The mystery of Northwest flight 188

@dragon54u (31637)
United States
October 24, 2009 11:12am CST
You may have heard about this flight that zoomed right past its destination and traveled 150 further than it was supposed to. Air traffic controllers could not raise the pilots on the radio and the flight recorder was old and only recorded the last 30 minutes of the flight--by then, everything was back to normal and the pilots were headed back to where they were supposed to go. They were not arguing, as first stated, they were not sleeping or so they claim. What in the world could have happened? Do you have an idea as to what could have happened in that cockpit to make those two pilots ignore repeated calls to them? What's your theory?
3 people like this
8 responses
@LadyMarissa (12161)
• United States
24 Oct 09
Personally, I think they fell asleep. A former NTSB agent said this morning that it was possible they didn't recognize their call sign because they aren't required to wear their headsets all the time. And it is possible they forgot to turn up the volume to where they could hear the radio transmissions. To that I say bull chit!!! I would think a properly trained pilot would hear their call signs like a mother hears her baby crying over 5 others....INSTINCT!!! Maybe I'm wrong, but my gut says I'm not!!! Say that explains away them not responding to the radio calls. Why the hell did they miss the airport by 150 miles??? That had absolutely NOTHING to do with the headsets!!! They just weren't paying attention & that is totally unacceptable!!!
@dragon54u (31637)
• United States
24 Oct 09
I agree with you. It's also strange that the attendants didn't notice that they were way overdue for landing. I've often noticed flight attendants looking at their watches and talking in the kitchen area about how long it will be before they land. There are more mysteries here than meet the eye. I'm not a litigious person but I would certainly sue that airline if I had been one of the passengers. The risk they put those people in is totally irresponsible and unacceptable. I'm just glad we're discussing pilots' sleeping and not a tragic crash!
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12161)
• United States
24 Oct 09
Even one of the passengers noticed. I'm thinking a coverup of what really happened. What if they prefer that we believe the pilots fell asleep insdtead of what really happened???
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31637)
• United States
24 Oct 09
They think we are stupid. If it's something like a magnetic field, they'll cover it up because people will be afraid to fly and it will affect the airline industry's revenues. Money always comes before people with this government and its damned agencies.
@maximax8 (28558)
• United Kingdom
24 Oct 09
I suggest that the plane went through an electric like storm that stopped the radio equipment working. It the radio began working again the plane must have flown into better weather conditions. I don't think the pilots were arguing and I am certain that the pilots weren't sleeping. It was lucky that the airline didn't run into difficulties in a storm and then crash. I am so pleased that the North West Flight 188 is safe.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31637)
• United States
24 Oct 09
I'm very grateful that it didn't crash, too! But if they were in an electrical storm or something, wouldn't they realize that it was taking way too long to get where they were going? And why not tell the controller about it while they were in the air? Too many questions here!
@maximax8 (28558)
• United Kingdom
24 Oct 09
Just like in the Bermuda Triangle something strange happened to the North West Flight 188. Sometimes weather affects the radio. Good luck to solving this mystery.
@Hatley (164484)
• Garden Grove, California
24 Oct 09
hi dragnon54 I have a therory that they might have ran into' some sort of magnetic storm similar to the things that happned to ships in the Bermuda Triangle. the magnetism may have made their instruments go beserk for so many minutes then all of a sudden return to normal. just my theory of course.
@dragon54u (31637)
• United States
24 Oct 09
That's a very good theory, I had not thought of that one! They really should investigate that. It's a shame the recorder was so old, they should replace all of those old ones.
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12161)
• United States
24 Oct 09
Sounds like a convenient excuse to me. What if it's exactly what Hatley said & they just don't want us to know it. It's been a long time since we've had a UFO theory.
@hotsummer (10449)
• Philippines
25 Oct 09
were they off the hooked already and will not face any fine or punishment for whatever reason they traveled 150 further. i hope that they get some disciplinary action or be given another pilot tests or even just training before they are asked to get back to their work. cause i think that they are taking their job too light just because they are already veteran on this work.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
25 Oct 09
That truly was a very strange situation, it was like something out of the Twilight Zone! There was mention that the pilots were having some kind of dispute and that it was so heated that they overlooked everything else. If this was the case then this wasn't very responsible on their part and they should both be sacked! However, if it's true that they both fell asleep due to fatigue then this is also a very serious matter but they should not be sacked. Pilots have been complaining for years about long hours and not enough rest in between flights. The law should immediately be changed if it was established that they were both sleeping. Andrew
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31637)
• United States
25 Oct 09
I agree, we do need new laws. I wonder how many transAtlantic flights have napping pilots on them?! That has to be a REALLY boring flight!
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
25 Oct 09
I think it's aviation's dirty Little secret that pilots fall asleep all the time. I know when riding in a car in the passenger seat I doze off all the time and I have no idea how long I have been asleep. Once the airplane is on autopilot there is really nothing to do it can become quite boring. I think it is something like in the army and people are on the night watch and they frequently fall asleep. It is actually difficult not to. The pilots are probably going to be fired either way which is a shame because it is difficult now to get good pilots with the low wage scales they're getting.
@dragon54u (31637)
• United States
25 Oct 09
I don't blame them for falling asleep but it's dangerous. Controlled napping is a good solution, I don't understand why the FAA won't permit it!
@Mac6999 (706)
• India
25 Oct 09
Very interesting story this one. Experts say the pilots may have fallen asleep, while the pilots deny that. Its unfortunate that the flight recorder could not record any more than the last 30 minutes. The world might not even know what actually happened. Anyway whatever the case an inverstigation needs to be done into this issue and see why they lost contact for such a long time.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31637)
• United States
25 Oct 09
I'm a big advocate of controlled napping for pilots. I certainly don't want a tired pilot ferrying me or my family around!
@lynnemg (4539)
• United States
24 Oct 09
Dozing off seems like the most logical answer. Dozong off with or without heir headsets on and being in a deep enough sleep that the radio did not wake them up would cause both of the problems; not answering radio calls, and not landing on schedule. I have trouble believing that they would even admit to falling asleep on the job because, let's face it, people get fired for falling asleep on the job. I doubt that they were arguing because they would have still had a noticable tension between them if they has been,
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31637)
• United States
24 Oct 09
I think they might have been sleeping, too. It must be a very boring job once they reach cruising altitude!