Snooze Control

While we’ve always been suspicious of just how much hands-on flying pilots actually do these days with all those fancy onboard flight computers, now we’re thinking the job must have become so mundane that it’s really easy to fall asleep! Take for instance two, now instantcelebrity, pilots from Northwest Airlines who managed to miss their […]


While we’ve always been suspicious of just how much hands-on flying pilots actually do these days with all those fancy onboard flight computers, now we’re thinking the job must have become so mundane that it’s really easy to fall asleep!

Take for instance two, now instantcelebrity, pilots from Northwest Airlines who managed to miss their domestic US destination by just a little bit…like 240km! After repeated and frantic attempts by air traffic controllers, as well as other aircraft failed to contact the pilots after an hour of trying, worried officials scrambled National Guard fighter jets to intercept Flight 188 which was happily zipping along at 37,000 feet, thinking they might have another 9-11 on their hands.

Luckily the pilots ‘woke up’ before the jets took off, thus averting a really bad day for unlucky passengers who could have had the misfortune of being shot out of the sky. The pilots eventually turned their Airbus A-320 around and landed safely with their 147 passengers and were given breathaliser tests which they both passed.

The pilots, who have more than 31,000 hours of flying experience between them have emphatically denied they were asleep, saying instead they were on their laptops caught up in a discussion regarding a new crew scheduling system being instituted at Northwest, which was acquired by Delta last fall. In short they said they, “lost situational awareness”.