Laptop computers are blamed for fly-by at MSP

The pilots of Northwest Flight 188 told federal investigators that a series of distractions -- headed by their use of personal laptop computers in the cockpit -- led to a 78-minute radio silence that caused them to fly past their scheduled arrival airport. Federal safety rules prohibit the use of laptops below 10,000 feet but allow them at cruise altitude. However, Delta Air Lines, the parent company of Northwest, said in a statement that the pilots' actions were "strictly against the airline's flight deck policies and violations of that policy will result in termination."

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