Ethiopian Airlines Removes ‘Sleepy ET-343 Pilots’

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Ethiopian Airlines ET-343 pilots sleep on air
Ethiopian Airlines suspended flight number ET-343 pilots from operation after both fall asleep mid-air and misses the descent to the runway. (Photo: UNILAD)


Ethiopian Airlines announced that it has removed the two ET-343 pilots who fall asleep mid-air while en route from Khartoum to Addis Abeba on 15 August and passed their destination.

“We have received a report which indicates Ethiopian flight number ET-343 en route from Khartoum to Addis Ababa temporarily lost communication with Addis Ababa Air Traffic Control on 15 August 2022,” Ethiopian Airlines said in its statement today.

“The flight later landed safely after communication was restored. The concerned Crew has been removed from operation pending further investigation. Appropriate corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation. Safety has always been and will continue to be our first priority,” said Ethiopian Airlines.

The airlines issued the statement after The Aviation Herald reported about the incident as:

“An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration ET-AOB performing flight ET-343 from Khartoum (Sudan) to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), was en route at FL370 when the pilots fell asleep. The aircraft continued past the top of descent, maintaining FL370 and continued along the FMC route set up for an approach to runway 25L without descending however.”

“ATC tried to contact the crew numerous times without success. After overflying runway 25L at FL370 the autopilot disconnected, the disconnect wailer woke the crew up who then maneuvered the aircraft for a safe landing on runway 25L about 25 minutes after overflying the runway at FL370.”.

The aircraft remained on the ground for about 2.5 hours before departing for its next flight, according to The Aviation Herald.

flight ET-343
flight ET-343 (Credit: Alex Macherias)