Plane veered off flight path after both pilots fell asleep, Indonesian authorities say

Plane veered off flight path after both pilots fell asleep, Indonesian authorities say - Domestic News - News

Unraveling the Incident: Two Batik Air Pilots Fall Asleep Mid-Flight, Indonesia’s Transport Ministry Initiates Investigation

Indonesia’s transport ministry has announced its intention to launch a comprehensive investigation following an incident in which both pilots of Batik Air flight BTK6723 from Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi province to the capital Jakarta on January 25, 2023, fell asleep simultaneously for approximately 28 minutes. According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT), this unexpected event caused navigational errors, as the aircraft was not in the correct flight path.

A total of 157 individuals were aboard the flight, including passengers and crew members. Fortuitously, none of them sustained injuries during the incident, and there was no reported damage to the aircraft. The journey lasted for two hours and 35 minutes and concluded with a successful landing in Jakarta.

As per the report, the second-in-command pilot had expressed concerns regarding his rest earlier that day. During the flight preceding the incident, he managed to sleep for about 30 minutes. Subsequently, with the aircraft having reached cruising altitude, the pilot-in-command requested permission to rest as well. The second-in-command assumed control of the aircraft at this juncture. However, about 90 minutes into the flight, the second-in-command inadvertently succumbed to sleep.

Twelve minutes after the last recorded transmission from the co-pilot, the Jakarta area control center (ACC) attempted to contact the aircraft but received no response. Around 28 minutes after the last recorded transmission, the pilot-in-command awoke and recognized that the aircraft was off course. At this moment, he roused the second-in-command and communicated with the ACC.

The report did not disclose the names of the pilots but identified the pilot-in-command as a 32-year-old Indonesian male and the second-in-command as a 28-year-old Indonesian male. The second-in-command was a new father, having only one-month-old twins, and had to attend to his wife’s needs on multiple occasions during the flight.

M Kristi Endah Murni, civil aviation director-general of Indonesia’s transport ministry, issued a statement to Antara stating that an investigation and review of night flight operations in Indonesia concerning Fatigue Risk Management for Batik Air and other aviation companies would be conducted. In accordance with standard operating procedures, the crew members of BTK6723 have been temporarily grounded pending further examination.

Murni also revealed that an inspector authorized on Resolution of Safety Issue (RSI) would be dispatched to investigate the cause of the incident and propose mitigation measures for flight operators and supervisors.