Plane flies past destination as pilots doze: report

NEW DELHI, June 26, 2008 (AFP) – An Air India flight headed for Mumbai overshot its destination and was halfway to Goa before its dozing pilots were woken out of a deep slumber by air traffic control, a report said. The high altitude nap took place approximately two weeks ago, the Times of India reported Thursday.

Some 100 passengers were on board the state-run flight that originated from Dubai and flew to the western Indian city of Jaipur before heading south to Mumbai when both pilots fell asleep, a source told the paper.

“After operating an overnight flight, fatigue levels peak — and so the pilots dozed off after taking off from Jaipur,” the source, who was not identified in the report, said.

The plane flew to Mumbai on autopilot, but when air traffic there tried to help the aircraft land, the plane ignored their instructions and carried on at full speed towards Goa.

“It was only after the aircraft reached Mumbai airspace that air traffic control realised it was not responding to any instructions and was carrying on its own course,” the source said.

“The aircraft should have begun its descent about 100 miles (160 kilometres) from Mumbai, but here it was still at cruising altitude. We che