This Is Why You Shouldn’t Worry If You See Your Plane’s Pilot Sleeping

Recently, a passenger on a United Airlines plane snapped a photo of their pilot taking a nap in the cabin of the aircraft. They were understandably surprised, but it’s actually not that strange of an occurrence.

Though it might seem dangerous to leave the cockpit empty while you catch some shut-eye, the reality is that the vast majority of passenger planes are crewed by at least two or three pilots. In fact, safety regulations mandate that pilots get a certain amount of sleep per eight hours of flight time to prevent fatigue-related accidents.

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Most larger planes have separate sleeping areas for the crew, but pilots on smaller planes might have to bed down in the main cabin. Some airlines reserve a business class seat for pilots that will need to rest during long flights.

If you ever see your pilot leave the cockpit and change into pajamas, don’t be alarmed – they’re actually napping for your safety!