Asiana Airlines has said it is considering legal action against a Bay Area television station and a federal agency after a news anchor was tricked into reading out fake names mocking the pilots of the flight that crashed as it landed in San Francisco.
“The reputation of the four pilots and of the company had been seriously damaged by this report. The company is reviewing taking legal action against both KTVU-TV and the NTSB,” the South Korean carrier said in a statement.
It follows an incident on Friday when a news anchor at the Fox affiliate told viewers that it had learned the names of the pilots, unaware they were in fact crude, racially insensitive made-up names.
It then emerged that before the broadcast the channel had confirmed the information with the National Transportation Safety Board, the government body responsible for investigating aviation accidents.
An Oakland TV station was apparently duped into giving racist, incorrect names for the pilots of the Boeing 777 that crash landed at a San Francisco airport on Saturday.
Anchor Tori Campbell of KTVU said on the air Friday that the Asiana jet crew, flying from Seoul, consisted of “Captain Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.”
“The NTSB has confirmed these are the names of the pilots on board Flight 214 when it crashed,” Campbell said during the noon report. “We are working to determine what roles each of them played during the landing on Saturday.”
The station later apologized with Campbell saying on the air: “These names were not accurate despite an NTSB official confirming them this morning. We apologize for this error.”
The NTSB confirmed to the Daily News in a statement issued Friday evening that a summer intern — and not an NTSB official — mistakenly confirmed the names of those on the doomed flight.
They said the intern “acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft.”