Somewhat similar to this question. A short part from Wikipedia article about Emirates Flight 521 (emphasis mine):

The captain was an unnamed 34-year-old UAE national who had been with Emirates since March 2001 and had logged 7,457 flight hours, including 5,123 hours on the Boeing 777.

In which situations or under which circumstances a name of pilot involved in serious crash may remain unknown or hidden?

  • $\begingroup$ "unnamed" is not the same as "unknown". $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2021 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ Aviation incident investigations are not there to appoint blame, so specific names are irrelevant to incident investigations. The only time, generally, individuals will be named in relation to an incident or accident is if the case somehow goes to criminal court, which would, generally, only happen if someone deliberately caused the accident. $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2021 at 8:24
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    $\begingroup$ @expeditedescent or they do something awesome, which is why we all know the name "Sully" $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Jan 21, 2021 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ @expeditedescent Hm... a bit weird claim, I must say... I've read about hundred or two hundreds of crash reports (on Wikipedia only, true) and this one is the first where names were not revealed... $\endgroup$
    – trejder
    Jan 22, 2021 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ @trejder That's probably not indicent investigation reports you've been reading then. The media may well dig up the name of the people involved, but such information almost never comes from accident investigation boards. $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2021 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


In this case, it's most likely that the source for the story (the airline?) simply chose not to name the pilot and the editor of the Wikipedia article didn't seek another source that might have done so.

It's virtually certain that the pilot's name appears in the official reports of the incident. The airline likely chose not to give the name for PR or legal reasons.

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    $\begingroup$ Note that NTSB reports generally do not name mishap pilots any longer (they used to at one point in time, but that practice was discontinued decades ago, probably sometime in the 80s or 90s), $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2021 at 4:49

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