Yes. It has finally happened. Your nightmare has actually come true. An honest-to-God, real-life pilot, in charge of a plane full of people and stuff, nodded off at the wheel (stick?), halfway over the ocean. Oh, and it wasn’t just once -- the master of the skies managed to have two little cat-naps. Commence screaming.
The pilot was flying an Air New Zealand 777 between London and Los Angeles when the incident happened, way back in 2011. Apparently, he hadn’t had a good night’s sleep the previous evening -- faulty air conditioning, I sympathise -- and “suddenly, and without any warning, fell into a deep sleep on the flight deck”.
The airline didn’t take any action, as the pilot reported the incident voluntarily, and the airline don’t want to dissaude people from doing so in the future. Still, I sure as hell won’t be flying Air New Zealand any time soon. I mean, I know autopilots and all, but still, who’s going to make those reassuring announcements telling me how fast I’m going? Exactly. [BBC News]
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