Oct 27, 2009 5:03 PM by NBC News

FAA revokes licenses of wayward pilots

The Federal Aviation Administration has revoked the licenses of two Northwest Airlines pilots who overflew the Minneapolis airport on a flight from San Diego.

The pilots were out of contact with air traffic controllers for an extended period of time on Oct. 21 and told federal investigators that they were distracted by a conversation. Air traffic controllers and airline officials repeatedly tried to reach them through radio and data contact, without success.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board later said the pilots were working on their laptop computers.

The emergency revocations cite violations of a number of federal aviation regulations. Those include failing to comply with air traffic control instructions and clearances and operating carelessly and recklessly.

The revocations are effective immediately. The pilots have 10 days to appeal the emergency revocations to the National Transportation Safety Board.




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