Falling asleep at the controls of an airplane is certainly not a pleasant experience, and in some cases, you really have to be happy if everything ends up working out. It is the story of an airline pilot who, for 40 long minutes, fell asleep in the cabin of the plane he was piloting.
Upon awakening, the discovery: he had traveled more than 120 km beyond the destination where he was supposed to land, causing anxiety and worry in all structures on the ground that could not come into contact with him and figure out what was going on.
image credit: AlfvanBeem/Wikimedia – not the actual photo
The episode took place in Australia, specifically in Queensland, and the pilot has deliberately remained anonymous. The man, at the controls of a Cessna 208B, was making a repositioning flight, therefore non-commercial and fortunately without passengers on board, which had left Cairns to arrive at Redcliffe.
For reasons that the investigations have linked to the enormous fatigue due to the lack of sleep, the pilot fell asleep. And that’s when the alarm went off. On the ground, of course, it was unclear what was going on with the Cessna, which had also encountered adverse weather conditions during part of its flight.
Thus, the Australian air traffic control, when it received no response in view of the imminent landing, was rightly put on alert. For 40 minutes, no communication came from the plane, the plane did not land at Redcliffe. In vain, a nearby plane attempted to establish communication.
image credit: Viptransfer/Facebook – Not the actual photo
When the first pilot finally woke up, he had traveled dozens and dozens of kilometers southeast past the point of arrival. Fortunately, he was able to return to the ground safely at the Gold Coast Airport. So everything ended well, but it is clear that such an incident could have turned out much worse.
Security authorities have tried to shed light on what happened, saying the man may not have been able to cope with the lack of sleep the night before and that, having taken l he altitude due to the adverse weather conditions, he may also have suffered from a lack of oxygen. In any case, he can say that he escaped it narrowly!
source used: The Independent