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“Asleep” pilot missed destination in Australia, say officials

Image copyrightGetty Images Image textsThe aircraft departed from Devonport, in Tasmania north A small plane exceeded its destination in Australia…

 A guy in Devonport, Tasmania

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Getty Images

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The aircraft departed from Devonport, in Tasmania north

A small plane exceeded its destination in Australia by nearly 50km (30 miles) after the pilot was sleeping in the cockpit, said flight safety officers.

The pilot was the only person on board cargo from Devonport to King of Tasmania on November 8th.

The event, classified as a “inability” case, is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

Officials have not said how the pilot woke up before he landed the plane for sure.

The Piper PA-31

aircraft, powered by Vortex Air, was due to complete the 240km trip at 07:15 local time.

“During the cruise the pilot fell asleep, resulting in the airplane flying over King Island by 46 kilometers,” said ATSB in a brief statement.

Aviation expert Neil Hansford said Australia had strict rules for pilot exhaustion

“There is no way in the world that anyone should have taken that flight tired,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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On its website, Vortex Air says that it operates charter flights for “groups, businesses and leisure travelers” around Australia.

ATSB said it would interview the pilot project and review the operating procedures before a report is released next year.

Last year, five people died when a plane on their way to King Island crashed moments after starting in Melbourne.


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