Rants In Our Pants

Northwest Pilots Shot Down by Laptops of Love

‘Impromptu online tutoring session’ causes pilots to miss airport by 150 miles. Oh baby, teach me. Teach me hard. Here are the 10 things they were really doing with those laptops.

By (@tynanwrites)

October 26, 2009

hot czech stewardessWhen you overshoot your landing strip by 150 miles, you better have a good excuse worked up by the time the wheels touch down. Fortunately, those Northwest pilots who blinked and missed Minneapolis by the length of 2640 football fields last week have a pretty good one.

It seems they had whipped out their laptops and were so absorbed in what they were looking at onscreen they simply forgot to land the plane.

Per the New York Times:

The pilots told the National Transportation Safety Board that they missed their destination because they had taken out their personal laptops in the cockpit, a violation of airline policy, so the first officer, Richard I. Cole, could tutor the captain, Timothy B. Cheney, in a new scheduling system put in place by Delta Air Lines, which acquired Northwest last fall….

The impromptu tutoring session apparently caused Mr. Cole and Mr. Cheney to ignore air-traffic controllers for about 90 minutes on Wednesday night, and forget to begin preparations for landing in Minneapolis. Instead, the plane flew about 110 miles to the skies over Eau Claire, Wis., as more than a dozen air-traffic controllers in three locations serving Denver and Minneapolis tried to get the pilots’ attention.

Right. Tutoring each other about “a new scheduling system.” That’s exactly what we call it too.

“Hey honey, how about we go upstairs, fire up the laptop, and do a little tutoring? I’ve got a scheduling system that’s so hot we’ll have to peel your panties off with a spatula.”

Listen. Everybody has needs. We get that. And we understand that with today’s sophisticated computer guidance systems it probably is possible to operate a plane with one hand.

Still, when we fly the friendly skies, we prefer our pilots to keep both mitts on the wheel and their personal co-pilot stowed for landing – definitely not in the fully locked and upright position.

So what, exactly, were the two pilots doing on their laptops when the flight attendants and air traffic controllers were frantically trying to get their attention?

We have a few ideas:

10. Watching the 1975 classic, The Naughty Stewardesses, on YouTube

sully & lorrie sullenberger

9. Updating Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger III’s Wikipedia entry.

8. Admiring the Web site of Sully’s MILF-ish wife, TV fitness instructor Lorraine ‘Lorrie’ Sullenberger.

7. Planning their Windows 7 launch parties at Houseparty.com.

6. Following Twitter’s Trending Topics to decide whether to go see Paranormal Activity or Where the Wild Things Are on their layover.

5. Using Google Maps to plot a route to that city in Sweden populated entirely by lesbians.

4. Oggling the Girls of RyanAir Calendar and arguing over who’s hotter, Miss Cockpit or Miss Fuel Pump.
miss mechanic

3. Photoshopping their pictures so they’d look good enough to qualify for the BeautifulPeople.com dating site.

2. Finishing up their latest eHow article, “How to Fish a Rolex Out of an Airplane Toilet Without Getting That Disgusting Blue Shit All Over You.”

1. Searching Yelp for a reliable exterminator, because they have just had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane.

Update: As a result of the incident, Northwest Airlines also announced it would update its old ad slogan “Some people just know how to fly.” The new slogan will be “Some people just know how to fly. Of course, none of them work for us.”

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