Asiana Filght 214 crash

Investigators are trying to determine why a Boeing 777 crash landed at SFO airport on Saturday, killing two passengers and injuring more than 180 others. Witnesses said the Asiana Airlines flight came in low, and that its tail appeared to hit the runway. The blackened airplane was engulfed in flames and much of its roof had been torn off. This is the first fatal accident involving a Boeing 777; the airlines said it did not appear to be a mechanical problem, but also declined to blame the pilot or the San Francisco control tower. We discuss the crash and what it means for commercial airline safety.

Eyewitness Video of the Crash


NTSB Findings on SF Plane Crash at a Glance

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Asiana Flight 214 makes its final approach after a 10-hour flight that started in Shanghai and stopped in Seoul. A preliminary review of the crash by federal investigators turns up the following:

APPROACH PROCEEDS NORMALLY … the plane receives clearance from air traffic control to land without its instrument landing system. Visibility is about 10 miles with winds out of the southwest at 7 knots. There are no distress calls or requests for support in the air traffic control tapes that captured the discussion between a controller and the Asiana crew.

SEVEN SECONDS OUT … the crew asks to increase its air speed. National Traffic Safety Board chairwoman Deborah Hersman says the plane came in well below the approach speed of 137 knots that crew members had discussed.

FOUR SECONDS OUT … the stick shaker, a yolk the pilots hold, begins shaking, indicating the plane could stall.

1.5 SECONDS OUT … the crew calls to abort the landing and go around for another try.

CRASH … the plane hits a seawall. The controller declares an emergency. The pilots talk to air traffic control and emergency vehicles are deployed.

Daniel Rose, partner at Kreindler & Kreindler, an aviation law firm
Rachael Myrow, host and reporter of The California Report
Bill Waldock, professor in the Safety Science department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; retired Coast Guard officer

  • Pierrot Le Fou

    Now its Asian values being discussed that “might” have been contributed to this crash?

    hahaha. Is Chinese hackers not in vogue anymore?

    • writenow

      Actually, that is exactly on-point. The video at addresses the “deference” detriment issue in the Korean language.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Seats came off the floor and crushed some passengers. Any comment on seats not being sufficiently bolted down? I am shocked they came loose from a crash so close to the ground – not encouraging for our safety, is it?

    • Bob Fry

      Umm…by definition every crash (except a mid-air collision) is close to the ground, right?

      Seats, like everything else, are designed to certain limits. I’ve seen one amateur video that showed the aircraft cartwheeling to a rest. It’s unrealistic to design everything, including seats, to withstand that.

      What’s not encouraging is that at least two professional pilots–the flying pilot and the assisting pilot (not necessarily the ones in the left and right seats, or captain and first-officer)–utterly screwed up the final approach and landing. Being a trainee, or not having a radio glide slope, are no excuse whatsoever for this. I hope the US FAA re-examines the training standards of Asiana to make sure they’re up to US standards before allowing these incompetents flight access to US airports.

    • writenow

      Seat bolts have been strengthened over the years from the time airlines bolted them down using just a few bolts.

  • writenow

    A video of landing at SFO (from the pilot’s point of view) is at From the tire marks it seems most planes touch down mid-way. How long is the runway?

    • Bob Fry

      Not mid-way, but certainly not at the very start of the runway either. This is perfectly normal, and desirable. Much information about all US airports can be found at

      • writenow


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