In San Francisco jet crash, investigators turn attention to pilot actions, cockpit decisions

  • Article by: JOAN LOWY , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 9, 2013 - 1:10 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — Investigators trying to understand why Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash-landed focused Monday on the actions of an experienced pilot learning his way around a new aircraft, fellow pilots who were supposed to be monitoring him and why no one noticed that the plane was coming in too slow.

  • 15
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
peoplewatchrJul. 8, 13 9:08 AM

Low and slow with the throttles at idle. Not the proper approach configuration for a 400,000 lb aircraft.

8
3
gandalf48Jul. 8, 13 9:39 AM

The key questions are "Was the autothrottle engaged during the approach, when was it disengaged and when were the throttles brought back to idle?" If the pilots disengaged the autothrottle (AT) system and pulled the throttles back to idle before 25 ft radio altitude (RA) then there was pilot error. BTW, the AT system would move the throttles to idle at 25 ft RA during a normal autoland...that was not possible since the instrument landing system (ILS) was disabled at that runway at SFO.

5
0
gandalf48Jul. 8, 13 9:55 AM

peoplewatchr - [Low and slow with the throttles at idle. Not the proper approach configuration for a 400,000 lb aircraft.] *** Actually that is the appropriate "configuration" for approach. The autothrottle system will in fact retard the throttles to idle at 25 ft radio altitude. As I said before the biggest question is when did the throttles get moved to idle...this movement to idle was most likely done manually since the ILS was not operating on that runway.

2
1
Lifeguard06Jul. 8, 1310:14 AM

Low and slow isn't the appropriate landing configuration for any aircraft.

5
3
SpaceVikingJul. 8, 1310:42 AM

Watch the video of the crash (at CNN) then raise a toast to the engineers at Boeing who designed that plane.

11
3
gandalf48Jul. 8, 1311:01 AM

SpaceViking - [Watch the video of the crash (at CNN) then raise a toast to the engineers at Boeing who designed that plane.] *** You can't blame Boeing for a pilot error...I would estimate that the odds are 10 to 1 that a pilot disengaged the AT system and pulled the throttles back to idle too early (75-100 ft RA).

4
3
mylittleidJul. 8, 1312:18 PM

After watching the video, I think it's amazing that the fuselage didn't fracture. First it was slammed down onto the runway by the tail hitting the sea wall, and then it turned around and rose into the air tail first before slamming back down a second time. Boeing did a good job of building a strong structure. If the fuselage had broken up, there would likely be more injuries and fatalities.

12
0
dymomanJul. 8, 13 1:34 PM

I don't know the parameters for stabilized approach in this case, I just interpolate by eyeballing (very inaccurate for any reliable guesses) that airplane sagged on too low power and was erroneously brought to a nose-high(er-than-normal) attitude following that. Lost speed, sunken even lower and power-on reaction was too slow, too late. After that, they probably had no chance to change the attitude which led to the tail section-first contact before the runway. Of course, many things could have gone wrong to contribute to this and/or cause/aggravate problem.

6
0
dorkeemnJul. 8, 13 2:38 PM

My question is this - Is there a significant difference in handling / landing charactoristics between a 777 and 747 - apparently the pilot at the controls had landed 747's at SFO several times previously. Maybe he thought the 777 handled the same way and was out of his element? I'm wondering because I saw a comparison of the previous day's flight 214 approach to Saturday's and Friday's was much smoother and gradual. Saturday's was rougher, steeper, faster and lower toward the end. Also - he probably would not have been the same pilot at the controls who landed the plane at it's stop in Seoul due to the time / rest requirements.

3
0
reader2580Jul. 8, 13 2:44 PM

How exactly does a pilot get experience flying into an airport or flying a new plane without actually doing it? Presumably the pilot had done simulator training for the 777. The pilot had thousands of hours flying. Anyone who drives a car can jump into another model of car and drive it without issue and nobody is concerned the car driver has no experience in that model.

5
2

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT