Tired Pilots Wake Up Just in Time to Land Red-Eye

2004 incident comes to light during Congressional hearing
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2007 4:40 PM CDT
An overtired pilot fell asleep just before landing at the Denver airport.   ((c) woinary)
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(Newser) – Two commercial pilots—one of whom had flown three straights nights—fell asleep on a red-eye flight from Baltimore to Denver in 2004 but woke up just in time to land safely, the Rocky Mountain News reports. The plane was coming in much too fast and high, but the captain roused himself at the last minute to correct the aircraft's course.

"I woke up, why I don't know, and heard frantic calls" from the control tower, the captain wrote on anonymous safety website set up by the federal government. The incident came up in a House hearing on aviation safety that addressed pilot fatigue, a sore point between pilots' unions and the airline industry. Neither the pilots nor the airline were identified.