When Asiana 214 crashed on landing in San Francisco, I knew who to ask about it. My son George, who is 13, hadn’t heard the news yet when I picked him up for Saturday night “Dad Time” a few hours after the incident because he doesn’t pay attention to the news. But he did just come back from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Air Academy and is very into flying. Shortly after he heard what happened, he speculated that the pilot screwed up but went on the ‘net to find out.
Within about 20 minutes he had scoured the aviation chat boards and found links to primary sources that told the story very well. Asiana 214 came in so slow that it was in danger of stalling, which is when it no longer has enough lift to avoid dropping out of the sky. The pilot apparently realized this too late, but did call in “214 Abort!” just before the crash (1:54 on the audio). The airport started diverting planes and 30 seconds later called for emergency vehicles when the plane had twisted to a stop.
But neither of these key points were on CNN or other major news outlets, and didn’t show up for a day. Why does this matter? It’s not that George is smart (he is), but the failure to report key information in hours of time filled point to what is wrong with the major news media’s model for 24 hour constant reporting.