Skip to comments.Northwest pilots' licenses revoked; Franken calls for cockpit laptop ban
Posted on 10/27/2009 8:49:18 PM PDT by presidio9
The licenses of the two Northwest Airlines pilots involved in last week's "overflying" incident were revoked today by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a day after Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., called for a ban on using laptop computers in airline cockpits.
The San Diego-to-Minneapolis flight overshot its destination by 150 miles because the pilots were apparently online in the cockpit (though they initially told investigators that they were distracted by a "conversation") and missed the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. They didn't realize their mistake until they had reached Eau Claire, Wis., at which point they turned around and flew back to Minneapolis.
Air traffic controllers and airline officials tried repeatedly to reach the pilots without success.
On Monday, Franken publicly called for a ban on using laptops in cockpits.
"We don't tolerate texting while driving, and we're certainly not standing for it while flying," Franken thundered in a statement. "It would be unthinkable to allow a driver to use a laptop. A driver responsible for the lives of dozens, if not hundreds, of passengers needs to be that much more focused on the job."
The FAA announced the license revocations today, citing violations of a number of federal regulations, including failing to comply with air traffic control instructions and clearances and operating "carelessly and recklessly."
The pilots have 10 days to appeal the revocations to the National Transportation Safety Board.
(Franken's pronouncement settled an office bet over which of Minnesota's two senators would be the first to publicly decry the incident. But although Franken won this round, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., took up her own cudgels today against motivational speaker James Arthur Ray, who conducted a sweat lodge ceremony earlier this month in Arizona in which three people -- including a Prior Lake woman -- died.)
Please stop by the FReepathon thread and give it a bump. If you haven’t donated yet, please give it some thought.
Franken is a chowderhead. just like the pilots
I think current regulations effectively ban the use of a laptop during flight in the cockpit. No new law is needed..these guys just lost their jobs, licenses and careers. They were pretty dumb. The Stews seem to always be discussing this type of things in the galley also..but haven’t seen any laptops running there.
Memo to Al Franken: use of laptops in cockpits is already banned.
(Dang, I just threw up on my boots.)
Is this Al first big legislative maneuver?
Way to go Minnesota! This guy is a genius! /S
John W calls for Franken ban.
**John W calls for Franken ban.**
I’d be happy with a Franken BRAIN BAN...for starters.
Stuart Smalley, trying to be relevant.
In situations like this, it is important to resist the urge to call someone like Franken an idiot. Both of you did, of course, but you would have been right to do so. That being said, I can’t help wondering why Senator Franken assumes pilots need a laptop to take a nap in the cockpit.
There is no such thing as a Franken brain......
**Way to go Minnesota! **
They also elected JESSE “THE BODY” VENTURA for Governor... Franken was NOT a STRETCH of the Imagination.
But there IS HOPE... someone there elected Michele Bachmann
You have the Dem mood correct.
Laptops bad. Laptops good.
These people are nuts. There are laws on the books for reckless endangerment
Watching the reaction to that would’ve been hilarious.
I’m so embarrassed that this man-child “”represents”” Minnesota.
I had never heard of Minnesota Public Affairs News Service before, and I figured it was a lot like Pravda. On reading the article for a second time I’m wondering if it’s actually mocking the Senator.
**There is no such thing as a Franken brain......**
Point.. game set match
I am sure other pilots will look at this incident and think twice about repeating this behavior given the consequences involved.
I’d still be more embarassed about the Twins at the moment.
I am convinced that Bachmann fans dont eat toxic lutefisk
Video games or porn? Or were they checking out Free Republic?
Where is Captain Obvious when you need him?
That might explain why Senator Franken chose them as his first official political project.
Can you get the internet in the cockpit of a plane at 30,000 feet? If the pilots could not get on the internet, Besides watching DVD’s, what use or fun would a lap-top be to keep them so engrossed for 76 minutes?
The story still does not seem complete.
Captain Obvious can't be making an appearance every time Senator Franken opens his mouth.
His early routine in comedy (which Jerry Seinfeld stole and perfected) consisted of pointing out the irony of everyday coincidences.
losing a mere hour and a half ain't NOTHING whilst FReeping.
Smells funny. First the Department of Transportation doesn’t issue licsenses. Second, a 10 day letter is the most that can be delivered. it in no way suspends, removes or requires the surrender of any certificate issued by the FDOT.
Northwest Airlines has more stringent rules. If the flight crew involved has been suspended it was NWA which envoked the suspension. Not the FAA or FDOT.
They are already banned.
You’re on the something there.
Sorry... BS meter is still pegged. You don’t ignore Air Traffic Control for 1.5 hours for browsing on the internet. These guys were asleep.
You would be correct if the airplanes were there for ATC.
ATC is there for the airplanes, not the other way around.
Regan proved it when he fired PATCO in 1982.
I vote to ban Al....
I was wondering the same thing and was hoping someone would provide an answer.
Franken, you idiot!
Which would you rather have:
Pilots accessing their manuals and FAA regs with a few keystrokes on a laptop.
Pilots carting stacks of binders into the cockpit and being forced to sift and flip through numerous books during an emergency.
By all means, let’s be really safe and ban laptops in the cockpit.
“Can you get the internet in the cockpit of a plane at 30,000 feet?”
It must have been a real tense auction on Ebay.
Thank you! This post reminded me of a very important question:
What is the origin of the term “cockpit?”
The senator from ACORN has spoken.
My ass these guys were on their laptops, but I’ll a stew or two were.
On Monday [May 11,2009], Delta Air Lines, which became the world's largest carrier after its merger last year with Northwest Airlines, announced that it has WiFi on 139 planes, or about half of its mainline domestic fleet, and will have the rest finished by September. The carrier also expects to complete outfitting all 200 jets in Northwest's domestic fleet next year.
“Do you like Gladiator movies, Bobby?”
Tommy: R.T., I think I figured it out the problem. This order is going to Columbus. That’s a one-day delivery, but you’ve got it marked down for two.
R.T., Shipping Foreman: That’s because it’s going to Columbus, Georgia. Not Columbus, Ohio.
[he shows Tommy the shipping address]
R.T., Shipping Foreman: You see these letters by the city? That’s called a state. What else you got, Wonder Boy?
Tommy: Uh... that’s pretty much it for now.
R.T., Shipping Foreman: Hey, Tommy, maybe you should go back to college for another seven years and study a globe.
In the cabin... cockpits are sterile except for communications with the company/dispatch.