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Pilots Too Sleepy To Fly


Add one more reason to the list of why it is better to drive by car rental in the UK as opposed to flying when possible; according to The Telegraph, four out of 10 pilots admit to falling asleep in the cockpit!  If parking and long queues at major airports in the United Kingdom weren't enough hassle to make a few hours of driving sound more appealing, now imagine your life in the hands of an overly-tired pilot (and copilot, according to the Telegraph article) who can't keep their eyes open!

Thankfully, these reports of sleepy pilots haven't yet had a measurable impact on flight incidents in the United Kingdom.  In the millions of flights every year less than one major flight has occurred per year over the past 10 years, and those are some pretty good odds.  For a little more specific statistics check out AirDisaster.Com, where you can see the rate and number of events versus the number of flights broken down by airlines and by aircraft.  

Flying has always been touted as far safer than driving, but are difficult economic times and highly competitive travel prices putting dangerous levels of stress on pilots?  I personally prefer night flights as I can get in and out of an airport much more quickly, if I'm lucky my kid can sleep through it all, and these flights often go for the best discounts.  According to the European Cockpit Association however, these light night flights, as well as long duties and standby hours contribute to the disruptive schedules that are causing pilots to spend too many hours awake.

Enough with the downsides, renting a car to drive long distances has plenty of perks.  You can see more of the country, stop at restaurants and hotels along the way that you never would have heard of otherwise, and have more freedom of transportation when you reach your destination.  In many cases you can pick up your car hire at one location in the United Kingdom and drop it off at another. 

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