'This is your pilot sleeping' - Air New Zealand pilot who fell asleep TWICE during flight blamed London hotels for fatigue
Pilot is reported to have said he fell asleep twice during the flight after not being able to rest because London hotel rooms were either 'too hot or too cold'
Air New Zealand has said that one of its pilots fell into a deep sleep twice while at the controls of a passenger flight between London and Los Angeles.
The airline said the incident happened on a Boeing 777 flight between London and LA in 2011.
The pilot, who has not been named, is reported to have said he fell asleep twice during the flight after not being able to rest properly because London hotel rooms were either "too hot or too cold".
The airline has insisted that safety was not compromised during the flight as the pilot was not alone at the cockpit's flight deck at the time.
According to the New Zealand Herald the pilot has the backing of the Air Line Pilots' Association, which said the incident showed the importance of air crew being "provided with quality hotel rest".
Speaking to the New Zealand television channel 3 News, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee called on Air New Zealand to prove its safety standards: "You need to satisfy the public you're making sure your pilots aren't asleep on the job. You've got big reputation issues here; this doesn't look good."
An airline spokeswoman told the New Zealand Herald that a second pilot on the flight deck was aware his colleague had fallen asleep and "safety was not compromised at any point".
She said the pilot had "nodded off twice for around a minute and woke spontaneously".
Local media reports said details only emerged after a request was made under the official information act.
In a statement quoted by the New Zealand Herald, Air New Zealand said: "During the cruise phase of the flight one of the two operating pilots nodded off twice for around a minute and woke spontaneously."
"The other operating pilot on the flight deck was aware of this and safety was not compromised at any point."
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer - ne...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a Chargehand to join ...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...