The incident occurred in the skies over Africa on August 15, when an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft was flying from Khartoum to Addis Ababa, the Daily Mail reports citing Aviation Herald. As aviation analyst Alex Maceras tweeted: “Deeply disturbing incident at Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines. Boeing 737 #ET343 was still at a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet by the time it reached its destination Addis Ababa. Why didn't he start descending for landing? Both pilots were asleep."
Air traffic control attempted to contact the crew but was unsuccessful. They woke up only after the plane's autopilot, after an unsuccessful approach, turned off and gave an alarm. The pilots managed to make another approach and safely land the plane, which set off on the next flight two and a half hours later.
Such incidents, due to pilot fatigue, are not so rare anymore. In April of this year, a similar thing happened on the flight of the Italian carrier ITA Airways, which followed from New York to Rome. When the plane was flying over France at an altitude of more than 11,000 meters, the captain of the ship and his assistant dozed off. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane for 10 minutes. The possibility of a terrorist attack was considered, and a fighter aircraft was being prepared to intercept the aircraft. However, the pilots eventually woke up after responding to the call signs. The plane landed safely in Rome, the captain of the ship was fired.