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Four in 10 pilots 'nod off mid-flight'

London - More than four in ten British pilots have fallen asleep at the controls of a passenger jet, according to a survey.

A third of these said they had woken to find their co-pilot also sleeping.

Photo for illlustration purposes: In nearly all the incidents, the pilots were cleared by controllers to guide the plane based on what they could see rather than relying on automation. Credit: AP Photo

Around 6,000 pilots in eight countries were surveyed for a “fatigue barometer” by staff associations affiliated to the European Cockpit Association.

More than three out of five pilots in Sweden, Norway and Denmark reported making mistakes due to fatigue, while in Germany this figure was four out of five. Between 70 and 80 percent of exhausted pilots would not declare themselves unfit to fly for fear of being stigmatised by employers or left facing disciplinary action.

The ECA says the study shows that fatigue among pilots is a “common, dangerous and under-reported phenomenon in Europe”.

It come a few weeks after the EU’s European Aviation Safety Agency floated proposed changes to rules on duty times and rest requirements for pilots.

The ECA has criticised the proposals, saying they pose a threat to passenger safety. - Daily Mail

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