Mesa Air Group Pilots Falling Asleep at the Wheel is What Caused 2008 Incident, an NTSB Report says
Air-traffic controlers tried to contact the snoozing aviators for 18 minutes as the plane flew over Honolulu. When the two men woke up, they had overshot the airport by about 30 miles.
A report by the National Transportation Safety Board, released yesterday, said one of the pilots was later diagnosed with sleep apnea, a condition that makes causes daytime fatigue, and both of the men were just straight tired.
"The day of the incident was the third consecutive day that both pilots started duty at 0540 [5:40 a.m.]," the report says. "This likely caused the pilots to receive less daily sleep than is needed to sustain optimal alertness and resulted in an accumulation of sleep debt and increased levels of daytime fatigue."
Everyone who was on board that aircraft must be happy that the two men crashed in the cockpit and not the plane into the ocean.