Pilots miss airport by 150 miles, nobody onboard notices

23 October 2009

Bitterwallet - another lost plane...There's something wrong in the sky. It's not falling in, not that we know of at least, but the fear of falling out of it on board a plane is rising all the time. Barely a fortnight after passengers watched the pilots and cabin crew of an Air India flight knock seven bells of baloney out of one another, a Northwest Airlines plane missed its destination by 150 miles after the crew were distracted during "heated discussions". The media are speculating that the pilots fell asleep in the cockpit.

The flight was travelling between San Diego to Minneapolis when air traffic control lost contact with the plane for over an hour. 149 passengers were on board the flight, none of whom were aware of the issue until the plane landed and was boarded by security. The pilots, who have now been suspended from active duty, are reported to have seen their arse-kicking coming from six miles up. A statement from the National Transportation Safety Board said "the crew stated they were in a heated discussion over airline policy and lost situational awareness," although reports they may have fallen asleep were "speculative". Our new favourite phrase is now "situational awareness". "I'm sorry your honour - I was at home watching television, but lost situational awareness and shortly afterwards found myself wearing the intestines of a prostitues as a scarf."

In another travel-related news spurt, Spanish airline Iberia is planning to revamp its existing routes and introduce a new airline, connecting major European cities to Madrid for onwards longhaul travel. Iberia currently flies out of Dublin and Heathrow to Spain, Africa and South America.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • In f.
    Who put the cock in cockpit?
  • piggy
    Well it's not like you've got signposts in the air, have you? So how is a passenger supposed to notice you're going in the wrong direction? Bit silly to assume that really...
  • Michael O.
    I've fined the pilots responsible for the extra cost in fuel and all cattle er I mean passenger's Credit Cards will be automatically debited the extra miles at a pro-rata rate + our new discrentionary mileage charge Ryanair MD
  • In f.
    @piggy I don't know about you, but if my flight was taking an hour longer than it should, I'd be asking why!
  • The B.
    That'll fuel the conspiracy theorists, did both planes crash into the twin towers due to the pilots taking a nap?
  • ... W.
    150 miles can be as little as 15 minutes travelling time. It is possible that there was a heated discussion and that they did lose situational awareness. It is of course possible that they were fatigued and fell asleep. Is it wise for the FAA/CAA to look at raising the hours limits for pilots. I don't think so.
  • Brian
    Pay peanuts, get sleeping monkeys.
  • charitynjw
    Caring pilot takes passengers straight to car park!!

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