He woke up before the fuel ran out and was able to return.
The Australian Bureau of Transportation Safety launched an investigation into the incident that occurred on November 8. Then the pilot of a cargo flight company Vortex Air, heading from Devonport in Tasmania to the neighboring island of King, fell asleep at the helm and flew past the desired airport. He flew an extra 46 kilometers on autopilot before making a detour and landed at his destination.
According to the bureau, it was one of seven aircraft flights per day. The twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo VH-TWU was built in 1975 and can carry up to nine passengers at a time, but only a pilot was on board.
Investigators classified the incident as a “serious operational incident.” They began collecting evidence and tentatively intend to report in March 2019. Vortex Air declined to comment.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Strategic Aviation Solutions Neil Hansford, commenting on the situation, spoke about another case where the pilot deliberately lay down to rest during the flight and set the alarm. At the same time, he forgot that he needed to switch the fuel tanks. How it ended Hansford did not disclose.