2 Ethiopian Airlines pilots fall asleep, miss airport runway

They woke up eventually.

Belmont Lay | August 22, 2022, 02:43 AM

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Two pilots for Ethiopian Airlines fell asleep and missed their landing while flying from Sudan to Ethiopia on Aug. 15, aviation news site Aviation Herald reported.

Passenger flight ET343, a Boeing 737-800, was travelling from Khartoum to Addis Ababa.

However, the pilots failed to land in Ethiopia on their first approach as they both fell asleep, resulting in the plane flying past the runway and remaining airborne.

Alarm went off

It was further reported that air traffic control tried to contact the pilots multiple times, but could not get ahold of them.

An alarm eventually got set off that woke the pilots up.

This was caused by the autopilot being disengaged after the pilots flew past the landing point.

The pilots then rerouted the plane back to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, where they safely landed 25 minutes later.

No one was harmed and the plane landed safely, but it is unclear how many passengers were aboard.

Plane rerouted confirmed

A flight map from FlightAware showed the exact path the plane took.


Data from aviation surveillance system ADS-B confirmed that the incident took place and the aircraft flew over the runway.

Ethiopian Airlines would not confirm whether the pilots fell asleep though.

It did put out a statement on Aug. 19 stating that the flight "temporarily" lost communication with air traffic control.

"The concerned crew have been removed from operation pending further investigation," Ethiopian Airlines said.

"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."

Top photo via Unsplash