Asiana Flight 214 Crash: Did investigators share too much?

Two Korean pilots unions released a statement Sunday that seems to criticize American officials for releasing too much information about their investigation of Asiana Flight 214, which crash landed earlier this month in San Francisco.

The Asiana Pilots Union (APU) and Air Line Pilots Association of Korea (ALPA-K) appear to have a real grievance with the NTSB’s proclivity for press conferences. The government agency held several in the days following the crash, though investigators seemed to be relatively guarded with their comments.

“Through the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Association (IFALPA) and the Air Line Pilots Assn., Int’l (ALPA), APU and ALPA-K have conveyed our concerns about the possibility of inaccurately identifying the cause of the accident, due to NTSB’s press conferences which only give prominence to the possibility of a pilot error and unprecedented speed in disclosure of related materials to the public,” the Korean pilots wrote in their statement.

Paradoxically, of course, the NTSB has been widely praised in the United States for being so open with the public and the media.

What do you think? Do the Korean pilots have a point? Or were the press conferences appropriate?

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NTSB intern helped television station with offensive segment

You may have seen an erroneous and offensive television news report in which a station attempted to name the pilots in the Asiana Flight 214 crash. All of the names given were jokes, and if you watch the video above, you’ll see why.

The station responded that the names had been confirmed by the NTSB. That seemed a bit far fetched. But the NTSB just released a statement explaining what happened.

Here it is:

NTSB statement on erroneous confirmation of crew names
July 12

The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft.

The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crewmembers or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident.

Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.

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Asiana Flight 214: Some of the best news stories from Sunday and Monday

I was off the grid for a few days, and, given my beat, that turned out to be a bad thing. But when I returned to civilization, I was impressed by the breadth and depth of much of the coverage of Asiana Flight 214. Some of it, of course, has been uninformed. But most of it – especially from the knowledgable bloggers and reporter who regularly cover the industry, has been pretty good.

I wanted to highlight some particularly strong stories here on the blog.

Terror on Jet in San Francisco: Seeing Water, Not Runway via The New York Times

Asiana attendant describes dramatic evacuation from the Associated Press.

Asiana plane was far below target speed before San Francisco crash from Reuters

Why the San Francisco Plane Crash Wasn’t More Deadly via the Wall Street Journal

NTSB: Jet was traveling below target speed before crash via USA Today

Asiana Flight 214 attendants lauded as ‘heroes’ via USA Today. As someone who recently flew Asiana, I should say I am not surprised by this. The flight attendants I met on my travels were unusually professional and appeared to be extremely well trained.

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