NORDO: New Data on NW188 Reveals
More Questions That Must be Answered
On 21, October, 2009, NW188 departed SAN on a non-stop to Minneapolis, MSP. At 7:24P, Denver hands off the flight to Minneapolis Center, but at this point the flight drops off grid and goes NORDO. Minneapolis and Denver Centers continue to try and raise the flight, and Northwest Airlines dispatch goes postal trying without success raising the flight by company radio. About 8P, NW188 slides over the top of MSP at FL370, fat, dumb and happy. About 14 minutes later, the pilots finally plug back in and report they were over Eau Claire, WI, and "got distracted." The flight finally makes MSP and as a result of breaking Sections 91.13(a), 91.123 (a), 91.123 (b) and 91.135 (b), the pilots have been ordered by FAA to surrender their licenses immediately or risk civil penalties of $1,100 a day.
NW188 lost radio contact just west of HUHHH, and flew a direct course to OOPSI. The flight continued on what appears to be a 070 heading until OSHIT intersection when the pilots realized they were in serious violation of just about every FAR every published. After regaining contact with ATC, they begin a 270 degree right turn over DUHHH, ending their turn at WTFFF. They realize they are now pointed at Santa's house, and crank a hard left turn so they at least look like they are trying to hit MSP this time. They now head sort of west on a 260 heading to JEEZE when they come to the realization that they again have shot past MSP. They aim the pointy end of their A320 on about a 170 heading back in the general direction of MSP, and again overshoot the field until over OHELL. They finally aim NW188 back north and at 854P make a safe landing at MSP, about 67 minutes late.