Wayward plane's cockpit recorder may be no help

WASHINGTON — Safety investigators say the Northwest Airlines plane whose two pilots overflew their destination by 150 miles had an older model cockpit voice recorder that records only 30 minutes at a time.

WASHINGTON — Safety investigators say the Northwest Airlines plane whose two pilots overflew their destination by 150 miles had an older model cockpit voice recorder that records only 30 minutes at a time. Flight 188’s pilots were out of touch with air traffic controllers for over an hour Wednesday night, flying past their Minneapolis destination at 37,000 feet. The pilots said they were distracted by a heated discussion of airline policy. Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board may have a hard time confirming that. It’s likely the voice recorder captured only the last 30 minutes of the flight — much of that time after pilots had realized their error and turned the plane back. Newer records are two hours long. Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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