The National Transportation Safety Board held their latest press briefing today on the Asiana Flight 214 crash. But that latest round of information came after the union representing commercial airline pilots criticized the agency for being too informative.
Essentially, the Air Line Pilots Association (APLA) believes the abundance of information — a timeline, witness accounts, and photos of the crash site, for starters — could lead to "rampant speculation" about the cause of the crash. They, presumably, are worried that the public will blame pilot error before the NTSB releases the results of their investigation. While it seems a bit off to suggest that the public wouldn't include pilot error in the routine speculation that follows any sort of highly-covered disaster or tragedy, their worry probably comes from the fact that many of the most interesting details about the crash relate to the crew flying the plane. That, and the NTSB's early revelation that the plane was going significantly slower than the target speed as it approached to land.
The details the union takes the biggest issue with, according to the Hill, come from transcripts of recorded conversations in the cockpit of the plane. For their part, the NTSB responded to the union's allegation in their press briefing today, saying that "The information we're providing is consistent with our procedures and processes," adding that "one of the hallmarks of the NTSB is our transparency...we are the advocate for the traveling public." Over the past few days, the agency has held frequent briefings, and provided additional information on their investigation via their Twitter account. They have declined to answer any questions on the cause of the crash, noting today that they won't get close to a probable cause while their team is still on the ground collecting evidence. Unsurprisingly, it looks like Twitter is Team NTSB on this one:
Really incredible to see what @NTSB is doing on Twitter. Wish we had this kind of transparency and openness from all federal regulators.— Brian Larson (@larsonite) July 8, 2013
Meanwhile, the NTSB released a new b-roll video of the site after their briefing: