Ethiopian Airlines plane 'overshoots runway after pilots fall asleep'

Boeing 737 plane later landed safely, 25 minutes late

Ethiopian Airlines acknowledged an incident had taken place, but said the flight had landed safely. Reuters
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An Ethiopian Airlines flight from Khartoum, Sudan, missed its descent into Addis Ababa this week after both pilots reportedly fell asleep, an aviation publication reported.

After air traffic control officials failed to make contact with Flight 343 on Monday, the pilots were awoken by the autopilot disconnect alarm, The Aviation Herald reported.

The Boeing 737 plane later landed safely, 25 minutes late.

Data from the Automatic Dependent Surveillance — Broadcast (ADS — B) obtained by the Herald confirmed that the aircraft continued to cruise at 37,000 feet before overflying the runway and eventually landing. The flight path can also be viewed on flight-tracking websites such as Flight Radar and FlightAware.

Aviation analyst Alex Macheras called the incident “deeply concerning”.

Ethiopian Airlines acknowledged an incident had taken place, but said the flight had landed safely.

“The concerned crew have been removed from operation pending further investigation,” the company wrote in a statement on its Facebook page.

“Appropriate corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation. Safety has always been and will continue to be our first priority.”

The National has contacted Ethiopian Airlines for comment.

Updated: August 24, 2022, 5:26 PM
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