Plane flies nearly 50km past its destination after the pilot ‘falls asleep in the cockpit’

A pilot allegedly slept off in the cockpit during a chartered flight and flew nearly 50km past its destination.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau in a statement confirmed the incident and said they are investigating a case of ‘pilot incapacitation’ following the November 8 flight from Devonport in Tasmania to neighbouring King Island.

Flight tracking data published  Online showed the 6.21am flight landed safely at King Island Airport near the town of Currie despite overshooting its target by 46km.

The data, obtained by The Australian, showed the trip was one of seven flights flown that day by the Piper PA-31 Navajo VH-TWU.

In the statement, the ATSB alleged that ‘during the cruise the pilot fell asleep resulting in the aircraft overflying King Island by 46km’.

Investigators have classified it as a ‘serious operational incident’ and are in the process of collecting evidence ahead of a final report.