Six out of ten say they’ve fallen asleep during flights
Danish pilots are exhausted when they are at the controls of an aircraft, a new study says. In a survey made together with the Danish Pilot Association, the news program 21 Søndag interviewed 600 pilots.
As many as six out of ten pilots surveyed said they had actually fallen asleep during a flight, and eight out of ten pilots said they had “sometimes felt so tired in the cockpit [that they] should not be sitting there”. Nine out of ten said they had noticed the pilot next to them falling asleep during a flight without first making an agreement.
“You feel your head nodding once, and then three times. And then you’re asleep,” said one pilot.
Another commented: “Sometimes I have questioned whether it was the right thing to fly. But when you’re in that situation, you can’t do anything about it.”
Research has found that fatigue is a significant explanation for 15-20% of all aircraft accidents.
A further comment: “I had an experience about two weeks ago where both the co-pilot and I were very tired after a long day. And during the entire descent we were nodding and had heavy eyelids.”
[pictured: Trent-900 fan blade; courtesy Qantas]