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Probe Reveals Indonesian Pilots Fell Asleep For 30 Minutes On Flight With 153 People

The Batik Air flight was on a route from southeast Sulawesi to Jakarta.

In a shocking incident, two Indonesian pilots of Batik Air reportedly fell asleep for about 30 minutes during the flight with passengers on board. guardian. The pilot and co-pilot slept simultaneously for approximately 28 minutes. According to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board (KNKT), on January 25, the Batik Air flight was on a route from southeast Sulawesi to Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.

The incident resulted in no injuries to the 153 passengers and four cabin crew members on board the Airbus A320 during the 2 hour and 35 minute flight, despite some navigation errors.

M. Christie Enda Murni, head of the Department of Civil Aviation at the Ministry of Transport, said the ministry had “strongly reprimanded” Batik Air for the incident and called on the airline to be more conscious of crew rest periods. The ministry has also begun an investigation.

The first officer reportedly told the first officer earlier in the day that he was not getting “adequate rest.” Approximately 90 minutes after takeoff, the captain asked the co-pilot for permission to take a short break, which was granted. According to the investigation, he unintentionally fell asleep after the co-pilot took over control of the plane. “The second-in-command had one-month-old twin babies. His wife took care of the babies and he assisted at home,” the report said.

The Jakarta Air Traffic Control Center (ACC) attempted to contact the aircraft 12 minutes after the co-pilot’s last communication, but the pilots did not respond, ACC said. Approximately 28 minutes after the last recorded transmission, the captain woke up and realized that the plane was not on the proper flight path. He then woke up his second-in-command and responded to ACC, according to the report. The captain informed the ACC that there was a “radio communication issue” during the flight, which was corrected.

The report identifies the captain as a 32-year-old Indonesian man and the second-in-command as a 28-year-old Indonesian man, but the pilots’ names are not disclosed.

BTK6723 landed safely and no injuries were reported. In line with standard operating procedures, the flight crew was also grounded pending further investigation.

Batik Air said in a statement that it “operates under appropriate rest policies” and is “committed to implementing all safety recommendations.” It added that the pilot had been suspended.

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