Yesterday John, who frequently guest posts here on the blog, reported that Delta pilots feel asleep on a chartered jet flight 8957 from Frankfurt to Kuwait. There were number of articles published about this incident:
- From the AVherald.com
- From the TheEpochTimes.com
- From the MirageNews.com
However it seems, according to Delta Corp, much of the post here on the blog was incorrect. While it was true that communications were in fact lost for about half an hour they were reestablished and the crews were never asleep. F16s were in fact scrambled and would have been visible by those on-board the flight. I was further told that:
“..at no point were the flight deck crew asleep, rather they were actively working to reestablish radio communications with Greek air traffic control as they transitioned into their airspace. The assertion that passengers aboard the flight alerted the flight attendants who then “banged on the cockpit door” is also completely untrue. Radio communications were reestablished after approximately 30 minutes, not an hour as suggested in the story. I also don’t know where the claim that Delta has “promised an internal investigation” came from–that was not included in the statement nor is that really true.” – Michael Thomas Delta Air Lines
This is reassuring as it has been a long time since the incident where NWA crews were so distracted (i.e. possibly asleep) that they missed the airport by 150 miles.
I am not sure how often communication is lost between crews and ground control and I would assume most times short lapses would have little or no impact on safety but in this case, due to the Egypt air events, it is easy to understand why folks would be concerned and reacted the way they did.
I was further told that the issue happened between Albanian and Greek air space and the problem occurred when the crew changed to a new frequency and could not establish communication. They then tried the old frequency and later were able to reestablish communications. At no time were light signals sent from the F16 jets according to Delta.
I very much appreciate the updated information from Delta regarding this incident and apologize for the incorrect information in the previous post. – René