DETAILS FROM THE FLIGHT 188 REPORTS
• Tim Cheney, the captain, described First Officer Richard Cole as "OK, but I've flown with better." Cheney said that Cole didn't complete several items during preparation of the overhead cockpit panel and that he had to do them himself.
• The Delta Air Lines manager who met the plane when it arrived at the gate described the pilots as "distraught" and said he was surprised that they had nearly completed their post-flight duties and had their flight bags nearly packed.
• The flight papers from the cockpit were not recovered but were later retrieved electronically.
• Once at cruise altitude, the pilots took their headsets off and monitored air-traffic control through cockpit speakers. Both said they heard chatter on the radio frequency but did not recall hearing their call sign.
• Once contact was reestablished, Cole said, he inadvertently deleted several "contact air traffic control" messages that were on a cockpit messaging system.
• Cheney said Northwest Airlines bankruptcy "made a financial impact on his retirement" and had created a "bitter and angry" environment that he tried to leave out of the cockpit.Source: National Transportation Safety Board