"After a thorough internal investigation into the incident on Feb. 13 in which go Flight 1002 overflew the airport at Hilo, Mesa has terminated the employment of both pilots involved," Mesa Air Group (go! parent company) said Wednesday in a statement, though the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) says the pilots were fired at least 10 days prior. The 50-minute trip, carrying 40 passengers aboard Flight 1002, a 50-seat CRJ regional jet out of Honolulu for Hilo, overshot Hilo airport by 15 miles. For 25 minutes during the flight, controllers made repeated efforts but were unable to contact the recently fired pilots. While Mesa seems to have arrived at its own conclusion, the FAA is expected to conclude its investigation in a few weeks. FAA sanctions for the pilots could range from warning letters to suspension of certificates. Mesa pilots have been the subject of media reports on pilot fatigue in the past.
WFAA-TV, a Dallas TV station, reported in 2006 that Mesa's mainland operational schedules were so tight that some pilots camped in their aircraft. ALPA has filed a grievance with the airline on the pilots' behalf.