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TWO Pilots fell asleep mid-air, plane unable to descend at airport

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BRUSSELS-AIRPORT, BELGIUM - JULY 29: A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (ET-AUO) from Ethiopian Airlines is landing in Brussels Airport on July 29, 2022 in Zaventem, Belgium. Ethiopian Airlines is the national airline of Ethiopia, founded in 1945 and 100% controlled by the Ethiopian state. The Boeing Company is an American aircraft and aerospace manufacturer headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Brussels-National airport is mainly used for international flights to Europe, Africa, Asia, America or even the Middle East.


Passengers narrowly escaped untimely death when Ethiopian Airlines could not descend at the point of its destination at the Airport tarmac.

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The two Pilots were believed to have missed their landing during their flight from Sudan to Ethiopia on Monday, according to a report by the Commercial Aviation News site, Aviation Herald, CNN reported.

The incident took place on board an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 en route from Khartoum to Addis Ababa, the report said, “when the pilots fell asleep” and “the aircraft continued past the top of descent.

“Data obtained by the website indicates that the aircraft was cruising at 37,000 feet on autopilot when it failed to descend at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, its scheduled destination, on August 15.

Air traffic controllers were apparently unable to reach the crew despite making several attempts at contact. However, an alarm was triggered when the plane overshot the runway and continued along the route.

The aircraft subsequently began to descend, landing safely around 25 minutes later.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data shows the aircraft overflying the runway, before beginning its descent and manoeuvring for another approach.

“We have received a report which indicates Ethiopian flight number ET343 en route from Khartoum to Addis Ababa temporarily lost communication with Addis Ababa Air Traffic Control on 15 August 2022,” reads a statement issued by Ethiopian Airlines on Friday.

“The flight later landed safely after communication was restored. The concerned crew have been removed from operation pending further investigation.

“Appropriate corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation. Safety has always been and will continue to be our first priority,” the statement said.


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Written by Adesoji OMOSEBI

BSc Agric Science

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