Sleep Debt Led to Mesa Overflight

 - August 28, 2009, 7:59 AM

The Mesa Air Group CRJ200 pilots who fell asleep during a flight from Honolulu to Hilo on February 13 last year started work at 5:40 a.m. on three consecutive days before the incident, according to an NTSB factual report issued August 3. Likely sleep deprivation associated with the work schedule, the captain’s undiagnosed sleep apnea, a high workload before the incident and a low workload associated with the cruise phase of flight all contributed to the fatigue that led to the pair falling asleep, said the report. The airplane traveled 30 miles past its destination before the pilots awoke and returned to Hilo.