05 November 2009

Call to NORAD delayed until after Northwest Airlines plane overshoots airport

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was notified and fighter jets were prepped to go if needed. This morning, CNN questioned why the FAA didn’t notify NORAD sooner. NORAD was notified approximately one hour after Flight 188 lost communication, but not until after the plane overshot the airport.

After September 11 many security issues have changed, especially when dealing with the FAA, airports and planes. CNN stated that perhaps after this investigation is complete that laws concerning air traffic safety may still need to change.

7:56 pm EST – Flight 188 lost communication
8:58 pm EST – Flight 188 overshoots airport and continues for 150 miles
9:14 pm EST – Contact with Flight 188 is re-established

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Fighters from two North American Aerospace Defense Command sites were put on alert Oct. 21 for a Northwest Airlines commercial airliner that was not responding to radio calls from the Federal Aviation Administration. Before the fighters were ordered airborne, FAA re-established communications with the pilots of the Northwest Airlines commercial airliner and subsequently, the NORAD fighters were ordered to stand down. NORAD does not discuss locations of alerts sites. No further information will be provided as the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are continuing their investigations.

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that is responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The command is poised to provide a multilayered defense to detect, deter and prevent potential threats from flying over the airspace of the United States and Canada.

NORAD's mission is carried out in close collaboration with homeland defense, security, and law enforcement partners.

The FAA announced the revocation of the pilot's licenses.
The press release reads: "The Federal Aviation Administration has revoked the licenses of 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. Air traffic controllers and airline officials repeatedly tried to reach them through radio and data contact, without success.

"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."
Is anyone surprised?

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