If you are afraid of flying and prefer to travel by car or train maybe there is a good reason for it. A recent study has found out that one in five pilots felt tired and eventually dozed off during a flight. More than 50 % of the pilots who took part in the study reported experiencing serious fatigue which regularly leads to compromising their flying abilities. According to the research it is also common for the pilot who had legitimately requested a ‘power nap’, which is allowed according to regulations, to wake up and find his co-pilot asleep as well. Shocking as it may sound, this happens in approximately 33 % of the cases reported. When such thing occurs the aircraft usually turns out to have flown itself for 5 to 10 minutes. This happens with the help of the autopilot, of course, but if it disconnects during the time both pilots are asleep it would certainly lead to disastrous consequences such as the uncontrolled plane getting into the path of another aircraft.
Experts explain that extremely alarming trend with the fact that pilots are often not able to rest properly during their rest periods due to overlapping shift patterns. What raises even more concern is recent proposals to increase the maximum flying time for a period of one year from 900 to 1000 hours for UK pilots. European authorities assure the new regulations are not going to affect safety. However, people have been quite disturbed by the news and fiend experts claim it will lead to reduction in passenger number.