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Go! airline pilots admit sleeping during flight Печать E-mail
Новости - Зарубежные новости
Автор: Newsmaster   
29.12.2008 10:40
HONOLULU (AP) — The pilots on board a go! airlines flight that overshot the Hilo airport last February have admitted they fell asleep in the cockpit while the plane was on autopilot.

The pilots stopped responding to air traffic control communications about halfway through Flight 1002 from Honolulu to Hilo on Feb. 13, 2007, a recently released 11-page report by the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Air traffic controllers had other planes, including another go! jet and a Continental Airlines plane, attempt to contact the flight, but they were unsuccessful.

The report says there was an 18-minute gap from about 9:40 until 9:58 a.m. when no one was able to communicate with Flight 1002 by radio.

Instead of landing at Hilo as scheduled, Flight 1002 passed over Hilo International Airport at 21,000 feet and continued straight for nearly 30 miles past the airport over the open ocean.

Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group, which owns go! airlines, fired both pilots after the incident.

The flight took off from Honolulu at 9:16 a.m. carrying 40 passengers, a flight attendant and the pilot and co-pilot.

When he woke up, the first officer realized the plane was off course, and checked to make sure there was enough fuel before waking up the captain.

When asked by flight controllers whether they had experienced an emergency, the captain replied, "No, we must have missed a hand-off or missed a call or something."

After the plane landed in Hilo at 10:15 a.m. the captain initially told controllers that they had selected the wrong radio frequency. The controllers told the pilot they would be reporting the incident to Mesa Airlines, the parent company of go! Airlines.

The pilots discussed the incident and decided they could fly the plane back to Honolulu. But when they landed in Honolulu, they removed themselves from duty.

The report notes the pilots were under some stress.

One factor was that the flight attendant assigned to work their first flight that day was late. This meant the flight crew had to rush their first three flights to get back on schedule.

The pilot told investigators he may have let his guard down after he caught up with the schedule.

"Working as hard as we had, we tend to relax," he said. "We had gotten back on schedule, it was comfortable in cockpit, the pressure was behind us. The warm Hawaiian sun was blaring in as we went eastbound. I just kind of closed my eyes for a minute, enjoying the sunshine, and dozed off," he told investigators.

The 53-year-old pilot of the plane, who is not named in the report, also told investigators he had never inadvertently fallen asleep before, but admitted to regular napping while in flight.

After the incident, the captain was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that his physician said could cause "significant fatigue."

Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing repeatedly, preventing a restful night of sleep.

The 23-year-old first officer, who is also not named, said he had never fallen asleep before on a flight. But on Feb. 13 he entered what he described as a sleeplike state where he could "hear what was going on but could not comprehend or make it click."

The flight attendant on the plane said she wore a watch but did not recall whether she looked at it during the flight. She said she did not notice anything unusual and did not feel there was anything unsafe.

The captain said he went to bed between 8 and 9 p.m. on Feb. 12 after working from 5:40 a.m. to 2:47 p.m. He woke up at 4 a.m. on Feb. 13 and did not have breakfast, but snacked on cookies with his first officer later in the morning.

The first officer worked with the captain on Feb. 12 went to bed at 9:30 p.m. He woke up at about 5 a.m. and had a pastry for breakfast.

The report didn't identify the pilots by name.

The Federal Aviation Administration identified them as Captain Scott Oltman and First Officer Dillon Shepley when it suspended their licenses in September.

The FAA suspended Oltman's license for 60 days and Shepley's for 45 days.

Найдено в интернете: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~r/UsatodaycomTravel-TopStories/~3/Kk7F2KvdfHo/2008-12-28-go-sleeping-pilots_N.htm

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