REPORT: Probe Launched Into Airline As Pilots Allegedly Nap During Flight In Indonesia

(Photo credit ROMEO GACAD/AFP via Getty Images)

Mariane Angela Contributor
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Aviation authorities launched investigation against an airline in Indonesia after two pilots allegedly took a 28-minute nap during a flight Jan. 25, Fox News reported.

Indonesian authorities have charged a 32-year-old captain and his 28-year-old co-pilot from Batik Air Indonesia with negligence for diverting from their flight path after reportedly dozing off in the cockpit, according to Fox News. The incident took place during a routine flight from South East Sulawesi to Jakarta, Indonesia. The flight carrying 159 passengers was veering off course after the two pilots allegedly fell asleep mid-flight during the two and half hour flight.

Upon reaching a cruising altitude of 36,000 feet, the captain requested a break, according to the statement, NBC News reported. Subsequent to his rest, he extended an offer to his first officer for a break, which was declined. After a short discussion, the captain went back to resting, and entrusted the first officer with the aircraft’s controls. (RELATED: ‘Unruly’ And ‘Intoxicated’ Passengers Banned From Major Airline After Causing Emergency Landing)

During the captain’s nap, the first officer obtained permission to alter the aircraft’s route to avoid bad weather, with a directive to inform air traffic control once they had navigated past the weather issue, NBC News stated. It is reported that the first officer allegedly fell asleep after rerouting the aircraft.

The situation came to light when the captain, after a one-hour nap, woke up to discover the aircraft had strayed from its intended path, with his deputy also asleep, Fox News reported. Efforts by air traffic controllers to reach the crew of flight BTK6723 during this lapse reportedly went unanswered. The captain managed to realign the aircraft and ensure a safe landing in Jakarta, with all passengers unharmed.

Further investigation into the incident revealed that the co-pilot had been experiencing difficulties sleeping as he was reportedly caring for his newborn twins at home. In response to the incident, Batik Air has temporarily suspended the involved pilots, and the Indonesian transport ministry has issued a stern reprimand to the airline, according to Fox News.