The Marmot's Hole

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Tag: Asiana

Asiana Crash and Korean Culture Redux

At a National Transportation Safety Board today, experts testified that, well, Korean culture may have played a role in the accident:

In the crucial minutes before an Asiana Airlines flight crashed in San Francisco last summer, the pilots voiced concern about the plane’s low speed but did nothing to correct it until just before it hit the ground.

A hearing on Wednesday into the July 6 crash that killed three people and injured more than 180, highlighted the pilots’ mistaken reliance on the autopilot to maintain their airspeed but also Korean cultural factors that may have played a role and the design of the flight controls.

What cultural factors, you ask? Well, if interviews with the pilot are anything to go by, then these ones:

Captain Lee told investigators that any of the three pilots on the plane could have decided to break off the approach, but he said it was “very hard” for him to do so because he was a “low-level” person being supervised by an instructor pilot.

He also said that as the plane approached, he was momentarily blinded by a light on the runway, possibly a reflection of the sun, but that he would not wear sunglasses because that was considered impolite among Koreans.

I don’t know. The sunglasses comment makes me wonder if perhaps this is more of a “military culture” thing than anything else. Military folk in particular love the shades—see Park Chung-hee, the MPs at the DMZ, etc.—but junior officers won’t wear shades in front of their superior officers. Or so I’m told.

I’ll let the folk who actually know about such things do the talking, though.

photo credit: caribb via photopin cc

KTVU fires three veteran producers over naming flap

Looks like KTVU management felt there was Sum Ting Wong with the massive on-air gaffe in the naming of the Asiana crash pilots.

Heads have rolled.

Station sources confirmed late Wednesday that investigative producer Roland DeWolk, special projects producer Cristina Gastelu and producer Brad Belstock were all sent packing following an in-house investigation into the July 12 broadcast of four fake names of the pilots involved in the Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

Hate to see people get fired, and it seems a bit much, but three “veteran” producers in a city with a sizable Asian population should have known better than to let an idiotic mistake like that go that far.

As Robert posted earlier, Colbert had a funny take on the misnaming.

Foreign flight attendants learn service skills in Korea

The Dong-A Ilbo ran a story on how Asiana’s training center is now training the flight attendants of foreign airlines, too.

They’ve apparently trained flight attendants for a Chinese airline and two Russian airlines.

Foreign trainees learn the ins and outs of Korean flight attendantdom, including how to walk, how to act, how to do ones makeup and even how to wear their hair in a bun.

What I found interesting was that Yakutsk has its own airline, which was one of the two Russian airlines that have sent flight attendants to Asiana’s school (the other being Vladivostok Air).

Korean Air, meanwhile, has trained personnel for MIAT (which, as everyone knows, stands for Монголын Иргэний Агаарын Тээвэр), and airlines from Myanmar and Vietnam.

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