October 25, 2009

Exceptionally diverting converstion

Two US pilots claim they were so deeply engrossed in a idle chit-chat with each other that they forgot to land the plane.

Must have been one of the world's most fascinating conversations of no consequence.

Neither pilot has owned up to the nature of the chat, which saw their plane land more than an hour later than its scheduled time, having taken the long and scenic route to the landing strip - about 500 extra miles were flown.

The NYTs has a beaut little interactive to save us having to imagine the course of the plane.

Fly Northwest, they'll get you somewhere pretty close to where you were hoping to be!


  1. Amazing isn't it. With all the technology, the systems, the procedures, the training, the chaps in the cockpit and many folk on the ground monitoring the flight that someone didn't pipe up and say, "Uhm, hey guys, where are you going?"

  2. On a more serious note, given well known events of some years back, a passenge plane deviates from its planned course and simply wanders on??

    Haven't bothered reading up about his but surely alarm bells might have been occasioned someplace?

  3. The news on Saturday evening on Nine said they were so busy having "a heated argument" they'd forgotten to land the plane at its destination.

    Now it's an "idle chit-chat"?

    According to the same news report I saw, Father Park, military jets were "scrambled" until those jokers finally responded. The story now perhaps will be that they were "escorted"?

    Also reported was that the airline will hold an "investigation" into this incident.

    Should be a hoot, eh??

  4. It's really cute that this is about civil aviation in the showcase Western democracy, not some tinpot republic in eastern Europe.

    Market forces should 'correct' for this, right?

  5. Ah, Jacob - bless your little cotton socks. My reporting is rather more, umm, whimsical than real news. But good for you! It's nice to know that someone believes every little word.

    Yes, a "heated argument" was the alleged reason, of which we have heard nothing since.

    I'm going to be seriously disappointed if there's never a follow-up that reveals all - or at least reveals something.

    Like: what they hell were they arguing about that caused them to FORGET TO LAND THE FUCKING PLANE?!

    And don't worry Jacob, if market forces don't correct it, capitalism will.

    Dan - yes. Apparently some of the passengers were perturbed, repeatedly asking stewards when the plane would land, to which the flummoxed stewards kept telling them "I don't know".

    It would seem even the stewards didn't think to take the initiative to go and ask the pilots WHY THE FUCKING HELL THE PLANE MISSED ITS STOP.

    Bless technology. Bless safety standards. Almost foolproof. Almost people proof.

  6. Jacob6:43 AM

    According to abc news last night, they're now claiming they were pre-occupied with their laptop computers. The question now will be whether they were practicing landing manoeuvers on ms flight sim or downloading porn. Or maybe a particularly gripping game of solitaire.

  7. While we await the real report:

    "We found them safe at home, hiding in a box," said Northwest spokesperson Carol Foyler. "We're just glad that this story had a happy ending."

    Despite the positive resolution to the pilots' drama, Northwest said they were moving forward on a number of safety measures, such as banning the computer game Guitar Hero in the cockpit."

  8. (that was via the always delightful The Borowitz Report)

  9. ...they were preoccupied with their laptop computers...

    Is that how they describe in-flight affairs with comely cabin staff of the opposite sex?

    There's gotta be a Flying High XXII in this somewhere.

  10. All that lap-topping has cost them their pilot's licenses.

    Alas, such swift action has likely put an end to any chance of the truth coming out.

    Although I do like your interpretation of events Bertie.

  11. Personally, I'm glad they've been stripped of their licenses because, as pilots, they acted badly.

    A word of warning to those who fly, we are hearing more & more of these bad pilot stories. I'm afraid that the cost-cutting measures by the airlines are causing the good pilots to leave the business, hence the meteoric rise in bad pilots. No good any way you look at it.

  12. Cubicle - this was a more dramatic story than most, but you're right about cost cutting resulting in less professional, less experienced pilots being in charge of planes.

    Most crashes are caused by human error, you really don't want the less-best person sitting in the cockpit.