TIL In 2009, two Northwest pilots had their licenses revoked (for at least one year) after they overflew the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport by 150 miles and had to turn around. Pilots said that they were using their laptops in the cockpit and lost track of time and place.

Read more: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2009/10/27/flying-while-distracted

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  1. “Worried about who was actually at the controls, officials asked the crew to prove who they were by executing turns after they finally were contacted.

    On the ground, police and FBI agents prepared for the worst, and the Air National Guard put fighter jets on alert at two locations as the drama unfolded.

    Pilots from two other planes in the vicinity were finally able to reach the pilots using a different radio frequency, a controllers union spokesman said. A flight attendant in the cabin also was able to contact them by intercom, said a source close to the investigation who wasn’t authorized to talk publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    By that time, the Airbus A320 was over Eau Claire, Wis., and the pilots had been out of communication with air traffic controllers for over an hour. They turned back and landed safely in Minneapolis, the plane’s scheduled destination.”


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