Amazing story I heard on ABC news this evening. Plane missing and finally found. Pilots claim in heated discussion on company policy. (yeah right) Tower controllers could not get in contact with pilots.
Asleep? More likely. Makes me worry more about flying. There needs to be more safety guideline in place. Have read time after time about pilots complaining about not getting enough rest between flights.
I have a cousin who works for the FAA and you really don't want to know all there is to keeping air travel safe. More money and man hours would be required and tax payers are strung out as it is. The industry plays the odds. They crunch the numbers and do what they can to keep the most safe. And believe me there are regulations that keep tight tabs on the airline industry. Again it is costly. And I do not mean to imply that anyones life is expendable. Unfortunately I believe that the requirements to pilot an airline plane are not as strict as they once were. I remember when Peoples Express starter. Only military trained pilots were hired and we know what training the pilot had who safely landed that jet into the Hudson. I agree that the pilots on the jet that overpassed the airport were definately preoccupied.
They have alot of fatigue these days. There is the constant expectation by the airlines to do way more for way less sleep due to the downturn in the economy. This makes for increasingly dangerous situations for both passengers and crew. Also the post 9-11 procedures allow limited to no contact with the flight attendants during flight for security reasons to keeping the cockpit door secured during flight.
This is also not good for the pilots since we are not able to check on them as often any longer to see if they need coffee, are awake or need someone to chat with them to stay alert. During all nite red eye flights when I flew purser lead we checked on them every 20 mins with coffee and conversation to ensure they were awake. This is no longer the case and with the new heavy schedules and reduced sleep is going to spell a disaster in just a matter of time. Hopefully, the FAA and DOT will address these issues before we lose an entire aircraft due to pilot fatigue.
I have something to say, A lot of people I have heard attacked Northwest about this incident. It was the pilots fault and yes Northwest hired them but. This could happen to any airline and Northwest has strict rules for pilots about what they do or talk about in the cockpit.
I do hope this as well, but I will add (i just thought of this) that pilots should be much more responsible and treat flying and those who are flying amongst them, with a VERY high level of safety. They should never think of flying as a walk in the park. I wanted to say that because I have noticed that some pilots although how ever much training they get they still fail to treat flying with a high level of safety.