The Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Crash Site, As Photographed by the NTSB


The media has been dominated by coverage of Asiana Airlines Flight 214’s crash landing in San Francisco this past weekend. What’s interesting is that some of the most powerful photographs showing the aftermath were not captured by professional photojournalists, but rather those with the most access to the site: US government employees.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States maintains a very active Twitter account, and has been Tweeting live updates to this story since news of the crash first emerged Saturday morning.

Included in the Tweets are close-up photographs showing the accident site and investigation process. The NTSB sent agents to the airport less than an hour after the incident, and photographs started appearing on the @ntsb Twitter feed.

The photo above was captioned: “NTSB investigators conduct first site assessment of #Asiana214 in S.F.”

"Chairman Hersman and Investigator-in-Charge Bill English looking at interior damage to #Asiana214"

“Chairman Hersman and Investigator-in-Charge Bill English looking at interior damage to #Asiana214″

The airplane’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder (AKA the “black box”) were in the NTSB’s Washington D.C. laboratory by the next day:



The rest of the photographs that have emerged were not given captions, but they speak for themselves:











You can follow along with the NTSB’s steady stream of photos (and other info) by following it on Twitter. The same images are also being shared through Flickr.

(via Doobybrain)

Image credits: Photographs by the National Transportation Safety Board

  • Randy Wentzel

    Of course my feelings go out to the people on the plane, those on the ground that had to be there, etc. I’m curious as to if I could be a photographer for the NTSA, or if my general emotional nature wouldn’t be able to handle the tasks. Perhaps knowing my photos may be able to help investigators would be enough… not sure. :(


  • gly

    My heart goes out to the people on board. For me, I think being an NTSB photographer would be a tough job. In this particular case, and not to take away from the tragedy, it happened at an airport and responders were there in a mater of a minute. The survival rate was high in this case but its not always true and planes don’t always crash at an airport. I think what bothers me the most is the loss of life and the many reminders while on site. I certainly couldn’t do it so I’ll stick to photographing my “happy” places. My greatest respect to those who can do this kind of photography.