A comment Monday by the head of the National Transportation Safety Board sounded reasonable to the average ear, but for aviation crash experts there was an immediate connection to a remarkable 1999 crash of a Boeing 747 just after takeoff from London.

"We are looking at communication between the two crew members," NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said from the San Francisco scene where a South Korean Boeing 777 crashed Saturday, killing two teenage girls bound from China to a summer camp in the U.S.

For some aviation experts, examining cockpit communication brought to mind what went wrong on Dec. 22, 1999, when Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509 plunged to the ground in a village near London.