December 11th, 2013
08:44 PM ET

Was Korean culture a factor in Asiana crash?

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the first officer on Asiana Flight 214 tried to warn the other pilots that the plane was descending too fast just minutes before the July crash in San Francisco, which killed three Chinese teenagers.

NTSB probes fatal Asiana Flight 214 crash

First Officer Bong Dongwon told investigators that he noticed the planes' steep descent rate, but thought the pilot was correcting it.

"Since Bong advised of high sink rate several times, he was monitoring sink rate and saw that it was decreasing, '1,500, 1,400, going up,'" a summary of the interview says. "When he recognized this correction was going on, and after passing 500 feet, seeing the vertical speed was less than 1,000 (feet per minute), he decided not to advise anything."

As the investigation continues into the cause of the deadly crash, the NTSB says they are looking at every factor.

"Certainly in any cockpit, in any country in the world, there are cultural issues and the NTSB, what our job is to be very fair and to base our information, our investigation, our findings and our recommendations on the facts," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said.

So, was Korean culture a factor in the crash?

Kyung Lah has the story.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. terrysagirl

    I wouldn't jump to that conclusion. I just finished reading a novel published in the 1960's about a midair collision. It was obvious the author had done his homework, and in it, when the (American) pilot is making errors, the (also American) First Officer is loathe to correct him out of deference to his rank.

    December 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  2. Joey at Purdue Univ

    Sounds like Chapter 7 in "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell.

    December 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Reply

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