Pilots Using Laptops Go 150 Miles Off Course

Contributing Writer

Northwest Flight 188 from San Diego to Minneapolis reportedly went 150 miles off course because first officer, Richard I. Cole, was tutoring captain Timothy B. Cheney on a new system put in place by Delta Air Lines.

NYT reports that first officer Cole took out his laptop to help the captain understand a new scheduling system that came into effect when Delta Airlines acquired Northwest last fall. The paper cites an interim report which says both pilots claim to have lost track of time and ignored air-traffic controllers in three locations for about 90 minutes. This included neglecting to prepare for landing at Minneapolis and flying 110 miles to the skies over Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The use of laptops is against the flight deck policies of Delta airlines and we're presuming almost every other airline agrees. Both have been suspended until the investigation is concluded.

Check out the full story here.