NTSB Hearing on Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Crash Begins Today

Washington, D.C. - December 11, 2013

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has assembled a hearing today to discuss the ongoing investigation into the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214. The hearing will focus on the actions of the pilots as the plane approached San Francisco International Airport, as well as issues with the Boeing 777's autothrottle system. NTSB officials will also discuss whether commercial airline pilots rely too much on cockpit automation, and whether pilots' manual flying skills are deteriorating. Investigators have intimated that the pilot at the controls of Asiana Flight 214 during the botched landing may have lacked the necessary experience flying the Boeing 777 to safely land the plane at SFO. Prior to the crash, pilot Lee kang Kuk had logged less than 45 hours of flight time on the 777. His lack of experience with the 777 was compounded by the facts that he hadn't landed at SFO since 2004, and the glide slope indicator, which is an automatic system that helps pilots line up their approach to the runway, was not operational at SFO the day of the crash. The Associated Press interviewed aviation attorney Ilyas Akbari, whose firm represents 14 Asiana passengers who were injured in the crash at SFO. Akbari stated "This pilot should never have taken off [from Seoul].”