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On March 19, 2016, Flydubai Flight 981 crashed in southern Russia, killing all 62 passengers. After the tragic incident, a pilot that formerly worked for Flydubai came forward about what was really going on with the airline.
According to Flydubai’s former employee, the copilots in Flight 981 were “worked to death,” and the issue is one that has plagued Flydubai employees for quite sometime. The anonymous source explained that his final warning to Flydubai during his resignation process was that “there would be an accident because of pilot fatigue.”
The company chose to ignore the cryptic message and continued to schedule pilots with back-to-back flights with no regard for the sleep schedules of their employees. This careless attitude on the part of the management team in control of scheduling had been causing issues for a while. Employees were complaining about exhaustion and being overworked long before the fateful crash on Saturday.
The flight’s co-captain, Alejandro Cruz Alava, had been scheduled for 11 days with only one day off leading up to the crash. It is highly probable that fatigue played a large part in what happened with Flight 981.
Captain Aristos Sokratous was planning to leave Flydubai prior to the crash due to fatigue and lifestyle issues. He had already handed in his resignation and only had a short time left with the company.
The fatal crash of Flydubai Flight 981 has been under investigation by Russian authorities. They are still examining contributing factors such as pilot error, equipment malfunctions, and weather conditions.