August 19 (IndiaToday) – An Ethiopian airlines plane flying from Sudan to Ethiopia missed landing on August 15 after both pilots fell asleep. An alert was issued when flight ET343 approached the Addis Ababa airport but did not start to descend, raising concerns.
After the plane missed the landing, the Air Traffic Control tried to contact the plane’s crew while the aircraft’s autopilot system kept it cruising at 37,000ft, the Independent reported.
When the plane flew over the runway, the autopilot was disconnected, an alarm was triggered which reportedly woke up the crew. The pilots then landed the plane 25 minutes later.
According to air traffic control data, the aircraft continued to cruise at 37,000 feet before overflying the runway.
“Deeply concerning incident at Africa’s largest airline — Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 ET343 was still at cruising altitude of 37,000ft by the time it reached destination Addis Ababa,” said aviation analyst Alex Macheras confirming the incident.
“Why hadn’t it started to descend for landing? Both pilots were asleep,” Macheras said in a Tweet.