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Archive for October, 2009

Northwest Airlines flight 188 went “no radio contact” for sometime. Military planes were ready to intercept the flight as a possible hijacking was assumed as the flight missed the airport by 150 miles. It is reported that “the pilots were arguing over airline policy” and hence the distraction. The argument could sound ridiculous but given the state of pilot contracts between Northwest and Delta at the new Delta, I would imagine, it is possible.

But I personally think that the pilots might be napping and covering for it? There are other possibilities for distractions – they were playing each other on their iPhone, gossiping about co-workers, trying to go for another round, wanted to fly over their favorite spot, wanted the plane to be late, wanted the passengers to miss all their connections, wanted to look over their house roofs for damage, checking out on ex-wife or wife, etc. I wonder!

From www.mizozo.com –

Northwest Airlines flight 188 flew 150 miles off course when the crew got into a heated argument over airline policy. The flight was carrying 147 passengers and was supposed to land at Minneapolis-St Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport.

 

When the pilots got their “situational awareness” back they turned the Airbus A320 around and landed it safely on Wednesday evening, apparently without any of the 144 passengers realising they had taken a roundabout route.

Ground controllers lost contact with the pilots just before 7pm and radio contact was not re-established for more than an hour. The Federal Aviation Administration notified the military, which put fighter jets on alert at two locations.

The flight was scheduled to land at 8.01pm local time but eventually arrived at 9.15pm, according to Ed Stewart, a spokesman for Delta Air Lines, which owns Northwest. Delta has suspended the pilots while it carries out an internal investigation, and the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were being sent to Washington for analysis.

Federal officials are investigating whether pilot fatigue might have played a role, but an NTSB spokesman, Keith Holloway, said the idea that the crew may have fallen asleep was “speculative”.

Source: Guardian

 

There was “no radio contact” as it travelled at 37,000 feet (11,300 meters) from San Diego, California, prompting fears it had been hijacked. Four military fighter jets were readied to chase down the plane before contact was reestablished.

Delta Airlines merged with Northwest Airlines last year and the company is going through changes with regards to pilot unions contracts, etc. Seniority is always a big deal for the pilots of a merged union since the number in the list decides on which trip they can pick and which aircraft they can fly.

Makes you wonder what happened to Auto pilot, radars, etc.

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