An Asiana Airlines Boeing 767 parked at Incheon International Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson.
After yesterday’s crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777, I felt the need to do a rare Sunday post. As an aviation journalist and communicator for 20 years, I’ve seen more than my fair share of general media coverage when it comes to airline accidents. The crash at San Francisco International Airport showed the sad state of affairs when it comes to covering an accident.
Gone are the days when most major newspapers, television stations and cable news networks had reporters on staff with aviation expertise. And it showed yesterday. Most of the accurate news came not from my usual news sources — CNN and NPR — but my 10,000 Twitter followers and my network of aviation geeks on private listserves and Facebook. And the information that was out there was either wrong, or highly inaccurate.
For example, an NPR reporter said yesterday that the aircraft involved was a “Boeing 777, seats around 150 people.” What?? Does this mean NO ONE at NPR had the 30 seconds it would have taken to go to the 777 section of the Boeing or Asiana websites or even SeatGuru.com to see the actual number on the Asiana aircraft? (it’s 246 to 300 seats).
So now here is my public service — a list of five top aviation journalists who can speak intelligently on the Asiana crash and a whole host of other aviation issues. And bonus — I know that they are all camera-ready. So take advantage of these folks and their years of knowledge.
1. Rob Mark, Jetwhine.com and Aviation International News: besides being a licensed commercial pilot and the writer of the safety section of AIN, Mark has flown every current commercial aircraft from the Airbus A380 on down. He speaks regularly on aviation issues for FOX News and can do the same for you.
2 and 3. Graham Warwick and Guy Norris, Aviation Week and Space Technology: my former colleagues have been in the business for decades. Warwick, AvWeek’s managing editor for technology, has a strong background in aircraft engineering and design. Senior Editor Norris is a long-time, respected aerospace journalist who has written books on aircraft manufacturers, including Boeing.
4. Stephen Trimble, FlightGlobal: Trimble, FlightGlobal’s Americas Editor, is one of the pre-eminent aerospace annd aviation editors in the field. Want proof? Check out what he’s done in the 24 hours since the crash.
5. Jon Ostrower, Wall Street Journal: Before Ostrower, a Chicago-based aerospace reporter, came to the Journal, he was the air transport editor for FlightGlobal. Before that, he wrote the independent Flightblogger blog, considered the source of information on all things Boeing aircraft. He’s forgotten more than most of us know about the Seattle aircraft manufacturer.