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World
23 Feb 2019

Video shows pilot taking a nap while flying Boeing 747

In an incident of major violation of rules, a pilot of China Airlines (the national carrier of Taiwan) was found sleeping in the cockpit while flying a Boeing 747.

Weng Jiaqi is a senior pilot with almost 20 years of experience and the video of him snoozing mid-air was taken by a co-pilot.

Disciplinary actions have been taken against them.

Here's what went down.

In context

Pilot falls asleep while flying Boeing 747

Weng is senior most Boeing 747 pilot of China Airlines

Weng is the senior most pilot of Boeing 747 of China Airlines having nearly 20 years of experience flying mainly Seoul, Tokyo, Okinawa, and Hong Kong. Moreover, at the China Airlines Flight Training Center, he holds the position of instructor-in-charge of simulations.

China Airlines says Weng 'received adequate punishment'

Criticism

China Airlines says Weng 'received adequate punishment'

The 30-second video, which went viral, showed the sleepy senior pilot leaning his head forward and his eyes closed while the plane was mid-air.

Soon as the video reached social media platforms, netizens got angry and criticized Weng for putting the lives of his passengers into danger.

Following this, the national carrier of Taiwan told media that the pilot has "received adequate punishment."

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Action

Co-pilot reprimanded for not waking up senior pilot

"In this instance, the pilot himself voluntarily reported his inappropriate behavior in the cockpit to China Airlines," China Airlines said in a statement.

It further said that the co-pilot has also been reprimanded for not waking up the senior pilot.

Another China Airlines' pilot commented, "Fatigue is inevitable. But as a senior officer, the pilot should have set a good example for his subordinates."

Pilots allowed to sleep in cockpits for longer flights

Sleep

Pilots allowed to sleep in cockpits for longer flights

"If the pilot (Weng) was really too tired, he should have alerted crew-members and have them observe his condition," the pilot added.

According to the aviation guidelines in Taiwan, pilots are allowed to sleep in the cockpit if the flight are long- something known as 'controlled rest'.

For this, the seat is pulled back and the pilot aren't anywhere near the controls.

Strike

Separately, China Airlines pilot ended strike over pilot fatigue, overworking

The video comes days after the China Airlines' pilots shut a seven-day strike over issues including long working-hours and pilots experiencing fatigue.

It ended with an agreement between the airline and the Taoyuan Union of Pilots about addressing complaints over pilot fatigue and overwork.

According to Taiwan's Civil Aviation Bureau, pilots should be given at least 24 hours off if they've flown over 12-hours.

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