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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane … It’s a Planet? Pilot Mistakes Venus for Oncoming Airplane

In January 2011, an Air Canada pilot took emergency measures when he thought a mid-air collision was imminent, rapidly descending his plane and injuring 16 passengers and crew (who were not wearing their seatbelts). Was he a hero? Not so much, reports the Huffington Post.

A new report found that what the pilot thought was another plane on a collision course with his aircraft was actually … the planet Venus. Yes, despite the captain telling the first officer that the nearest plane was 1,000 feet below them, the pilot mistook the bright light of the planet Venus for a threat.

The pilot probably would have figured out the difference between a plane an a planet if he hadn’t been so sleep deprived. He had allegedly just woken up from an overly long nap (he slept 75-minutes instead of the 40-minute maximum nap airline regulations allow) and was disoriented. It’s normal for pilots to nap in shifts on long flights—planes fly with extra pilots so the controls aren’t unmanned. The pilot claimed that he was tired because his young kids frequently interrupted his sleep at home.

You know it’s bad at home when you get your best rest sleeping on a plane!

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