NTSB, Local TV Station Apologize For Fake Pilot Names In San Francisco Crash

By: CBS/WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS/WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

(CBS) The National Transportation Safety Board issued an apology Friday night and said an intern is partly to blame for a situation that has a local news station in San Francisco under fire.

The station reported fake - and what some have called offensive - names that were supposedly those of the pilots of the Asiana Airlines flight that crashed last Saturday. A KTVU anchor read along as the following names were displayed on the screen during the station’s Friday noon broadcast:

Captain Sum Ting Wong
Wi Tu Lo
Ho Lee Fuk
Bang Ding Ow

Asiana Flight 214 was landing in San Francisco from South Korea when it crashed on Saturday afternoon. Three people have died.

The station caught its error about 15 minutes later, offering an on-air apology and said the NTSB provided the bogus names.

The NTSB issued the following statement Friday night:

“The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots. A summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and we deeply regret today’s incident.”

KTVU president and GM Tom Raponi has also issued an apology for the error.

“We sincerely regret the error and took immediate action to apologize, both in the newscast where the mistake occurred, as well as on our website and social media sites. Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again,” he said in a statement.

The broadcast has since gone viral on some blogs and on social media, with many ridiculing the TV station for failing to catch the bogus names before they were aired.


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