It’s not often that I write a blog publicly admitting that I was wrong… But here goes: Pilots of Northwest Flight 188, I apologize for suggesting that you had missed your destination airport by 150 miles because you were asleep. It turns out that wasn’t the case, and I shouldn’t have made that assumption (nor asserted it publicly) until I knew the facts.
It turns out they were using their laptops and not paying attention to the flight.
Yes, the National Transportation Safety Board reported yesterday that the two pilots were using their personal computers on the plane, while also discussing the new monthly crew flight scheduling system they are not subject to as employees of Delta Airline (indirectly, since Delta purchased Northwest Airlines)
“The first officer, who was more familiar with the procedure, was providing instruction to the captain.” Neither pilot said he was aware of where the plane was until a flight attendant called the cockpit about five minutes before the plane was to have landed and asked their estimated time of arrival, the report said.
So yeah… sorry, guys! Pilot Timothy B. Cheney and First Officer Richard I. Cole apparently did NOT fall asleep in their cockpit on the flight from San Diego to Minneapolis-St. Paul.
I do note that the report doesn’t explicitly say that they WEREN’T looking at porn.