Remember that Delta/Northwest flight from San Diego to Minneapolis that overshot the airport by, oh, about 150 miles? Well, the story just got weirder. I totally expected them to have been asleep, but check out the latest news on the topic:
Instead, Cole and Cheney told investigators that they both had their laptops out while the first officer, who had more experience with scheduling, instructed the captain on monthly flight crew scheduling. The pilots were out of communication with air traffic controllers and their airline for more than an hour and didn’t realize their mistake until contacted by a flight attendant, the board said.
I’m trying my best to wrap my head around this. Let’s be honest, pilots “cheat,” but at the same time the rules are meant to be broken. Many times they’re talking when the cockpit is supposed to be “sterile,” while other times they no doubt use their laptops during flights. But how can two pilots with a combined total of over 30,000 hours of experience forget to do their jobs for over an hour while they’re fully awake?!?
I want to believe it, but I just can’t. There’s gotta be more to this….