As airlines cut corners, will pilot fatigue run the industry into the ground?


On Wednesday night, Northwest Airlines (DAL) Flight 188, an Airbus A-320, overshot its destination by 150 miles before the pilots re-established contact with air traffic controllers, turned the plane around, and landed in Minneapolis. While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating the incident, questions have risen about the cause of the overflight and what it says about current airline safety regulations.

According to Flight 188's crew, the incident occurred because they were engaged in a heated argument about airline policy. While the NTSB checks the plane's flight data recorder for evidence of the alleged fight, speculation has arisen about whether the overflight was actually caused by crew fatigue.