“Pilot snoring so heavy it was picked up by the in-flight-recorders”

Pilot of crashed plane was asleep for more than half the flight

The pilot at the controls of an Indian jet that crashed earlier this year, killing 158 passengers, had slept for more than half the flight and only drowsily rallied himself when it was time to land the plane, investigators have found. At times his snoring was so heavy it was picked up by the in-flight recorders.

Zlatko Glusica, a Serbian pilot, had more than 10,200 hours of flying experience and his Indian co-pilot, HS Ahluwalia, had 3,650. But as the Air India Express flight came into land at Mangalore International Airport’s notoriously short runway, the senior pilot was disoriented and his movements were slow as a result of “sleep inertia”.

On the recorder, the co-pilot can be heard repeatedly warning him to abort the landing. The final words captured before the plane crashed were from one of the pilots: “Oh my God.”

The six-member investigation team looking into May’s crash has now submitted its report to the country’s civil aviation ministry, which will share the findings with the Indian parliament. But if reports by local media citing the findings of the investigation are correct, then the panel’s conclusions will add to growing concern worldwide about the dangers posed by exhausted pilots working long schedules. Pilot unions are currently fighting efforts by cash-strapped airlines, such as the Air India subsidiary, to get them to work longer hours……

Continued at The Independent (click here)

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