Passenger jet veers off course as pilots fall asleep

Afriadi Hikmal / NurPhoto via Getty Images
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A Batik Air Indonesia pilot and his second-in-command are accused of allowing the flight they were operating to veer off course as they both took a snooze in the cockpit midflight, Indonesian officials said in a report.

The Jan. 25 flight, BTK6723, was carrying 153 passengers from Halu Oleo Airport in Kendari to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, said the report from Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee.

Both pilots, whose names were not included, had just completed a trip in the opposite direction, from Jakarta to Kendari, before they made the return, which is when they both fell asleep, the report said.

Once the return flight to Jakarta took off and the plane reached a cruising altitude of 36,000 feet, the 32-year-old pilot asked for permission to take a rest, the report said. After the pilot’s nap, the pilot asked the 28-year-old second-in-command whether he wanted to rest, but the co-pilot said he did not want to.

After a quick chat, the pilot went back to sleep, leaving the second-in-command in control of the aircraft, according to the report.

While the pilot slept, the co-pilot asked to change the flight path to dodge bad weather, the report said, and was instructed to check in with flight control when they were in the clear.

But then the co-pilot accidentally fell asleep, the report said.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!