Sometimes early morning snoozing is inevitable — but it shouldn’t be for pilots.
A commercial pilot fell asleep and overshot his Australian destination during a 6:20 a.m. flight on Nov. 8.
The Vortex Air pilot was planning to land the twin-propeller Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftain on King Island in Bass Strait.
The unidentified pilot, the sole person on the freight plane, was flying in from Devonport city on Tasmania.
He overflew his destination by approximately 29 miles.
“The issue became apparent when air traffic control was unable to contact the pilot in-flight, and the aircraft traveled past the intended destination point while operating on autopilot,” Vortex Air said in a statement.
The airline said the pilot, who had a personal crisis the night before and got almost no sleep, landed safely at King Island.
Officials are unaware of how he woke up, according to BBC.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority are investigating the incident and how the company manages pilot fatigue.
“Vortex Air takes the safety of our passengers, crew and pilots extremely seriously and always abide by all safety procedures,” the Melbourne-based airline said.
“This is an extremely rare occurrence, as demonstrated by the company’s excellent safety track record.”