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Pilots put aircraft and passengers at risk for a nap

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posted on May, 4 2013 @ 07:09 AM
The pilots of Air India AI133, an Airbus A321, with 166 passengers on board decided they needed to take a nap during the flight. The first officer called one of the flight attendants into the cockpit, and had her take his seat (regulations require two people in the cockpit at all times during the flight).

A few minutes later, the captain called the other flight attendant into the cockpit, and had her take his seat. He spent a few minutes showing them the basics of the cockpit, before joining the first officer in business class, and going to sleep, with the aircraft on autopilot.

At some point during their 40 minute nap, one of the flight attendants managed to turn off the autopilot, requiring both pilots to rush back to the cockpit and return to flying the aircraft.

All four crew members have since been suspended while the DGCA investigates.

Two Air India pilots put the lives of 166 passengers on a Bangkok-Delhi flight in danger by taking a 40-minute break from the cockpit and getting two stewardesses to operate the plane in their absence. Their stunt almost ended in disaster after one of the stewardesses accidentally turned off the auto-pilot, forcing the pilots to rush back to their seats.

The incident took place 33,000 feet in the air on Air India flight AI 133 (an Airbus 321) from Bangkok to Delhi on April 12, which took off from Bangkok on schedule, at 8.55 am.

Thirty minutes later, First Officer Ravindra Nath excused himself from the cockpit for a bathroom break and got airhostess J Bhatt to occupy his seat in his absense. "According to the guidelines it is a standard procedure to ensure the presence of second person in the cockpit so that if the pilot is not able to operate the aircraft for some reason, the other crew member in the cockpit can immediately call for the other pilot. But what actually happened after this made a mockery of air safety," said a a source in Air India, who did not wish to be named.

S ource

posted on May, 4 2013 @ 07:17 AM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Explanation: S&F!


This story just registered off the scale on my "what is their level of irresponsibility?" meter!

Personal Disclosure: What does this story tell us about the sleeping habits of pilots and what does it tell us about lack of proper protocols?

posted on May, 4 2013 @ 07:29 AM
Holy Jeebus, Batman!

A plane under the command of Air stewards? How did they manage to disengage the autopilot? They surely must have been pressing buttons, it can't be that easy to turn off?

posted on May, 4 2013 @ 07:30 AM
I've heard of pilots taking naps while the plane is on autopilot, from what I can gather that's a common occurance on long-haul flights. But I've never come across a flight attendant being handed control... She must have been terrified!!

posted on May, 4 2013 @ 07:46 AM
reply to post by Florasaurus

Usually on long haul flights there is another crew on board, so they can have one of those pilots come into the cockpit to help monitor instruments. I've heard of a few other cases where flight attendants were pressed into service, but they're extremely rare, and always when the other pilot was awake and flying the aircraft.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 04:14 PM
What I don't understand. When the captain went for his nap---with the first officer already sleeping---did he not recognize that he, himself, was also aboard an aircraft piloted by no pilots?


posted on May, 5 2013 @ 04:25 PM

Originally posted by Zaphod58
The pilots of Air India

Well, at least somebody were in the cockpit, and the captain and the first officer didn't fight each other in the cabin (true story)

edit on 5-5-2013 by Ivar_Karlsen because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 05:00 PM
Many years ago a ?TWA? (think TWA but not sure) flight en-route to LAX was finally awakened over the ocean ?100? miles past L.A.......They blamed it on the 2d officer for going to sleep too, if my memory serves me right. None of the crew continued in an aviation career at TWA......Some of the 3 and 5 day trips used to be murder as far as getting any sleep on a lay over. But I never heard of both pilots leaving the cockpit even in the old days. After an Egypt air first officer did the lawn dart maneuver into the ocean while the Captain left for the lav things began to change; and rightly so.
edit on 5-5-2013 by 727Sky because: ??

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 05:06 PM
What I want to know is, why were the pilots so tired that they actually called the flight attendants to take over? Do they work them like dogs? I understand it's very hard to fly a plane, but I never heard of both pilots going to sleep.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 05:08 PM
reply to post by 727Sky

The bigger concern is, what was so important before they went to work that day, that they were like, Ahhhh screw it, I'll sleep on the plane....But I'm the Pilot...Ahhh there's a co-pilot...

lol I do not understand, Idiocracy is true. We are all going to slowly loose our minds.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 05:13 PM

Originally posted by 727SkyI never heard of both pilots leaving the cockpit

Happend a couple of times before i left the airline (Air India), it was turning into a freakshow.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 10:04 PM
reply to post by 727Sky

A Go! Airways crew in Hawaii got in trouble a few years ago because they both were finally woken up by the radio twenty minutes past Hilo, which was their destination.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 11:08 PM
reply to post by Tranceopticalinclined

The regs used to say from block in, until block out, you had 8.5 hours. Ok so you land and do the bag drag through the airport take a van to the hotel get unpacked and get the uniform ready for the next day and jump in bed and instantly go to sleep...You might get 8 hours but usually 7 was the norm. Now take the same scenario and wait 30 minutes on the van..If at the start of your 3 or 4 day trip where you can be on duty for 14 hours a day you can get behind the sleep curve fairly quickly. No excuse for what they did which I am sure ended their aviation career. People who have not worked for an Airline think all kinds of stuff yet the reality is often times quite different.

posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 03:16 AM
From the title I thought the pilots gassed the passengers, as the unruly group mustve needed a nap. Like on 30Rock, instituting Sky Law

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