In what has to be one of the more embarrassing cock ups in TV news history KTVU a Bay Area news station announced on its noon show today that the pilots of the Asiana flight 214 which crashed as it attempted to land at San Francisco airport last Saturday were named and I am not making this up Sum Ting Wong Wi Tu Lo Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.
Here s the actual broadcast
The station subsequently issued an on air apology
An apology was also posted on station s Web site which reiterated that the names were confirmed by an NTSB official in the agency s Washington D.C. office.
Interestingly Gawker notes that
NTSB Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson just told Gawker that the NTSB s policy is to never give out pilot names in these situations which contradicts KTVU s claims. I don t know who KTVU got that from but we do not release names he said.
I d guess someone somewhere is going to get fired.
UPDATE I called KTVU for a comment but no response so far.
UPDATE I misspelled KTVU in the original post now corrected.
UPDATE The NTSB were in fact responsible for the phony names given to KTVU. An apology on the NTSB site reads
The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214 which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.
Earlier today in response to an inquiry from a media outlet a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft.
The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crewmembers or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today s incident.
Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.
Of course the summer intern did not act outside the scope of his authority that s just a mealy mouthed way of saying that the intern pulled practical joke in bad taste and the NTSB has a gaping hole in its standard operating procedures.