Sleeping pilot drifted 50km, missed airport in Australia

- A Monitor Report 28 Nov, 2018  |    -      +
SYDNEY: An Australian charter flight missed destination by almost 50km after pilot fell asleep in the cockpit.

The Vortex Air pilot was flying from Devonport in Tasmania to neighbouring King Island when he fell asleep, officials said.

The 6.21am flight was forced to make the embarrassing U-turn on November 8, when it missed its airport.

Despite there being no damage to the nine-passenger Piper PA-31 Navajo VH-TWU, the incident was still classed as 'serious' by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

An ATSB spokesman said: "The ATSB is investigating a pilot incapacitation involving a Piper PA-31, VH-TWU, operated by Vortex Air, near King Island Airport, Tasmania on 8 November 2018.

"During the cruise, the pilot fell asleep resulting in the aircraft overflying King Island by 46km.

"As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the pilot and review operational procedures. A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation," ATSB spokesperson said.

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