Washington and Oregon Pilots Suspended for Air Traffic Safety Violations

Hard to believe, but here's a story about two Northwest Airlines pilots, one from Washington State and one from Oregon, who were were working on their personal laptop computers, lost track of time and place, and overshot their Minneapolis destination by 150 miles. The pilots also neglected to touch base with air traffic controllers despite repeated attempts by air traffic controllers in two states to reach the airliner. Northwest's dispatchers also tried eight times to contact the airplane, without response.

The Federal Aviation Administration said yesterday that it had revoked the licenses of the two pilots for, among other things, "operating their aircraft carelessly and recklessly."