The plane that does not respond to radar: the commander fired, “hypothesis of sleepiness”

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A worrying radio silence. What happened in the cockpit of flight 609 ITA Airways, departed from JFK of New York in the afternoon of April 30 and landed in Rome Fiumicino the morning of the next day, to today it is not yet clear. What is certain is that for a stretch of its route, it entered the airspace of Marseillethe aircraft has stopped responding to French control tower.

“A ten minutesi in all », writes the Courier citing a source. It must be said that she was moving with on autopilotwithout making strange deviations, at the expected speed and altitude: after several misses communication attemptshowever, the workers from the ground still triggered a first internal alarm levelobviously also informing the ITA control center, which is always operational.

Right from headquarters they contacted the aircraft through satellite systems, at that point came theok that he eased the worry. But what happened in that time span? Why did no one answer? Always the Courierspeaking to two commanders, he explained that usually «in that part of the route one of the two pilots, in this specific case the first officer, is asleep“.

A standard procedure that allows you to rest in turn no more than 45 minutes during the flight phases low work intensity. For The Republic there could therefore be the possibility that, just as the colleague he was resting, the commander was a victim of “A bit of sleep”: a hypothesis that for now finds no confirmation and it was not even brought up by the protagonists of the story.

Yes, because despite the episode it has not never constituted a danger (neither the French nor the Italian investigative body opened an investigation), ITA has however «started and brought to conclusion una internal investigation procedurein order to ascertain the events relating to the momentary loss of radio communication“. And the results, after just three weeks, they brought to notable consequences.

The commander, in fact, was fired because – explains the company note – «he was identified non-compliant behavior the procedures in force, both during the flight and once landed. A professional conduct not consistent to behavioral and working norms, with strong inconsistencies between statements made and the outcome of the investigations “. In essence, it failed “The fiduciary relationship”.

In conclusion, ITA Airways would like to confirm clearly and rigorously that “flight safety has always been guaranteed according to the highest standards required by aviation regulations “.

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Source: Vanity Fair

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