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Pilot falls unconscious for 40 minutes while flying

NEW DELHI: A trainee pilot flew unconscious for about 40 minutes above Adelaide airport in Australia after he skipped breakfast on the morning of the flight.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau released its report into the “serious incident”, which took place on March 9. The probe found that the pilot had only consumed a chocolate bar, an energy drink and water before the flight. The incident involved an aircraft from flight school Flight Training Adelaide.

The pilot was flying a solo navigation flight when the incident happened. Around 40 minutes into the journey, while flying at 5,500ft, he got a headache, and switched the autopilot on. “Shortly after, the pilot became unconscious,” said the report. He was then unconscious for 40 minutes.

Air-traffic control made multiple attempts to contact the pilot but were unsuccessful, the ATSB said. Another plane then spotted the aircraft and reported the pilot had regained consciousness. The pilot then flew under the other aircraft’s escort. “Prior to the flight, the pilot had suffered from a restless night of sleep and was recovering from a mild cold,” the ATSB stated.

The school said it would ensure students are well rested before flights and emphasised the importance of fatigue management. Students will have to detail the amount of sleep they got in the previous 48 hours; when they last ate; and the type of meal it was, the ATSB said.

News credit : Indiatimes