Speed Reading — Being Asleep - Level 5 — 200 wpm

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Two pilots fell asleep at one of the most crucial parts of their flight. They were flying a Boeing 737 from Khartoum, Sudan to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The plane was at a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet and was due to begin its descent to Addis Ababa's airport. Air traffic controllers were shocked when their flight radar showed the plane had overshot its destination. The pilots woke up after the autopilot disconnected and the alarm sounded. They did a loop of the skies above the airport and landed the plane. None of the crew or passengers on board were hurt.

The airline made a statement about the incident. It said: "We have received a report which indicates the Ethiopian flight…temporarily lost communication with air traffic control.…The flight later landed safely." It said the pilots "have been removed from operation pending further investigation". It added: "Appropriate corrective action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation. Safety…will continue to be our first priority." An aviation analyst said the incident might have been because of pilot fatigue. He said this was "one of the most significant threats to air safety".

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