The Pendleton Panther

Airplane passes aiport, Hijacking Fears

Posted on: October 23, 2009

NorthWest Airlines

NorthWest Airlines

Northwest Airlines Airbus A320, which was carrying 147 passengers and crew, passed its intended destination by 150 miles without descending. The pilot cockpit was unresponsive for the last hour they were on the plane. Air Traffic Control kept trying to contact the pilots of Flight 188 but to no avail. The flight was from San Diego, California to Minneapolis, Minnesota. When communication was finally established, the responses the pilots gave were very ambiguous and arose fears of a terrorist hijacking. To test their hypothesis, Ground Control ordered the pilots to make several unnecessary moves to prove that they were the realm pilots in control of the plane. They also added that there were fighter jets ready to be deployed from a base in Madison, Wisconsin in case anything went awry. According to CNN “Controllers tracked the aircraft on radar as it flew over its intended destination — Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport — and continued northeast for about 150 miles over the next 16 minutes. The airport’s controllers then re-established communication with crew members, who said they had become distracted, the safety board said.” Federal investigators are looking in to see whether on not the pilots had been distracted or in actuality fallen asleep on the job. Officials have secured the cockpit’s voice recorder and flight data recorder for further examination into this case. I think it is highly unlikely for the pilots to have been distracted for that length of time with no communication exchanged between the ground.

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