Pilots Association President Slams NTSB Over Asiana Probe

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ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak
Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), accused the National Transportation Safety Board of seeking the media spotlight in its investigation of the Asiana 777 crash in San Francisco. (Photo: Bill Carey)
July 18, 2013, 10:42 AM

The head of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) on Wednesday strongly criticized the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation of the July 6 crash landing of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at San Francisco International Airport.

Opening ALPA’s annual safety forum in Washington, D.C., association president Capt. Lee Moak accused the NTSB and its chairman, Deborah Hersman, of seeking the media spotlight in releasing operational details of the Asiana crash. Hersman led regular daily briefings in San Francisco in the immediate aftermath of the accident. On July 15, the board said that it had concluded its on-scene phase of the investigation at the airport.

ALPA has already issued statements critical of the NTSB’s public release of crash information. “That fueled rampant speculation about the cause of the accident, and without all the facts surrounding a catastrophic event like this, partial or incomplete information, out of context, can lead to erroneous conclusions and misguided assessments of the crew’s intentions and actions,” Moak told the safety forum.

“We understand that an organization’s leader is ultimately responsible for, and accountable for, the actions of that organization’s members,” he added. “What we have seen in this instance is an organization that has chosen to deviate from internationally accepted and time-proven investigative processes and procedures in favor of increased media exposure and sensationalism.”

In response to earlier criticism by ALPA, the NTSB cited a need for “transparency” in the accident investigation. “We routinely provide the public with factual information throughout the investigative process,” spokesman Kelly Nantel told AIN. “For the public to have confidence in the investigative process, transparency and accuracy are critical.”

Moak said that ALPA has been “labeled” as opposing transparency. “Each of you know that couldn’t be farther from the truth,” he said. “ALPA fully supports open, objective and thorough investigations to find all factors involved in the accident.”

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Kevin King
on July 20, 2013 - 4:42pm

As a Pilot myself, it was so REFRESHING getting fast first hand accurate information unfiltered by the EXPERTS at the site.

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cap.sedaghatnia
on August 3, 2013 - 6:26am

We became so happy after reading that news .
After any acsident any object influence of flight should be more cosidered it naturaly it takes more time
Head of Iranian ALPA

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James T. Kirk
on August 17, 2013 - 9:28am

Exactly what information is Capt. Moak unhappy about? That the approach was so unstable that the accident was inevitable? That they did not recognize the gravity of the situation and didn't attempt a go around until it was far too late? That a new check airman was with a new captain and both their heads were apparently so far up their asses they couldn't safely land a perfectly good flying 777 on a lovely California morning? And that they came up with some BS about a blinding light in their faces on final?
3 people are dead and all aboard could easily have been killed. I'm sick and tired of these union idiots rhetoric and blind support of pilots who screw the pooch. You can't have 'transparency' both ways. The NTSB did absolutely nothing wrong and the safety of the flying public trumps any need to protect incompetent pilots.

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