Plane Overshoots Its Landing by 150 Miles

October 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
An investigation is underway in Minnesota, after a northwest airlines crew overshot their landing by 150 miles and didn't even realize it.The F.A.A. said the Northwest Airlines flight was heading to Minneapolis from San Diego Wednesday night. Air traffic controller lost radio contact with the crew for more than an hour and that's when the plane ended up 150 miles past its destination.

The two pilots said they got distracted during a heated discussion, and lost track of where they were. But federal officials are investigating if pilot fatigue may be to blame.

"This bears all the earmarks of a crew that's gone to sleep. I would say actually that there's less than a 1 percent chance that there was anything else going on," said ABC News Aviation Consultant John Nance.

The flight was turned around as soon as the pilots noticed their mistake. None of the 147 passengers even realized the error, until the plane landed and was swarmed by police.

Four National Guard jets were also put on alert, but never took off.


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