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Saturday, November 28, 2009

FAA releases recordings of wayward jet

November 27, 2009 3:31 p.m. EST

On a recording, Flight 188 ensures controllers that the jet's cockpit "is secure, we got distracted."
On a recording, Flight 188 ensures controllers that the jet's cockpit "is secure, we got distracted."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pilot on flight says "cockpit distraction" may have caused loss of radio contact
  • In recordings released Friday, Northwest Flight 188 pilots don't further explain loss of contact
  • In October, plane flew 150 miles past destination in Minnesota
  • Flight eventually landed safely; FAA has revoked licenses of both pilots, who have appealed
(CNN) -- One of the two Northwest Airlines pilots who overshot the Minneapolis, Minnesota, airport last month told air traffic control that they had dropped from radio contact because of "cockpit distraction."
According to recordings released Friday by the Federal Aviation Administration, air traffic controllers finally established contact with the pilots of Northwest Flight 188 over Eau Claire, Wisconsin, after the pilots had been out of radio contact for more than an hour.
"Ah, roger, we got distracted and we've flown over, ah, Minneapolis, we are overhead Eau Claire and would like to do a 180 and do arrival from Eau Claire," the cockpit said.
Later, air traffic controllers from Minneapolis asked, "Do you have time to give a brief explanation on what happened?"
"[Ah we're just dealing with some company issues] and that's all I can tell you right now at this time," the cockpit responded.
The FAA says that the brackets note where the recording is not entirely clear and that the words inside them represent "the best interpretation" under the circumstances.
Read transcripts of how air traffic controllers tried to reach the pilots (PDF)

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