[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TRAVEL/10/23/airliner.fly.by/art.minneapolis.gi.jpg.jpg caption= "'Concern escalated' as Northwest Flight 188 neared Minneapolis at a high altitude, a spokesman for the controllers said."]
Federal investigators are trying to figure out why the pilot and first captain of Northwest Airlines Flight 188 flew 150 miles past their destination Wednesday night.
The pilot told controllers he was distracted.
Distracted for one hour and 18 minutes? Distracted enough to fly past the destination of Minneapolis and then have to make a u-turn? The answer to both questions is yes.
Though, it's unclear exactly what the distraction was in the cockpit.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the pilots didn't respond to air traffic control starting at 7:56 p.m. Eastern Time when they were at 37,000 feet and they stayed silent for 78 minutes.
It gets more mysterious. When the pilot finally answered traffic control his answers were so vague that controllers feared the plane had been hijacked. Fighter jets were ready to take-off in Madison, Wisconsin, but the order never came since the pilots eventually broke their silence.
The 100 plus passengers on board had no idea of the cockpit drama going on. Tonight on 360°, you'll hear from a passenger who talks about what they were told in flight. We'll also tell you why the cockpit voice recorder may not offer many clues.
Also tonight, hear from the defense attorney for Cameron Todd Willingham who was executed in Texas for killing his three children in a fire. But more than half a dozen forensic scientists believe the evidence shows it wasn't arson. So, did the state kill an innocent man? 360's Randi Kaye has the new developments.
We also have a strange story out of Russia where an ice skating bear attacked two people. You read that right. We're talking about a bear wearing ice skates.
Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with