Fri, Apr 25, 2008
Mesa Air Group Fires Crew That Overshot Hilo
Two regional jet pilots suspected of falling asleep on a short
Hawaii inter-island flight back in February have been fired.
Mesa Air Group confirmed Thursday it released the two pilots at
the controls of a go! Airlines CRJ200 that overshot its destination
of Hilo by 15 miles. Officials did not identify the pilots, only
saying they were released 10 days ago.
As ANN reported, both pilots
were grounded following the February 13 incident, in which the jet
flew past Hilo at 21,000 feet and out to sea. Controllers were
unable to contact the crew for 25 minutes.
The controller first attempted to contact the pilots about 15
minutes after the plane left Honolulu, on the 214-mile island hop.
It took another 17 minutes before the flight crew finally
"Air shuttle 1002, guys, I’ve been trying to contact you
for the last 90 to 100 miles," the controller told the pilots. "I
understand you’ve passed Hilo, I’m going to turn you
back to the northeast bound to get you back to the Hilo airport. Is
there some kind of emergency situation going on?"
"Uh, no emergency situation," the captain replied... in a tone
of voice one could describe as 'groggy.' The jet later landed at
Hilo without incident.
There's been no official confirmation the crew did, indeed, fall
asleep... but there aren't many other possible explanations. In its
preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board noted
no mechanical anomalies with the airliner, or any other immediately
apparent reason for the pilots to run quiet for so long. The Board
also dismissed the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Air Line Pilots Association told CNN the union has since
filed a grievance with Mesa on the pilots' behalf.
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