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Only Last 30 Minutes Recorded On Jet That Flew By Minneapolis

The cockpit voice recorder may not be of much help in figuring out why Northwest Flight 188 flew 150 miles past its intended destination Wednesday night before the pilots realized their mistake.

The Associated Press reports that safety investigators say the jet had an older model recorder that only captured the most recent 30 minutes of conversation. So, AP writes, "it's likely the voice recorder captured only the last 30 minutes of the flight — much of that time after pilots had realized their error and turned the plane back."

Newer recorders, AP notes, capture two hours' worth of the crew's conversations.

The pilots have told investigators they were distracted by a heated conversation they were having about airline policies.