Senior pilot on crashed Asiana jet was on first training flight

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 08, 2013 10:09 AM
Senior pilot on crashed Asiana jet was on first training flight

SEOUL (Reuters) - The senior pilot who oversaw the landing by a more junior colleague of the Asiana passenger jet that crashed in San Francisco on Saturday was on his first flight as a trainer, the South Korean airline said on Monday.

Asiana Airlines Inc. said that the senior pilot on the flight, Lee Jung-min, had received his training certificate in June.

Lee Kang-kuk was the second most junior pilot of four on board the Asiana Airlines aircraft. He had just 43 hours' experience flying the long-range jet and, under supervision, was making his first landing on a Boeing 777 at San Francisco.

Two teenage Chinese girls on their way to summer camp in the United States were killed and more than 180 injured in the crash, the first fatal accident involving the Boeing 777 since it entered service in 1995.

"Only veterans are qualified to become flight instructors. They need to go through training to get certificates," an Asiana official said, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Lee Jung-min had had clocked up 3,220 flying hours on a Boeing 777, according to the company and South Korean transport officials.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Writing by David Chance; Editing by Mark Heinrich)