10/25/09

How Could You Miss Something SO Big????


Did you hear or read about the airline pilots who missed the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles? Just in case you haven’t, here’s an excerpt of the AP story:

Controllers on the ground, pilots of other planes, even a flight attendant back in the cabin tried to alert the crew as the Northwest airliner zoomed past Minneapolis at 37,000 feet. Worried about who was actually at the controls, officials asked the crew to prove who they were by executing turns after they finally were contacted….With no response from the two pilots Wednesday night, the plane flew 150 miles past its destination before turning back…



On the ground, police and FBI agents prepared for the worst, and the Air National Guard put fighter jets on alert at two locations as the drama unfolded…..the Airbus A320 was over Eau Claire, Wis., and the pilots had been out of communication with air traffic controllers for over an hour. They turned back and landed safely in Minneapolis, the plane's scheduled destination.

Commentators on TV and radio, talk show hosts, newspaper writers and others have made a big deal out of this. How in the world could pilots miss the airport by 150 miles???


What were those pilots doing? Were they asleep? Involved in a deep conversation? Arguing? What? After a couple of days, they said they “had been having a heated discussion about airline policy.”

Whatever they were doing seemed to defy belief. There was an air of incredulity in the news reports.

It seemed odd to me also, but, unfortunately, I also could identify with it – somewhat.

We were on a family trip to California years ago and were scheduled to compete on “Family Feud,” which we did twice, by the way. On this particular trip, we used one day to visit one of Mom’s co-workers, a friend in Marina del Ray. I was at the wheel of the rental car on the return trip from Marina del Ray back to Hollywood.

From the interstate, I totally missed Hollywood. I missed Los Angeles. I missed all of those exits. I remembered seeing a sign for Burbank, but didn’t think that’s where we were supposed to go. All of a sudden we were seeing signs for places far north of Los Angeles. How could this be? How could one just pass by Los Angeles?

How does one miss a city the size of Los Angeles? I don’t know. I wasn’t napping at the wheel. But I was arguing. And I was being stubborn. (This is the first time I have admitted that!)


Maybe because the city is SO large, there were no exits marked simply “Los Angeles” or “Hollywood.” Perhaps they all just had names of streets and of small communities – names I wouldn’t have recognized.

Yes, the pilots who missed Minneapolis are professionals; I was just a regular driver. Just the same, I understand that sometimes you just don’t see the big things right in front of you!

7 comments:

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

How amazing about the pilots! And about missing things on the road (like a city haha) when I am driving...I am right there with you! That has happened to me, and not that long ago, when the silly little towns were strung up one right after the other! I was 3 town over, before I realized, I had gone a wee bit too far. haha

Sherry, even if you are an award free blog and are not on my follower's list, I just want to say I would love to pass the Sweet award (aka blog hug) on to you! I do so appreciate you coming by and all your past comments! Thank you :o) I do enjoy reading your posts!

Oh, let me know if you were able to get the list of things about you for that Honest scrap award I had passed on to you... (being out of the loop and being loopy, I dont know if you did and I missed it! lol!
The link address is too long, so I'll email you it.

Patricia Rockwell said...

It is so true. And how do you see the Minneapolis "city limits" sign from that far up in the air?

Sherry at EX Marks the Spot said...

From Becky in an e-mail: Becky has sent you a link to a blog:

I was on that trip with you and as I remember, Cric said that it looked like we were going to see Mexico and Canada all in the same day!

kaye said...

interesting . . . where did they land? Did you find your way back to Los Angeles?

Holly K said...

Hello Sherry - I found your blog through BlogFrog and wanted to stop by and say welcome and congrats on your membership. I was reading through your blog this morning and very excited you are sharing your life lessons and wealth of experience with other women. We could use more voices like yours.

If you ever have any questions about BlogFrog or suggestions for how we can improve, please let me know. So nice to discover your blog.

Holly (co-founder TheBlogFrog)

The Retired One said...

CNN said they were on their own personal laptops and not paying attention to the cockpit radios or radar. I'm sorry....but that is unforgivable and I feel they should be fired. It was clear that this was against company policy to bring personal laptops in the cockpit, so it isn't like they didn't know that.
Hmmmmmm....I wonder if they were blogging?

Syd said...

I still am incredulous. It would seem that alarm bells or some reminders on GPS would go off. It must have been a fight rather than an argument if they didn't hear anything.

 
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