The summer intern who confirmed to a California TV station that "Captain Sum Ting Wong" and three others piloted the Asiana Airlines flight that crashed July 6 at San Francisco International Airport is being described by the federal government as a "very intelligent young man."
"I can't get into details except to say that we are taking appropriate action. It's unfortunate because he's a very intelligent young man who made a very big mistake," Kelly Nantel, spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board, told Politico.
It's unclear where the fake names — read aloud on San Francisco station KTVU-TV's noon broadcast Friday and also including "Wi Tu Lo" and "Bang Ding Ow" — originated, but the NTSB admits they were confirmed to the news organization by an unnamed summer intern who reportedly is now out of a job.
Video clips of the hoax have gone viral on the Internet but are being taken much more seriously by Asiana.The airline plans to file suit against KTVU for defamation, alleging that the erroneous information has harmed its reputation.
Three people have died as a result of the July 6 crash. Investigations into the cause of the accident are ongoing.