A small-size plane missed its destination by almost 50km after the pilot gradually fall asleep in the cockpit. The airplane took off from Devenport in Tasmania for King Island on November 8 and the pilot at 6:21AM realised that he had missed the destination and took U-turn. The incident is classified as a case of ‘incapacitation’ and it is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
However, the only person on board was the pilot and the nine-seater Piper PA-31 Navajo VH-TWU suffered no damage whatsoever.
The official spokesperson of ATBS said, ‘’The ATSB is investigating a pilot incapacitation involving a Piper PA-31, VH-TWU, operated by Vortex Air, near King Island Airport, Tasmania on 8 November 2018. During the cruise, the pilot fell asleep resulting in the aircraft overflying King Island by 46km’’.
‘’As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the pilot and review operational procedures. A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation’’, he added.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will release the report by March 2019.