Guam Crash Investigators Focus on Crew

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WASHINGTON: The focus of the investigation into Korean Air Flight 801's demise is shifting from the control tower to the cockpit. TIME's Elaine Shannon says investigators probing the deadly crash in Guam are looking at whether the crew of the Boeing 747 was unfamiliar with the route normally taken by an Airbus, which could have caused confusion leading to the disaster.

Though federal investigators will probe every angle, Shannon reports there is more focus on the possibility of human error in the air rather than on the ground, where the Guam airport control tower is staffed by private contractors instead of government employees. Shannon says that's not a big issue, because such arrangements have existed for decades at light-traffic airports.

TIME's aviation expert Jerry Hannifin has suggested investigators should also consider the long working hours the airline imposes on crews, because "Korean Air has a reputation for working their pilots harder than any American company is permitted to."