11:03 27 September 2013
Two alleged sleep-deprived pilots have confessed that they slept at the same time during a long-haul flight into the UK. The captain and his co-pilot who were in-charge of an Airbus A3330, initially agreed to take turns in having 20-minute naps. However, less than two hours after take-off, they left the plane cruising on autopilot as they dozed off at the same time. This left no-one to take control in the event of emergency.
The two confessed what they have done to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). They said that because of longer shifts over the peak holiday season, they sleep for no more than five hours in the preceding 36.
Although the watchdog confirmed that the carrier was UK-based, it did not reveal the name of the airline and the flight details.
David Learmount, an air safety expert, told The Sun: “The plane is capable of cruising on autopilot, but if there's an emergency there would be no one to take the controls.
“The pilots need to be alert. But the greatest danger is they wake up and do something as a knee-jerk reaction while still suffering sleep inertia."
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