The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) labeled the NTSB “reckless” last week for releasing operational details about the Asiana Airlines 214 accident in San Francisco on July 6. The Board has held nearly daily news conferences since the accident in which chairman Deborah Hersman has spoken about its initial listen to the cockpit voice recorder and other devices.
ALPA said it is “stunned by the amount of detailed operational data from on-board recorders released by the NTSB this soon in the investigation,” and called the level of early disclosure “unprecedented.” The association believes releasing too much preliminary data can interfere with the investigative process, encourage wild speculation and “represents a detriment to flight safety” by making it appear the Board has already determined a probable cause.
ALPA did not respond to requests from AIN to explain its concerns in more detail. NTSB public-affairs division chief Kelly Nantel told AIN, “One of the hallmarks of an NTSB investigation is transparency. We routinely provide the public with factual information throughout the investigative process. As an independent federal agency, we serve as advocates for the traveling public. For the public to have confidence in the investigative process, transparency and accuracy are critical.”