Half of pilots fall asleep at controls

Updated 21 November 2012
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Half of pilots fall asleep at controls

A new study carried out in Austria, Sweden, Germany and Denmark has found out one in three airline pilots has fallen asleep at the controls of jetliners carrying hundreds of passengers. The research found that four out of five pilots have to cope with fatigue while in the cockpit.
The European Cockpit Association, which represents pilots, published its chilling findings after surveys carried out by national unions found that large numbers of pilots are half-asleep — or not even awake — while at the controls of a plane.
Between 43 and 54 percent of pilots surveyed in the UK, Norway and Sweden said they had already fallen asleep ‘involuntarily’ — and a third of these pilots found their colleagues were also asleep when they woke up. More than three out of five pilots in Sweden, Norway and Denmark reported making mistakes due to fatigue, while in Germany, this figure was four out of five.
Between 70 and 80 percent of exhausted pilots would not declare themselves unfit to fly for fear of being stigmatized by their employers or left facing disciplinary action.
More than 6,000 European pilots were surveyed for the study, between 2010 and 2012. The ECA says the study shows that fatigue among pilots is a “common, dangerous and under-reported phenomenon in Europe.”


France charges two ex-spies with passing secrets to ‘foreign power’

Updated 25 May 2018
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France charges two ex-spies with passing secrets to ‘foreign power’

  • Two former French spies, one of whom was reportedly posted in Beijing, have been charged with passing intelligence to a “foreign power,”
  • French media reports, citing sources close to the inquiry, said China is suspected

PARIS: Two former French spies, one of whom was reportedly posted in Beijing, have been charged with passing intelligence to a “foreign power,” a disclosure that has rocked the country’s intelligence services.
Defense Minister Florence Parly, who oversees the country’s General Directorate for External Security (DGSE), said Friday that she was not in a position to identify the country which recruited the agents, who were discovered and indicted in December.
“Two French agents in our service and probably one of the spouses of these agents are accused of serious acts likely to be considered acts of treason, on suspicions of delivering information to a foreign power,” Parly told CNews television.
“I can’t say much else,” she added.
“France has partners but we live in a dangerous world, and unfortunately these types of things can happen.”
French media reports, citing sources close to the inquiry, said China is suspected.
Parly said the agents were “quite likely” still in service at the time but investigators were still determining how long they had been passing along intelligence.
She also declined to specify the nature of compromised information, nor to reveal if the two agents were working together.
A judicial source told AFP late Thursday that two of the three suspects are being prosecuted for “delivering to a foreign power information that undermines the fundamental interests of the nation” and “compromising the secrecy of national defense.”
“One of them has also been charged for direct incitement to the crime of treason,” the source added.
The third person — believed to be the wife — has been indicted for “concealment of treasonable crimes” and placed under judicial control, meaning they are subject to certain constraints pending trial, according to the same source.
The armed forces ministry said: “These acts of extreme gravity have been detected by this service, which has brought these facts to its knowledge to the Paris prosecutor.”