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'Distracted' US pilots fly plane 150 miles off course

The US National Transportation Safety Board has said it is investigating a flight that overshot overshot


overshot fetlock
see knuckling over.

overshot jaw
See brachygnathia. Called also parrot mouth.
 its destination by 150 miles when pilots reportedly got into a "heated discussion" on airline policy.

National Transportation Safety Board
 said the Airbus A320 became a "no radio communications" flight on Wednesday evening as it travelled at 37,000 feet (11,300 meters) from San Diego, California “San Diego” redirects here. For other uses, see San Diego (disambiguation).
San Diego is a coastal Southern California city located in the southwestern corner of the continental United States. As of 2006, the city has a population of 1,256,951.
, prompting fears it had been hijacked.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that four military fighter jets were readied to chase down the plane before contact was reestablished.

The flight was carrying 147 passengers and an unknown number of crew and was supposed to land at Minneapolis-St Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport.

But instead, the plane flew over the airport and continued to fly northeast for another 150 miles (240 kilometers) before air traffic control at Minneapolis airport managed to regain contact.

"According to the Federal Administration (FAA), the crew was interviewed by the FBI and airport police," the NTSB said in a statement.

"The crew stated they were in a heated discussion over airline policy and they lost situational awareness," the statement added.

The NTSB said they plan to interview the crew and that the plane's cockpit voice recorder A Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) is a flight recorder used to record the audio environment in the flightdeck of an aircraft for the purpose of investigation of accidents and incidents.  and flight data recorder The flight data recorder (FDR) is a flight recorder used to record specific aircraft performance parameters. A separate device is the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), although some versions (including the original) combine both in one unit.  are being sent to their laboratory for analysis.
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Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Oct 23, 2009
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