Sleep-Deprived Disasters - AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447
Disaster: On June 1, 2009, during a flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France, Air France 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 people on board.
Sleep Deprivation: Captain Marc Dubois, 58, the pilot on the flight with the most experience by far, had just one hour of sleep the night before. “I didn’t sleep enough night,” he can be heard saying early in the flight on the plane’s cockpit voice recorder (which wasn’t recovered until May 2011). “One hour, it’s not enough.” And when his two younger copilots encountered trouble about three hours into the flight, Dubois was asleep in a bunk located just behind the cockpit.
It was, it must be noted, a scheduled nap, because all pilots on especially long flights are required to take naps. But when the copilots started experiencing problems—including “STALL!” warnings blaring in the cockpit— and called for Dubois on the plane’s intercom, it took Dubois more than a minute to respond. And when he finally did get to the cockpit, he seemed confused and failed to take control of the situation, which a pilot of his experience should have been able to do. (The least experienced of the copilots, for example, was pulling back on the control stick during the ordeal—the exact opposite of what’s supposed to be done during a stall.)
The plane crashed into the ocean less than three minutes after Dubois got to the cockpit.
The time it took him to respond to the calls for help, and his subsequent inability to figure out what was going on, were determined by investigators to have been caused by fatigue.
Read more Sleep-Deprived Disasters in the Newsletter Vol III Issue 5 here https://www.aviationlogbook.eu/newsletters/58bc7bac61766925b70000af