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Pilot blames London stopover hotel for falling asleep at the controls

An Air New Zealand pilot, who confessed that he fell asleep at the controls of a passenger flight, blamed the incident on the room temperature of his London stopover hotel.

The pilot, who reported the incident to authorities, said he was unable to sleep properly before the flight because the air conditioning in his London hotel room made it either too hot or too cold.

As a result he made three room changes in the first two days of his stopover and claimed he had not had enough rest.

Pilot unions said the incident highlighted the need for airline staff to be "provided with quality hotel rest".

They said the pilot had taken the right action in reporting the 2011 incident to the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.

Niether the name of the pilot nor the name of the London hotel were disclosed in the CAA's report.

Air New Zealand claimed safety was not compromised at any stage.

A recent study by the British Airline Pilots Association found 43% of members admitted they had fallen asleep on the flight deck.

Monday, March 4, 2013

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