Report: Pilots Slept on Flight from Baltimore to Denver

DENVER (AP) -- It can be tough to stay awake on a "red eye" flight. Even for some pilots.

According to NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System, in March of 2004 two airline pilots fell asleep as they flew from Baltimore to Denver. They were finally awakened by what one pilot described as "frantic" calls from air traffic controllers warning them they were approaching the airport at twice the speed allowed.

The reporting system allows crew members to anonymously document incidents, and the captain of the flight apparently did so. Details, such as the airline, flight number or number of passengers on board at the time, are not included.

It did include the type of aircraft -- an Airbus A319, which both Frontier and United operate. United has told the Rocky Mountain News -- which first reported the incident -- that United did not fly a "red eye" between the two cities at the time.

A spokesman for Frontier told the newspaper the airline had a "red eye" on the schedule, but he could not find a report of the incident.

He says the airline has received similar reports in the past and has addressed them. And he says pilot fatigue is a bigger issue than the public realizes.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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