Franken asks for quick probe of airline incident

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following an incident Thursday in which a passenger jet overshot the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport by about 150 miles, Sen. Al Franken has called on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to speed up his investigation into what happened.

“Minnesotans deserve to understand what went so terribly wrong,” Franken, D-Minn., said in a statement. “Yesterday’s overshoot and the nine hour Rochester tarmac delay in August both highlight the critical need to revamp our national air traffic control system. This isn’t the first time Minnesotans have been subject to gross negligence on the part of the airline industry – but it ought to be the last.”

During the Rochester incident in August, passengers were held in a plane on the tarmac overnight. The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation into yesterday’s incident, which caused air traffic controllers to fear that the plane had been hijacked.

Instead, the crew stated that “they were in a heated discussion over airline policy and they lost situational awareness.”

The plane flew passé the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and into Wisconsin before turning around and landing safely at its intended destination.

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