Two pilots fall asleep mid-flight, plane flies off course

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(NewsNation) — Two pilots fell asleep aboard a Batik Air flight, causing the plane to deviate from its intended route, according to a preliminary report by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee.
The flight, carrying 153 passengers and four crew members on Jan. 25, was en route from Kendari to Jakarta when the pilots, identified only as a 32-year-old Indonesian in command and a 28-year-old Indonesian as the second-in-command, dozed off simultaneously for approximately 28 minutes.
According to the report, the mishap happened about 30 minutes after departure when the aircraft reached its cruising altitude of 36,000 feet. The pilot in command requested rest, which was granted by the deputy. Subsequently, the first pilot fell asleep and woke up nearly an hour later.
Following this, the first pilot offered the opportunity to rest to the second-in-command, who declined. However, the report stated that the second pilot unintentionally fell asleep while still in control of the aircraft, leading to a period of unresponsiveness to communication attempts from Jakarta’s area control center.
Upon awakening, the first pilot noticed the aircraft was off course. Corrective measures were taken, and the plane safely landed in Jakarta with no reported injuries or damage to the aircraft.
The report revealed that the second pilot, who had recently relocated and was caring for newborn twins, was struggling with sleep before the flight.
Indonesia’s civil aviation director, Maria Kristi Endah Murni, strongly criticized Batik Air over the incident and announced an investigation into the airline’s night flight operations.
Batik Air, in response, temporarily suspended the two pilots involved.

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