A cockpit crew may have fallen asleep during a go! airlines flight from Honolulu to Hilo, Hawaii. [Star-Bulletin via BoingBoing]

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  1. timmus says:

    Paraphrasing this a bit:

    FAA investigates whether go! flight crew fell asleep

    The FAA is investigating whether the cockpit crew of a go! airlines flight had fallen asleep during the flight.

    “We’re looking into whether the flight crew, the pilot and copilot, had fallen asleep between Honolulu and Hilo,” said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

    Government officials think the airline crew might have fallen asleep.

    “We don’t think they fell asleep,” Mesa Airlines said.

    “We did not fall asleep,” said the airline crew.

    Officials are investigating whether the airline crew might have fallen asleep during the 45 minute flight.

    FAA officials are investigating whether the crew fell asleep.

    Journalism at its finest!

  2. consumed says:

    But the question still remains: Did the crew fall asleep or did the crew not fall asleep? Or do they just THINK the crew fell asleep? What evidence is there that the crew might or might not have fallen asleep? And what are the ramifications of such sleep? Were any injuries or fatalities reported?

  3. voteccow says:

    Evidence in the story: “A source close to the investigation said there was a 25-minute period where ground crews in Hilo could not get a hold of the flight crew; the flight landed safely.”

  4. formatc says:

    This may be too old to be funny any more, but…

    If the nap does not fit you must acquit.

  5. arch05 says:

    @formatc: Yeah, that wasn’t funny. How could they all have fallen asleep at the same time?

  6. formatc says:

    @arch05: Maybe the in-flight movie was so bad even the crew nodded off?

  7. formatc says:

    @voteccow: Perhaps I have too much faith in humanity, but my first instinct would be to determine if there was an equipment malfunction, either in the air or on the ground, to prevent the communication.

  8. B says:

    They weren’t asleep, they were passed out.

  9. MadameX says:

    @Timmus: After reading that, I really want to come up with a good Dr. Seuss reference but I’m just not that creative.

  10. bwohlgemuth says:

    Wow, those guys are toast. How could both fall asleep on a 20 minute flight?

  11. hhole says:

    go!

    to bed

  12. madderhatter says:

    They couldn’t reach them because of global warming. No wait, maybe sun spots. Hey, who all has seen that movie “The Langoliers” ?

  13. cheera says:

    @B: And drunk.

  14. whatdoyoucare says:

    Maybe they were joining the mile high club?

  15. madderhatter says:

    LOL, I just saw this on CNN – they had it titled “Power Nap at 30,000 feet”

  16. Hawkins says:

    @formatc: A communications malfunction seems unlikely. Standard procedures for loss of communications with the ground call for you to set your transponder to 7600 and then land according to flight plan. Other traffic is guided out of your way.

    I found all this info here: [www.aopa.org]

    My point is that the apparent facts of the case do not fit a radio malfunction.

  17. emilu says:

    Wow, that is a bizarrely short flight for a crew to fall asleep on.

  18. bilge says:

    The flight path: [flightaware.com]

  19. Sarah Bellum says:

    A friend was once flying from the U.S. to Belgium on an executive jet, the kind that’s so small you can see into the cockpit from the passenger seats. So they’re over the ocean and she falls asleep and when she awakens, she sees that the co-pilot is asleep. Which was okay until she checked the pilot, who was also completely out. She sat there for a few moments, frozen in horror, trying to figure out what to do that wouldn’t startle the pilots and cause them to crash. Luckily one of them woke up and my friend spent the rest of trip pounding back alcoholic beverages.

  20. JAGGEDED says:

    Most planes have the capability to fly themselves with virtually zero error (not to mention, more efficient and dynamic flight path calculation and smoother landings). Consumers aren’t ready to adopt this new technology so major airliners haven’t embraced the idea, yet.

    It’s interesting that people wouldn’t be pushing more for this technology. Many studies show that sleep deprivation highly correlates with sleep deprivation (I can hear the resounding “Duh!” now.). And, we know how to shift sleep-wake cycles to the benefit of those most in need (pilots, truck drivers, etc.)

    Unfortunately, no one is willing to accept the research because most of the suggestions/directions would undoubtedly decrease overall productivity.

    That said, I look forward to the day computers take charge and pilots sit back and act as a secondary piloting source. That, or the day the world decides to slow down and get off the fast track of life and adopt a more natural way of living… (We work too much! (Those of us who do work hard, that is.))

  21. aka Cat says:

    @bilge: Overflying by ~50 miles would seem to indicate that they weren’t paying attention, at the very least.

    But I’d like to know why the flight track for every repeat of the flight since then looks like it cuts off between Maui and Hawaii.

  22. scoosdad says:

    @CatMoran: The other interesting thing about this flight is that it takes place at 10 AM, not like it’s late in the day or at night. Unless these guys were flying all night long, who falls asleep at 10 AM flying a plane in sunshine (with a heading sort of into the sun at that time of day, no less).

    Yeah, the loop on the flight path is kinda suspicious unless they were instructed to go around or something to avoid other traffic.

  23. reznicek111 says:

    @JAGGEDED: I’ve also read about the proposals for autonomously-guided flight systems and remote-controlled autopilot systems (to be used in emergencies if the cockpit crew is unable to fly, or another 9/11 takeover scenario).

    I think the problem is that we as consumers aren’t quite prepared to -entirely- trust our lives and safety to computers and machinery without human oversight – after all, who hasn’t had a computer crash on them?

    Even if the technology someday becomes “bulletproof,” I for one would feel better there is a pilot (and co-pilot) on board who can take over in event of a Blue Screen of Death.

  24. sibertater says:

    @B: HAMMERED! It’s a long flight, captains log says to drink.