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Both pilots of a commercial airplane fell asleep midflight, causing the craft to veer off course

Two pilots on an Indonesian commercial airliner fell asleep during a flight in January, causing the plane to veer off course. The pilot flew for nearly 30 minutes without supervision.

Indonesia National Transportation Safety Board Report released on Friday It outlines how Batik Air pilots slept for about 28 minutes just before descending into Jakarta on January 25.

The pilots were carrying 153 passengers on a two-and-a-half-hour round trip from Sulawesi to Jakarta. One pilot received permission from the other pilot to rest, but the other pilot fell asleep and the controller and a nearby pilot separated in an attempt to reach the plane.

“Several attempts were made by Jakarta ACC to contact BTK6723, including asking other pilots to call BTK6723,” the report said. “The pilot of BTK6723 did not answer any calls.”

After sleeping for about an hour, the captain asked the co-pilot if he too wanted to take a break, but he declined, according to the report. The pilot in command then went back to sleep, and the second pilot “accidentally fell asleep,” according to the report.

The second pilot had one-month-old twin children and was already severely sleep deprived, the report said.

When the pilot-in-command woke up, he noticed that the second person was asleep and immediately woke him up to return the plane to its planned route. The plane then landed in Jakarta without incident.

Sleeping on board is not uncommon among commercial pilots, and standard safety procedures ensure that a carefully rested pilot is always in command.

Batik Air announced that two of its pilots have been “temporarily suspended”. Agence France-Presse (AFP News) reported.

The country’s Transport Ministry “strongly reprimanded” the airline over the incident.

According to AFP, Indonesia’s Director-General of Civil Aviation Maria Cristi Enda Murni said: “We will conduct an investigation and review of night flight operations in Indonesia related to fatigue risk management for Batik Air and all airlines.” Stated.

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