Monday, October 26, 2009

FAA questions Flight Attendants on NWA Flight

So I'm reading lots of info about the NWA flight that passed the MSP airport which lost radio contact after DEN and regained contact again near EAU.  As a flight attendant, there really wouldn't be much that we would know if anything was wrong or not in flight.

The flight was flying from SAN to MSP which would roughly be about a 3hr flight.  With MSP undergoing runway construction, there have been many delays for the past few months that Flight Attendants, pilots, and many experienced travelers have become accustomed too.

The only thing that would be a little alarming to me is even if the plane was put into a holding pattern into MSP, we still would have been descending and hold at a certain altitude.  After many holds into the NYC area airports, you just learn how the plane acts, feels, and sounds after a while.  We even know when the plane goes into a holding pattern before the pilots contact us, the Flight Attendants, just by how the plane feels and sounds.

This is the only thing I can speculate the FAs informing the FAA and NTSB about their investigation in finding out what was going on, but what is more bothersome to me is the media harping on the idea that the FAA or NORAD didn't scramble fighter jets after radio contact.

The plane wasn't flying erratically, drastically changed it's course, or no radio demands were made. Sure, it would bring alarm that there was no radio contact, but there could have been radio loss from the plane after it's last contact with DEN center. 

The passengers didn't know of anything wrong until the media brought it to light.  Looking at FlightAware for this particular flight, the flight left 30 minutes late, and landed only an hour later than scheduled.  Even other days when things were 'normal' the flight would leave late and arrive late.

I agree that there needs to be an investigation into why there was over an hour of radio silence, but I don't agree with the outcry for the pilots' heads on a platter.  Once they realized their mistake, they regained radio contact and followed strict instructions from ATC to ensure that they were in control of the aircraft.  I've been in the cockpit to where there is constant chatter from ATC to other planes changing radio frequencies, directions, or altitudes. I've even been in the cockpit to where ATC had to contact our flight three different times.

I look forward to seeing/hearing more info on this, I just wish the media would look more into why a DL Boeing 767 landed on a taxi-way in ATL instead of the runway, THAT would create more of a catastrophe than a wayward plane.

1 comment:

  1. The pilots are saying they were on there computers...oops...I can see how you would lose track of time with that;-) I don't take mine out while working because nobody would get there!