Tired pilot 'mistook Venus for plane'

2012-04-30 10:40
Pilot fatigue was to blame for a passenger plane going into a nose dive over the Atlantic, injuring 16 people onboard, according to Canadian authorities, Travelmole reports.

The co-pilot of the Air Canada flight from Toronto to Zurich plunged the aircraft 120metres after he mistook the planet Venus for another aircraft. The report said he'd just woken from a 75-minute nap and he was disoriented.

Passengers and crew who were not wearing seatbelts hit their heads on the ceiling during the 46-second dive, sustaining minor injuries.

Altogether, 14 passengers and two crew were taken to hospital when the aircraft landed in Zurich.

The incident has led to a call from the Canada Pilots Association for a third pilot to be mandatory on overnight flights.

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