Intern Blamed for Fake Pilot Names of Asiana Flight 214


Say them slowly: Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow. Those were the four fake pilot names given for Asiana Airlines’ flight 214 during a Bay Area newscast on Friday (July 12).

Asiana Airlines flight 214 crash landed on the runway at San Francisco International Airport on July 6 after coming in too low and clipping a seawall. Three people were killed and more than 180 injured.

An anchorwoman for Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU read the racially insensitive names of the pilots from a teleprompter saying that the information had been confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board. The station was quick to apologize, but didn’t take the blame. “Earlier in the newscast we gave some names of pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines crash,” they later clarified. “These names were not accurate despite an NTSB official in Washington confirming them late this morning. We apologize for the error.”

The NTSB took a little longer with their response, and blamed the incident on a pesky intern.

“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,” read the NTSB’s statement. “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 crew members 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.”

Several victims aboard the flight are still in the hospital. The investigation into the crash landing is expected to last awhile.