Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two Pilots Suspended when Plane Overshoots Airport

Pilots are required to exert extra care in doing their job because lives may be taken if their negligence caused the vehicle to crash. When planes are already moving in the air, even sudden simple mistakes can cause the vehicle to smash onto the water or ground.

Federal officials are investigating an incident involving a Northwest Airlines jet that overshot the Minneapolis airport by about 150 miles before its crew members realized their error and went back.

Authorities are trying to find out if pilot fatigue was the cause of the accident.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the jet landed safely and none of the crew or the passengers was injured. Northwest’s parent, Delta Airlines Inc. reported that the plane was carrying five crew members and 144 passengers.

NTSB stated that Northwest flight 188, which is an Airbus A320, was traveling from San Diego to Minneapolis. The plane failed to maintain radio communication with controllers when it was at about 37,000 feet. It flew over the airport and overshot it by about 150 miles before contact was re-established.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the plane’s crew informed authorities that they were distracted during a heated discussion regarding airline policy and lost track of their location.

However, NTSB stated that they agency will assess if fatigue played a part in what happened.

Delta also announced that the two pilots involved were suspended from flying while an internal investigation is ongoing.

Luckily no one died in the accident even though the pilots overshot the airport. The law should impose harsher punishments regarding these accidents so that public vehicle operators will never forget that is their duty to secure the safety of their passengers.