalds grill and teach him to fly a plane - what with all the technology and such that pretty much enables a plane to fly itself.
On the other hand, forget about making that grill cook a truck driver. That takes far more skill and bravery.
Now some will surely come here to take issue with what I just said but consider this...what would you think is the easier job? Driving a semi down I-81 in Scranton, PA, dodging yuppies in Volvos and Subaru's @ 70mph while hauling 20+ tons of large screen televisions for Best Buy or sitting 32,000 feet up in the air in your shirt and tie (with metal wing shaped tie clip) hauling 150 semi-stoned passengers headed for a weekend binge in Vegas while letting the on-board computer do all the work?
They should pay truck drivers $150,000 a year and airplane pilots $30,000 a year. Then pay the stewardesses $75,000 a year because they do most of the work anyhow. That's what I say. Then maybe I can fly from New York to Los Angeles for $99 and get a half decent meal and some complimentary craft beer in the process.
Yeah, kindofeasy to do that, but those landings, takeoffs, and unusual and emergency procedures are the killer.
Hate to be bursting the "pilot as hero" bubble but the art of commercial flying is now condensed into a silicone chip and all the pilots have to do is sit back and relax while they (and the passengers) are shuttled from point A to where the flight plan says they will end up.
Oh sure, they still keep up appearances. They still walk around the plane pre-flight (as if they would actually be able to tell if something was mechanically wrong) and they still maintain that imperious air standing by the cockpit door as passengers file on and off the plane. They still wear those uniforms that drive the women crazy. But put most of them into a semi-truck on I-40 in the middle of the night and they'd be jackknifed somewhere east of Albuquerque by dawn.
That's because computers don't drive trucks. Not yet, anyhow.
“fly the plane by throttle and stick.”
They still do on takeoff and landings. Where did you hear the computer does all the work?
That merits a four-word response:
Sorry to you as well but the real answer is Yes and No.
Before a airplane start rolling down the runway, the pilots use a mode called TO/GA mode. The TO/GA mode automated make the airplane go full thruster, but it won’t go past 250kts (FAA regulations). Once the aircraft is airborne, the pilots then put the plane in auto pilot and the plane will initially climb to what ever the pilots assigned the plane to. The only thing the captain and 1st officer do is:
1st Officer — Monitor the gauges and calls out the speed and when ready to rotate (lift off)
Captain — Controls and gets the plane off the ground.
When about to land. autopilot is on but the pilot still flies the plane. The autopilot can line up for the center of the runway for the plane to land. But in order plane to do that, the pilot has to commend it. It’s just like a dog. Autopilot only give you half commend and the other half has to be controlled by the actual pilot.
To answer your question about the gps, even the the air, airlines have routes they have to follow. Before the pilots board and even move the aircraft, they check the route they’re flying from orgin to destination. Between their trip is a serious of waypoints on their gps they follow. Check out this website:
TO/GA is an autothrottle mode - not autopilot.
Wow ed, you just don’t know what you are talking about.
Rather than pick apart each of your errors, I’ll just say that you need to thoroughly learn about flying and airplanes in order not to expose your ignorance.
Sam, you must stop drinking so much of your product!
You must be a liberal retard to make those statements. You offend me and all pilots. At least you didn’t use “bus drivers” as an analogy.
Try to grasp the fact that a commercial airliner costs a few dollars more than a truck. Pay is related to productivity and responsibility. When I signed for my airplane, a B-777, I was responsible for an asset worth $139,000,000 plus the lives of my passengers and crew. Would I have done it for $30,000? Yes, but don’t tell anyone.
PS That dollar value was for the “old” 1995 version of the 777. The new ones are more expensive.
Pilots aren’t paid to fly the plane...they are paid to be there when something goes wrong, and to save the lives of the passengers when things do go wrong.