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Monday, February 25, 2008

Sleeping go! Pilots Suspended

Two pilots commanding a go! Airlines Honolulu to Hilo flight, who are said to have fallen asleep during a February 13 flight, have been suspended by Mesa Air Group. The incident is now under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to press reports. Mesa’s pilots union, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has long complained about fatigue and being forced to work at FAA’s maximum allowable time.
KGMB9 reported that in addition to the incident on February 13, another go! flight had a communications blackout for 10 to 15 minutes the day before on a Kona-Honolulu flight. The FAA is also investigating that incident.
The pilots face a written reprimand, or suspension or revocation of their licenses. Local news stations reported that air traffic controllers received no response from the crew of Flight 1002 for 25 minutes of the 200-mile, 40-minute flight which departed at 9:25 am. It flew past the island of Hawaii and 15 miles out to sea before it turned around. Mesa, parent company of go!, said it is also investigating.
Mesa has not released identity of the suspended pilots but a spokesperson said the captain has more than 15 years of flying experience. He was reportedly based in Nashville and volunteered for temporary duty in Hawaii, according to the airline.
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