By now you’ve probably already heard about how the local Fox affiliate here in the Bay Area of California last week broadcast what it apparently believed were the names of the four pilots on the Asiana Air plane that crashed on landing at San Franciso Airport a week ago.
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.
Of course, the NTSB has also said that the names “originated” with KTVU and that the intern was “trying to be helpful.” Either way, the end result was pretty clear: KTVU (and, to some extent, the NTSB) were quickly mocked widely online.
I had figured the story would die down over the weekend, but apparently, Asiana Air is talking about potentially suing both KTVU and the NTSB over this incident, claiming that it harmed their reputation.
Asiana said Monday that it will sue a San Francisco TV station that damaged the airline’s reputation by using bogus and racially offensive names for four pilots on a plane that crashed earlier this month in San Francisco.
Yes, the use of those names was racist and offensive. And, yes, it was absolutely ridiculous that it made it on the air. But, it’s almost as ridiculous to then file a lawsuit over such a thing. Asiana is going to have one hell of a time proving any “damage” to the airlines reputation from that report, as opposed to, I don’t know, the actual crash landing. It seems that Asiana’s reputation is already hurt, but not because of any fake names, but rather for its inability to properly land an airplane.
The whole reason the names became a story was because basically everyone who didn’t work at KTVU knew they were fake and offensive names. No one actually thought that they were real. There was no damage done to Asiana from those names being used. The damage was to KTVU’s credibility (not to mention the credibility of whoever hires summer interns at the NTSB). KTVU and the NTSB have both apologized, and Asiana should focus on making sure its pilots can land their planes rather than suing over this.