Northwest Pilot: We Weren't Sleeping

But he won't offer more details on why they overshot airport
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2009 9:55 AM CDT
The Cockpit Voice Recorder from Northwest flight 188.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
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(Newser) – One of the pilots of the infamous Northwest flight that missed the airport says neither he nor his co-pilot were napping. "I can assure you none of us was asleep," says Richard Cole, who gave separate interviews to ABC and the AP. "It was not a serious event, from a safety issue." So what gives? We may not know until federal investigators finish their inquiry, which will be next week at the earliest.

"I can tell you that airplanes lose contact with the ground people all the time," Cole adds. "It happens. Sometimes they get together right away; sometimes it takes awhile before one or the other notices that they are not in contact." Of the intense publicity he's now under, Cole says, "I am not doing very good."