Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Crash Landing of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 - Pilot Error.

Aviation buff Fred Hayes' amateur video (CNN):

The Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 was flying 39 miles per hour below its target speed of 158 mph in the moments before it crashed at San Francisco's international airport, National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said at a news conference in San Francisco. Planes can stall at slow speeds, and Hersman said on Sunday a stall warning had sounded four seconds before the crash...

The pilot at the controls, Lee Kang-kuk, was still training on Boeing 777 jets, the South Korean airline said, and his supervisor was making his first flight as a trainer. Lee had 43 hours of experience flying the long-range jet, Asiana said...

On Monday, Hersman offered fresh details, saying the plane was flying at just 119 miles per hour immediately prior to the accident, a full 25 percent slower than normal for the descent.
Source: Asiana plane was far below target speed before San Francisco crash.  (Reuters)

The plane was coming in at 119 miles per hour, described as “significantly below” the target speed of 158 mph by the NTSB....

As the Boeing 777 came in too slow, Lee lost altitude. He soon lifted the plane’s nose in an attempt to regain some height, and inadvertently collided the plane’s tail wing with a seawall near the runway...

This is the first fatal accident to occur with a Boeing 777 since the plane entered service in 1995.
Source: Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Pilot's Skill Called Into Question By NTSB Investigation Of San Francisco Crash.  (International Business Times)

The world's largest pilot union rebuked the federal agency handling the investigation of Saturday's passenger jet crash in San Francisco, saying it had released too much information too quickly...
Answering ALPA's criticism, NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said the agency routinely provided factual updates during investigations.
"For the public to have confidence in the investigative process, transparency and accuracy are critical," Nantel said...

As soon as a plane goes below the minimum speed for a landing, there should be a vibration in the controls meant to warn pilots of a stall, he said.
"If they had commanded full throttle at that point," Weber said, "there's a good chance they would have made it."
Source: Pilots union says probe of Asiana crash revealed too much, too fast. (Reuters)

A reconstruction of the crash. Realising at the last minute that they were too low on approach, the pilot powered the engines in an attempt to gain altitude - too late. (Reconstruction by former Boeing 727 pilot Jack Suchocki)

A Boeing 777 making a proper landing:

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