(CNN) -- Dutch airline Transavia said it has launched an investigation after a Boeing 737 pilot was locked out of the cockpit and his first officer was later found asleep at the controls.
The incident took place in September, when the airliner was en route from Greece to the Netherlands, a top Dutch safety investigation agency said. The 737 landed safely in Amsterdam as scheduled, the airline said Wednesday.
According to a Dutch Safety Board report released Wednesday, the pilot stepped out of the cockpit to take a bathroom break about 2½ hours into the flight.
When he returned a short time later, the pilot used an intercom to ask his first officer to open the door. There was no answer, the report said.
Eventually, the pilot alerted the crew and was able to open the door himself. That's when he found the first officer asleep, according to the report.
"It's a serious incident," said Wim van der Weegen of the Dutch Safety Board, "What makes it serious is the combination of the pilot being unable to access the cockpit and the first officer being asleep.
"By 'serious incident,' I mean the flight was in danger," he said.
The Dutch Safety Board will decide whether to open its own inquiry when the airline's investigation is finished, van der Weegen said.
Laws regarding pilot breaks during flights vary from country to country. For U.S. carriers, sleeping while at the controls is a violation of FAA regulations. Flights longer than eight hours require a relief pilot on board to take over when pilots sleep.
U.S. airlines also require a flight attendant to be in the cockpit when the pilot or first officer take bathroom breaks, in case the person flying the aircraft becomes incapacitated.
GnatB Zephyr • 3 days ago
They weren't on autopilot?。。。这人剩下的话不是重点。难道没有自动驾驶吗？
（以下不一定逐字翻译，但是重点肯定不会缺）Zephyr GnatB • 2 days ago
Autolands do exist, and they are used in extreme weather on some aircraft. Let's set aside the fact that they require some pretty involved programming before the approach begins and no airliner has an autoland programmed before they have a runway assignment from the destination ATC. We'll also ignore the fact that autolands can land in zero visibility, but aren't so good at strong crosswinds, tailwinds, or turbulence creating large pitch excursions. Both the runway (like you said) AND the airplane have to be equipped with the capability. The flight was going to Amsterdam, so at least one runway there would be so equipped. The airplane probably was not. Autoland technology can be installed on any airliner, but it's expensive and you'll primarily see it on the largest long-haul jets in a major airline's fleet. It's pretty uncommon at budget airlines and on smaller jets used for shorter over-land routes because the cost of an occasional fog-related diversion is generally less than the cost of installing and maintaining the system. I don't know for sure, but I doubt an airline like Transvia would have sprung for that cost. Saying that airliners can land themselves is like saying cars can parallel park themselves. The technology exists, sure, but most of the cars driving around the city don't have it.
Autolands aside, people misunderstand autopilots themselves. Modern airliners do have the autopilot on for the majority of the flight, but that autopilot requires constant inputs. Even the most advanced airliners out there don't start their descent without pilot input. The technology might technically exist, but jets fly in complicated, congested airspace and you don't start a descent until have clearance from ATC, which means that you don't have the descent programmed until you actually hear ATC clear you to start down. When the autopilot is on, pilots are constantly manually programming it to turn to headings, intercept new courses, start climbs, start descents, slow down, speed up, etc. The pilot's hands might not be on the yoke and thrust levers, but they're still telling the airplane to do every step along the way.
That's why those flights with pilots asleep and/or distracted overflew their destinations. Without input to start down, the airplane would laterally track the last course programmed into the flight management system at the last altitude it was flying at. When it reached the end of its programmed route it would default into just flying straight ahead. This also happened to the private jet carrying golfer Payne Stewart after it suffered a decompression that rendered the pilots unconscious but the airplane physically unharmed. The flight was supposed to be from Florida to Dallas, but without pilot inputs it ended up flying a constant heading until it ran out of fuel and crashed...in South Dakota.
As for aircraft taxiing themselves, that technology is being looked into by Honeywell and a few other companies but it is years away from actual real world testing. Despite advances in technology, airliners still require a (conscious) pilot at the controls. You will get into a city bus without a driver before you board an airliner without a pilot.
(edited) Wow, I get long-winded. Apologies for the length.好吧，写的太长了。。。（好吧，你累死我了。。。）