WHAT: Federal investigators are trying to figure out whether two Northwest Airlines pilots were asleep when their jetliner, with more than 140 passengers aboard, zoomed past Minneapolis at 37,000 feet instead of landing their flight from San Diego. They flew 150 miles past their destination while air traffic controllers, other pilots and even a flight attendant in the cabin tried unsuccessfully to get their attention for at least 14 minutes.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: The pilots’ excuse was that they were distracted during a heated discussion over airline policy. After other pilots in the vicinity finally got through to them, the plane was turned around and landed without the passengers learning that anything dangerous had happened. The Northwest pilots are now temporarily suspended.