Flight 214 Crash: NTSB Interviewing Pilots Today

National Transportation Safety Board investigators today will be interviewing the four pilots who were in the cockpit of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 when it crashed on Saturday.

NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said at a news conference at a Holiday Inn in South San Francisco this morning that there were three captains and a first officer on the Boeing 777 aircraft, which flew from Shanghai, China, to San Francisco with a stop in Seoul, South Korea.

See all SF Appeal coverage of the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 here.

Hersman said one captain is a seasoned pilot but was still working on getting experience flying a Boeing 777. That captain was working with a training captain, she said.

The two others were a captain and first officer, she said.

Once the pilot interviews are complete, there will be more information about who was operating the aircraft at the time of the accident, she said.

Hersman said investigators will also be looking into the pilots’ activities, including how much rest they had gotten, in the 72 hours prior to the crash.

“We’re often looking for things that would affect human performance,” she said, including fatigue, illness, and the use of medication.

“We’re looking at all of those things to see if there’s any impact on their ability to perform their jobs,” she said of the pilots.

Although the pilots are required to be proficient in English, translation services may be needed for the interviews in order to get the most detailed and accurate information, she said.

The NTSB will also review manuals and training programs as part of the multi-pronged investigation, which includes the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney and the NTSB’s Korean counterpart, the Korean Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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