Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, punted today when MPR’s Cathy Wurzer asked when FAA officials notified homeland security officials that a jetliner was heading for Minneapolis St. Paul and officials didn’t know for sure who was in control of it.
“There are protocols in place for when actual military planes are used in situations like this,” Napolitano said.
“What you’re asking me involves a commercial plane involves another type of dimension and the NTSB is doing an investigation. Rather than announce it now, we should await the results of the investigation.”
The NTSB investigation does not involve the response time or the coordination of air defense response to it.
By the way, here’s what it looks like when military jets intercept an aircraft. If it’s night-time, would those flares have caught the attention of a napping/Web surfing/laptop searching set of pilots?
The Northwest debacle, and a Delta jet that landed on a taxiway in Atlanta instead of the runway, has refocused attention on the “human factors” of getting us from Point A to Point B.
And so has the Air France crash months ago on a Brazil to Paris flight. Just this week, in fact, the debate internally over whether a crew error or faulty equipment cost the lives of hundreds of people spilled out in the open.
In a strongly worded internal memo, Air France has warned its pilots to be more vigilant about safety procedures and upbraided those blaming flight equipment for the crash of Flight 447 into the Atlantic in June.
No one knows what caused the accident, which killed all 228 people aboard and was Air France’s deadliest crash. Pilots’ unions said Saturday the company is trying to distance itself from blame — and shift attention to the possibility of human error — as the investigation drags on.
“Enough Scandals and False Debates about Flight Security!” reads the memo, sent to pilots Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday. It dismisses calls by pilots for new safety procedures following Flight 447’s crash. “It suffices simply to apply our doctrine, our procedures,” the memo says.