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Northwest pilots explain overshooting MSP Airport

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River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Minnesota Senate Democrat Amy Klobuchar says it might be "the ultimate case of distracted driving."

That's how she describes last week's Northwest Airlines flight which overshot its Twin Cities' landing site by 150 miles into Wisconsin.

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Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board interviewed the two pilots Monday.

They said they were using their lap-top computers, talked about a new scheduling system for flight crews, and lost track of time.

The plane lost radar contact for an hour and 20 minutes Wednesday night.

It was heading to Minneapolis-St. Paul from San Diego, but the plane was east of Eau Claire when the pilots realized their mistake and got in touch with controllers. They said they weren't aware of the plane's location until a flight attendant asked about their arrival just five minutes before they were supposed to land.

Sen. Klobuchar calls it "simply unacceptable," and she plans to have questions for Safety Board investigators at a hearing on Thursday.

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