Are Korean Air Crews Under Too Much Pressure?

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AGANA, Guam: Are Korean Air crews being pushed harder than would allow them to safely do their jobs? That question, TIME's aviation expert Jerry Hannifin believes, should weigh on the minds of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board investigators probing yesterday's crash in Guam. Officials have already shipped Korean Air Flight 801's "black boxes" (in-flight voice and data recorders) to Washington. Hannifin, who's covered two previous Korean Air crashes, says investigators should consider the long working hours the airline imposes on crews. "Korean Air has a reputation for working their pilots harder than any American company is permitted to," says Hannifin.

Thirty of the 277 people on board survived the crash after the plane went down, amid driving rain, in dense jungle some three miles from A.B. Won Pat International Airport. Reports indicate that the airport's "glide slope" landing system used to guide planes to the runway was out of service. The airport also lacks a government-staffed control tower. Hours after yesterday's tragedy, meanwhile, a second Korean Air plane made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff from western Japan. Engine trouble was the suspected cause, and there were no casualties.