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Author Topic: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report  (Read 3173 times)

Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« on: June 26, 2008, 09:46:10 PM »
Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report

http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BN ... 73119.html

Thu, Jun 26, 2008
AFP  

NEW DELHI - AN AIR INDIA flight headed for Mumbai overshot its destination and was halfway to Goa before its dozing pilots were woken out of a deep slumber by air traffic control, a report said.

The high altitude nap took place approximately two weeks ago, the Times of India reported on Thursday.

Some 100 passengers were on board the state-run flight that originated from Dubai and flew to the western Indian city of Jaipur before heading south to Mumbai when both pilots fell asleep, a source told the paper.

'After operating an overnight flight, fatigue levels peak - and so the pilots dozed off after taking off from Jaipur,' the source, who was not identified in the report, said.

The plane flew to Mumbai on autopilot, but when air traffic there tried to help the aircraft land, the plane ignored their instructions and carried on at full speed towards Goa.

'It was only after the aircraft reached Mumbai airspace that air traffic control realised it was not responding to any instructions and was carrying on its own course,' the source said.

'The aircraft should have begun its descent about 160 kilometres from Mumbai, but here it was still at cruising altitude. We checked for hijack.'

Finally air traffic control buzzed the cockpit and woke up the pilots, who turned the plane around, the report said.

When contacted by the newspaper, Air India said it was gathering information on the incident.

The manager of Mumbai's airport insisted the aircraft had suffered a 'communications failure' and that no napping had taken place.

But sources told the daily that authorities were trying to hush up the matter.

Indian papers reported this week that a flight operated by private airline Jetlite to the central Indian city of Patna was grounded after the pilot was found to be drunk. -- AFP
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2008, 11:27:29 PM »
err... only in India?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 08:07:10 AM »
lol oh dear.

Remind me never to fly there xDD

Good that nothing bad happened while they where sleeping. If that was a coach on a road on the other hand......*shudders*
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »


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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 09:58:59 AM »
Today's autopilot technology is capable of taking off, flying and even landing the plane.  So either this particular jet had an older autopilot system, or the pilots had not entered the landing point into the onboard flight systems.

Someday we will likely have pilotless flights, but it remains a big challenge to convince the general public and insurance companies that such systems are safer than pilots.  However, with a few more incidents like this one, where the pilots were clearly the problem, public opinion may change.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2008, 09:54:13 AM »
Quote from: "Chronical Song"
Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report

'It was only after the aircraft reached Mumbai airspace that air traffic control realised it was not responding to any instructions and was carrying on its own course,' the source said.

'The aircraft should have begun its descent about 160 kilometres from Mumbai, but here it was still at cruising altitude. We checked for hijack.'

AFP
rough,probably incorrect figures, but isn't that like 8 miles? It took air control that long to figure it was off course?Me thinks the pilots weren't the only ones sleeping on the job.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2008, 12:00:30 PM »
Actually, that is pretty quick response.  Many commercial aircraft have a cruising speed around 500 miles per hour.  It takes just under 1 minute to cover 8 miles at that speed.

I'm actually surprised they caught it as quickly as they did.  Had it been a busy day with ground controllers having to monitor a very busy airspace, that plane could have ended up much further off course before they were able to wake the pilots.
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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2008, 06:38:32 AM »
Ohhh, I flying out soon.....scared now :shock:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

.......

Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2008, 10:17:38 PM »
Quote from: "drunkpuppy"
Ohhh, I flying out soon.....scared now :shock:
You are not flying to India, are you? Anyway, there was a domestic flight in India if I remembered correctly. So don't worry :D
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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2008, 04:37:21 AM »
lol they should've designated doze-shifts :P
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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2008, 12:00:29 PM »
The avionics in most modern planes is so advanced that the pilots themselves can just about get by on their own internal "autopilot".  Although they don't like to admit it, many pilots serve as little more than baby-sitters when flying today's newest aircraft.  The industry has pushed for years to eliminate the most common cause of aircraft accidents: human error.  Technology has reached the point where we don't actually need pilots on-board anymore for actually flying the aircraft.  Personally, I feel pretty safe flying on modern aircraft, because I know that regardless of how tired or error-prone the pilots are, the on-board aeronautics will be doing the actual flying of the aircraft.

I just wish we could get similar technology for our most dangerous mode transportation: automobiles.  I am looking forward to the days of hands-free driving...make that riding, when...

  - Drunk Drivers are no longer able to operate their own vehicles
  - Distracted drivers with cellphones won't be a deadly combination
  - Young, inexperienced drivers will no longer pose such a risk.  Nor will the Elderly.
  - People with health risks, or impairments (even blindness) will be able to use their cars w/o danger.

Flying a plane is a lot harder than driving a car, and the technology to put the equivalent of auto-pilot into automobiles is within our capabilities.  Given the tremendous savings of human lives this will allow, I am surprised at how slow our government and the auto industry has been at encouraging & advancing these technologies.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2008, 09:39:06 PM »
Should cut the pay of pilots to cut cost :evil:
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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2008, 01:52:43 AM »
chron is it just me or do all of ur articles take place in india
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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2008, 06:15:06 AM »
Quote from: "Alpha Zezima"
chron is it just me or do all of ur articles take place in india
My email addy just got subscribed to an India news portal. Someone did it without my consent too.
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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2008, 10:56:02 AM »
Quote from: "Sword Cruise"
Should cut the pay of pilots to cut cost :evil:
This actually has been attempted, but the pilot's unions continue to fight it.  For older planes and smaller ones that don't have advanced avionics, you still need skilled pilots.  However, in the mixed-up world of seniority-based unions, pilots on the smaller/older planes that actually do a lot of real flying often tend to earn significantly less than the pilots on-board the newest and largest airliners.  Beyond seniority, part of their idiotic pay rationale is based on number of miles flown and number of passengers hauled, both of which are entirely meaningless measurements in terms of flying difficulty.  As a result, the airlines often end up having to pay the most to the pilots who do the least amount of actual flying.

To be fair, however, there are situations where I would still prefer a seasoned pilot over computer-controlled avionics steering the plane.  In extremely adverse weather situations (strong crosswinds, wind sheers, etc), I am not sure how good the auto-pilot is at taking off or landing the plane.  Also, if a electrical or mechanical failure occurs, or some other emergency arises mid-flight, a human pilot is better suited at dealing with many of the complications that can result.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2008, 10:08:43 PM »
well, just don't hire anyone from the union and get some foreign talents :evil:
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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2008, 11:38:38 AM »
Quote from: "Sword Cruise"
well, just don't hire anyone from the union and get some foreign talents :evil:
Good luck on that.  Pilots have stong unions, and they can quickly shut an airline down by a strike.  Opting to hire non-union pilots might work for some smaller carriers that are just getting started, but it is not an option for established companies where the unions are already deeply entrenched.
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Re: Plane soar past destination as pilots doze: report
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2008, 08:57:03 PM »
I see... Last time some pilots union issue happened here, and in the end if I'm not wrong, the leader get "sacked" or something like that, because our grand elite master stepped in. hahaha. I think Chron can elaborate more.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »