- A serious tragic incident was averted after pilots flying Ethiopian Airlines missed landing
- The pilots were reportedly asleep while approaching the airport, sending panic among passengers
- Ethiopian Airlines have now decided to suspend the two pilots with further investigation to be carried out
Two Ethiopian Airlines pilots have been suspended indefinitely after they slept off midair and missed their landing window.
The flight was destined to the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, from Sudan's capital, Khartoum, on August 15.
As per BusinessDay report, both the sleeping pilots were out of reach when air traffic control tried to establish a connection.
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The independent aviation news site stated that the pilots woke up only after an alarm rung after the autopilot system got disconnected.
The airport was at 37,000 feet earlier this week because both pilots were asleep on the flight deck.
Media reports indicated that the pilots were awoken when the autopilot disconnected after the aircraft passed the airport.
Flight tracking data have also confirmed that the Boeing 737-800 flight followed its correct air route but did not descend when it reached Addis Ababa. Instead, it remained at its flying altitude, i.e., 37,000 feet.
The pilots were asleep on the flight deck at the time and were awoken by the aural warning associated with the autopilot disconnecting after overflying the airport.
The flight subsequently made a left turn and began descending back toward Addis Ababa, landing at 03:16 UTC, 25 minutes after first overflying the airport.
Ethiopian Airlines reacts
In a statement, the airline revealed that both the pilots were suspended following the mishap, and further investigation was on.
Ethiopian Airlines added that it would take corrective actions against the pilots once the investigation was complete.
Foreign airlines' N117bn trapped in Nigeria
In another report, foreign airlines operating in Nigeria are struggling to repatriate their dollar dividends and are stuck with naira they don’t need.
The idle cash lying in the Nigerian accounts of over 30 airlines is now a source of worry.
Daily Trust reports that the trapped money rose from $147 million (N61 billion) as of August 2021 and has nearly doubled, reaching $283m (about N117.6bn).