Northwest Pilots Licenses Revoked On Flight 188 By FAA <





Northwest Pilots Licenses Revoked On Flight 188 By FAA

By Mike Mitchell

(Update Northwest Pilots Appeal License Being Revoked By The NTSB)  

October 29, 2009, Air traffic controllers and airline officials repeatedly tried to reach the pilots on Northwest Airlines Flight 188 through radio and data contact, without success. As a result of violations of federal aviation regulations the Federal Aviation Administration has revoked the licenses of the two Northwest Airlines pilots who overflew their destination airport on October 21, 2009 while operating Flight 188 from San Diego to Minneapolis. The pilots were out of contact with air traffic controllers for an extended period of time and told federal investigators that they were distracted by a conversation.  

The emergency revocations cite violations of a number of Federal Aviation Regulations. Those include failing to comply with air traffic control instructions and clearances and operating carelessly and recklessly. The revocations are effective immediately. The pilots have 10 days to appeal the emergency revocations to the National Transportation Safety Board. 

Delta Air Lines issued a statement on Northwest Flight 188 investigation regarding the company's cooperation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the investigation of Northwest Flight 188. Delta and its Northwest operating subsidiary continue to openly and fully cooperate with the NTSB and FAA to complete the investigation. The pilots in command of Northwest Flight 188 remain suspended until the conclusion of the investigations into this incident. 

Using laptops or engaging in activity unrelated to the pilots' command of the aircraft during flight is strictly against the airline's flight deck policies and violations of that policy will result in termination. Delta CEO Richard Anderson said: "Nothing is more important to Delta than safety. We are going to continue to cooperate fully with the NTSB and the FAA in their investigations."  

The NTSB earlier issued a public release highlighting the initial findings of its investigation into the incident, including evidence that the pilots involved said they were distracted at cruise altitude between San Diego and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The NTSB's press release stated that the pilots said in interviews that "there was a concentrated period of discussion where they did not monitor the airplane or calls from ATC even though both stated they heard conversation on the radio ... neither pilot noticed messages that were sent by company dispatchers ... both said they lost track of time ... (and) each pilot accessed and used his personal laptop computer while they discussed the airline crew flight scheduling procedure." 

Interview: Reo Pratt, Northwest Airlines A320 Aircrew Program Manager (APM)
    First Officer Richard Irwin Cole
    Captain Timothy Cheney
Bill Trinka, Dispatcher
    David P. Francisco, Chief Dispatcher
Interview:      Vance Harris, Northwest Airlines Principle Operations Inspector (POI)

Statements - Flight Attendant
Statements -
Minneapolis ARTCC Controller
Statements -
Denver ARTCC Controller
Selected Air Route Traffic Control Center
Transmissions Overlay Report

Revocation letter Richard Cole

Revocation letter Timothy Cheney

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