Friday, October 23, 2009

Asleep at the Wheel -- Again

We've written before about the problem of pilots falling asleep midflight.

Now, it seems that this has happened again.

Northwest Airlines Flight 188, en route to Minneapolis, overshot the airport -- way overshot the airport. The pilots didn't turn around until they were over Eau Claire, Wis., 150 miles away.

The pilots, who have not been identified, reportedly told the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the airport police that “they were in a heated discussion over airline policy and they lost situational awareness.”

Right.

The plane, an Airbus A320, which carried two pilots and three flight attendants as well as 144 passengers, was cruising at 37,000 feet when the crew stopped responding to air traffic controllers and airline dispatchers. According to the Wall Street Journal, the radio silence continued for 78 minutes.

According to the same article, "pilot fatigue has long been regarded as one of the most serious safety issues confronting commercial aviation."

The question is: When is the FAA going to wake up?

1 Comments:

Blogger Manick said...

related video:
http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/07/18/technology/1194841442782/distracted-drivers.html?ref=technology

November 9, 2009 at 2:47 AM  

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