The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation announced that an investigation has been launched after the pilots of a Batik Air Airlines passenger plane fell asleep for 28 minutes during the flight.

Indonesia's state news agency Antara reported that on January 25, during the flight from Kendari-Jakarta, the pilot and co-pilot fell asleep at the same time, causing the plane to veer off course for several minutes.

According to the preliminary report of the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT), 153 passengers and crew members were not injured and the aircraft was not damaged. Flight BTK6723 lasted 2 hours and 35 minutes and landed successfully in Jakarta. According to the report, the second pilot had informed the captain earlier in the day that he was "not getting enough rest".

After the plane left Kendari and reached cruising altitude, the captain also requested permission to rest and the second pilot took over.

According to the report, about 90 minutes before landing, the second pilot also "accidentally" fell asleep.

Twelve minutes after the last communication recorded by the second pilot, the regional control center tried to reach the plane, but there was no response from the pilots, the report said.

THEY LIED TO THE TOWER

About 28 minutes after the last recorded communication, the captain pilot woke up and realized that the plane was not on the correct course. At that point, he reportedly woke up the second-in-command and responded to the tower.

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The captain pilot said there had been a "radio communication problem", hiding that they had fallen asleep in communication with the tower.

The names of the pilots were not disclosed in the report, but the captain pilot was identified as a 32-year-old Indonesian and the second pilot as a 28-year-old Indonesian.

The second pilot had one-month-old twins and was "sleep deprived to help his wife take care of the babies," the report said. It was stated that the investigation into the incident is ongoing.