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The incident with 2 Northwest Airline Pilots which took place on October 21, 2009, has escalated. The Federal Aviation Administration has now announced the indefinite suspension of the licenses of the pilots of Northwest Flight 188. Northwest Airline Pilots, Captain Timothy Cheney, and First Officer Richard Cole have now been suspended. These were the Northwest Airlines Pilots using Laptops on the flight and missing the runway by 150 miles. (And people complain about Ryan Air flying miles outside the destination!)

Northwest Flight 188 from San Diego to Minneapolis on October 21, 2009, failed to land at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as scheduled and overshot the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles. Once the problem was noticed the pilots had to circle back to land. (See below)

Northwest Airlines Flight 188 Route

The pilots have denied that they were asleep, drunk, or arguing at the controls. They claim that they were in a heated debate about a new pilot scheduling system that was in use following the merger of Delta and Northwest Airlines back in 2008.

The FAA will be using the results from the inflight data recorder – however since this only records 30 to 60 minutes of data this might be a problem. There is a concept in aviation called the sterile cockpit, this is normally in force for landings and takeoffs, but one other thing that most airlines implement is a policy of no discussion of politics or religion during the flight. In a way this was a discussion of politics, even if it was company politics. 

Northwest Airlines has offered the 144 passengers of Flight 188 travel vouchers of $500 as compensation.