Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Asiana plane crash: Local station apologizes for racist pilot names

Posted on

The names of the pilots aboard Asiana Airlines Flight 214 have not yet been made public, so Bay Area TV station KTVU thought it had quite the scoop during its Friday afternoon broadcast — only the whole thing was clearly a prank that went too far.

The news anchor read what she said were the names of four pilots — including the clearly fictional (and highly offensive) “Captain Sum Ting Wong” and “Wi Tu Lo” — even claiming the National Transportation Safety Board had confirmed the information. Video of the blunder has gone viral, and the station has since apologized and tried to explain how it possibly happened.

Watch the saga unfold in the video below:


KTVU apologized on Friday afternoon in a statement posted to the station’s website:

“Prior to air, the names were confirmed by an NTSB official in the agency’s Washington, D.C. office,” the statement read. “Despite that confirmation, KTVU realized the names that aired were not accurate and issued an apology later in the newscast.”

“We sincerely regret the error and took immediate action to apologize, both in the newscast where the mistake occurred, as well as on our website and social media sites,” Tom Raponi, KTVU/KICU vice president and general manager, said in the statement. “Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again.”

A third passenger from the Asiana Airlines crash died on Friday.