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Posted: 9/14/2004 12:07:50 PM EST
Northwest pilots fired

The Northwest Airlines pilots who mistakenly landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 19 instead of a commercial airport seven miles away have been fired, a newspaper reported Sept. 8.

The St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press said the airline’s pilots’ union revealed the firings Sept. 7 when asked about the Air Force’s recent release of tapes of June 19 conversations of air traffic controllers at the base.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 12:12:19 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 12:14:31 PM EST
that sucks. I mean, I know that was super crappy navigation, but damn. O well, another 2 jobs in the aviation industry just opened up
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 12:14:33 PM EST
Yeah, I'd love to read the transcripts of those tapes. That's a pretty monumental f-up, IMHO.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 12:21:22 PM EST
I wonder what their excuse was
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 12:22:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By legalese77:
I wonder what their excuse was



Probably drunk as hell.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 2:52:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/14/2004 2:56:14 PM EST by ChiefPilot]
The pilots were fired a while ago. The union has been trying, to no avail, to get them "unfired". I guess they finally gave up.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 2:58:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 3:01:12 PM EST
modern avionics are quite amazing. I personally think the automation has gone too far. But, yes, INS,GPS, etc give the pilots excellent navigation abilities. Most airliners can be landed automatically, if the runway supports it. However, pilots do still "fly" most landings. This is just a case of pilot error.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 3:20:58 PM EST
It is easier than one would think to end up at the wrong airport. If they were below a 3 degree angle relative to the runway, and 10 miles out, all they would have seen was the runway, and the tower. If it looked about right, and approach control had cleared them straight in, I can see it happening, and it does happen several times a year.

The most difficult airport to find that I have ever come accross was Houston Hobby. Sunny day, low humidity, scattered clouds with dark shadows cast on the ground. Half the runway was asphalt, half concrete. It was like camoflage. I was less than a mile abeam the middle of the runway, and the only reason I saw it was I spotted the control tower, and started scouting for numbers and stripes.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 3:26:06 PM EST
I was skydiving in Deland Fl one time and a commercial airlliner, I think it was 767, was on low final crossing the airport fence when it applied max power and left the area.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 3:28:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/14/2004 3:29:58 PM EST by Misery]

Originally Posted By CFII:
modern avionics are quite amazing. I personally think the automation has gone too far. But, yes, INS,GPS, etc give the pilots excellent navigation abilities. Most airliners can be landed automatically, if the runway supports it. However, pilots do still "fly" most landings. This is just a case of pilot error.



+1

Most airlines don't allow you to auto-land for even have equipment on the planes that allow it. It saves cost for the airlines not to put extra electronics on that they don't need. For example, Southwest doesn't have or allow autothrottle, autobraking, VNAV, or CWS. Most pilots frown on CWS anyhow.
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