Tired aircraft pilot had to abort landing at 230 feet
A CARGO plane had to abort its landing due to problems disconnecting the auto-pilot.
The drama took place on December 14, 2017, at 6.06am and involved an SE-MHF aircraft.
A report by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau says the co-pilot tried to disconnect the auto-pilot at 800ft but it did not appear to disconnect.
The landing was aborted at 230ft and the pilots had to initiate another landing.
The flight was scheduled to depart from East Midlands Airport (EMA) just after midnight but de-icing and departure were delayed and the flight only took off at 3.01am. It arrived at its destination, Belfast Aldergrove Airport, and took off without problems for the return flight.
The co-pilot was designated as the pilot flying but said that at times “he felt very tired during the flight”, according to the report.
The inquiry report says: “It is likely the crew were operating at a low point of their circadian rhythm which could have adversely affected their alertness.
“Additionally, the co-pilot had been awake in excess of 18 hours which might have reduced his capacity for attention-based tasks.
“However, the crew were both accustomed to operating night duties.”
The European Aviation Safety Agency states “scientific research shows continuous awake time in excess of 18 hours can reduce the alertness and should be avoided”.