Pilot misses landing destination by almost 50 km after he 'fell asleep' in the cockpit
The flight, however, landed safely at King Island Airport near the town of Currie despite overshooting its target by 46km, as per flight tracking data.
A pilot allegedly fell asleep while flying a chartered flight and missed his landing by almost 50 km. Following the flight from Devonport in Tasmania to neighboring King Island on November 8, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said they are investigating a case of 'pilot incapacitation', Daily Mail reports. It is not clear whether passengers were on board at the time.
That said, the 6.21 am flight landed safely at King Island Airport near the town of Currie despite overshooting its target by 46km as per flight tracking data. The trip was one of the seven flights flown that day by the Piper PA-31 Navajo VH-TWU, according to data obtained by The Australian. The twin-engine plane with a capacity to seat nine passengers was built in 1975, thus making it 43 years old.
The concerned investigation will reportedly involve reviewing operational Vortex Air procedures and interviewing the pilot in question, the ATSB said in a statement. "During the cruise, the pilot fell asleep resulting in the aircraft overflying King Island by 46km," the ATSB alleged.
Investigative officers are in the process of collecting evidence ahead of a final report after having classified the case as a "serious operational incident." The investigation is expected to end by March 2019, after which the final report will be published, according to reports.
Colin Tucker, Vortex Air's managing director, is yet to respond to the incident.