Boeing 737 Sleeping Flight Crew of Ethiopian Airlines Has Been Suspended

The two Ethiopian Airlines pilots who were asleep at the controls of a Boeing 737-800 when they were supposed to be landing have been suspended by the airline. The incident, which many speculate was caused by fatigue, occurred on August 15th at the end of a 90-minute flight between Khartoum International Airport (KRT) and Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD).

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Aero News Journal has reported on Friday that two Ethiopian Airlines pilots missed their landing because they were asleep, forcing the aircraft to go around and land without incident 25 minutes later. Air traffic control repeatedly (and unsuccessfully) tried to contact the pilots after the flight reached its top of descent near Addis Ababa while still cruising at FL370. read more

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Ethiopian Airlines did not clearly confirm whether the pilots were asleep or not, instead stating that the aircraft "temporarily lost communication" with air traffic control. This is perhaps understandable, as the incident only occurred less than a week ago and the airline is still conducting a thorough investigation.

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Data from shows that the aircraft reached its cruising altitude of FL370 almost an hour before its scheduled landing in Addis Ababa.

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