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Antonov

Asiana 777 Crashes At SFO

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Reports I've read state they were sat at the back of the aircraft, which would indicate they were killed in the impact and were ejected from the aircraft rather than being run over by an emergency vehicle.

Vince

That's a bit weird as I was expecting the fatalities to be flight attendants seated at the rear of the airplane given that usually there are one or two of them typically in jump seats behind the last row of passenger seats. But then again, in this case it could have had something to do with where the lower tail was impacted and how the force was transferred into the fuselage. The cabin of the plane itself looks pretty intact behind the rear doors until you get to the break just in front of the empanage (i.e. the vertical and horizontal tails).

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wouldn't the internal systems on the 777 warn of a too low/slow approach?

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Latest from NTSB briefing...

The cockpit voice recorder of Asiana Flight 214 reveals the pilots called to initiate a "go-around" at another landing 1.5 seconds before impact, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman told reporters on Sunday.

Four seconds prior to impact, crew members were alerted to the fact that they were approaching a stall, Hersman said. She said a call from a crew member to increase speed was made approximately seven seconds before impact.

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I have seen conflicting reports as to whether the PAPIs were in service or not at the time of the crash. Tower would not have sent them around a VFR pattern. They would be sequenced by Approach and handed off to Tower 5-7 miles out for landing clearance on a straight-in approach - which under normal circumstances, could be visual or instrument as needed.

Okay, I just know back in the day, sometimes RJ's would do visual downwind approaches to small, uncontrolled airports.

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I'm not saying this to anyone in particular.... If you don't know (and from what you've written - many of you don't) - there's no need to speculate - especially when you don't understand the basics of the subject. For mostly aviation enthusiasts, your lack of knowledge is pretty spectacular.

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That's a bit weird as I was expecting the fatalities to be flight attendants seated at the rear of the airplane given that usually there are one or two of them typically in jump seats behind the last row of passenger seats. But then again, in this case it could have had something to do with where the lower tail was impacted and how the force was transferred into the fuselage. The cabin of the plane itself looks pretty intact behind the rear doors until you get to the break just in front of the empanage (i.e. the vertical and horizontal tails).

In news video I've seen you can clearly see the tail separated at the aft pressure bulkhead, the ruptured bulkhead stayed with the plane. Witness accounts describe survivors, probably the flight attendants, suffered "road rash" injuries after they were ejected from the rear of the fuselage.

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I'm not saying this to anyone in particular.... If you don't know (and from what you've written - many of you don't) - there's no need to speculate - especially when you don't understand the basics of the subject. For mostly aviation enthusiasts, your lack of knowledge is pretty spectacular.

35tm1p.jpg

vince

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Seven seconds before impact he knows he's in trouble. Throttles to the firewall. No messing around. Stall warning at four seconds look for someplace soft to hit. Too low, too slow. One point 5 seconds before impact he makes decision to go around. This is a brick he is flying not a fighter. At this point he is on the ground. Definately pilot error on this one. Can't point the finger at us avionics guys here.

Frank

ATL

Edited by bugs3144

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Seeing the bird bounce up into the air after the impact, I am impressed with how intact that fuselage remained. It didn't break apart at all when it came back down on its belly. That is one of the factors which I think lead to the relatively low loss of life.

It reminded me a lot of United Airlines 232 when it crashed at Souix City as the DC-10 flipped and cartwheeled upside down while breaking into at least three main sections. That is only a passing resemblence though given how fast that plane was going at impact due to its crippled control capabilities from loss of hydraulics while this one was going much slower.

As for speculation as to what caused the crash... WAY too early to say for certain. I know how it LOOKS, but we don't know all the facts yet.

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I still find it hard to beleive that in todays day and age, with all the computers and automation, that pilots can still mess up a simple approach(If that was the cause..still not ruling out Mechanical Failure). It seems that so many of the major aviatin incidents these days are boiling down to straight forward pilot error( Russion yak-42, Air France 330, PoAF TU-154). Those three cases alone..pilot error crashed on take-off, pilot flew a plane into the ocean from 30 odd thousand feet, and pilots flew a plane into the ground while landing. None of those had mechanical failure (the 330 DID have a pitot tube issue, but it was a known issue with a published AD and should have been of no consequence)

Nothing is pilot proof. and I'm pretty sure the majority of crashes are pilot error, but I welcome any correction.

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Here's a scenario that could be very possible:

The Glideslope which is the vertical descent guideance (extended instrument glide angle) part of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) was unavailable at the time of the crash. Any time a critical navaid is taken out of service for any reason a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) is posted so pilots can plan their flights accordingly. During some of the maintenance inspections the technicians are required to put the Glideslope system into a configuration called "Quadature" which places all the transmitted signals "in-phase" with each other. During this particular check, the Localizer which is the horizontal guideance portion (extended instrument runway centerline) of the ILS must have it's Identification function removed. This will prevent an aircrafts ILS receiver from accepting signals from this particular ILS system. During the "Quadature" check of the Glideslope, an aircrafts receiver will indicate he is on Glidepath reguardless of the angle of his approach, and it will remain on glidepath directly into the ground. Sometimes pilots (especially pilots in training) don't catch or understand some of these NOTAM's and are unaware of any pending maintenance interruptions of a navaids service. And, sometimes the maintenance technicians don't follow strict maintenance procedures during critical checks becuase they really don't know completely the importance of what they are doing. When the two of these situations come together, what happened at SFO is a very real possibility. This situation is what unofficially (contributing factor) flew a 747 into a mountain on final approach in Guam some years ago.

V/r

Ron

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Nothing is pilot proof. and I'm pretty sure the majority of crashes are pilot error, but I welcome any correction.

I worked in Flight Safety in the Airforce for 8 years, we investigated both civilian and military accidents worldwide to learn from them. Most are pilot error, in the high 90's.

There are a few countries where that stat in an exception.

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I'm not saying this to anyone in particular.... If you don't know (and from what you've written - many of you don't) - there's no need to speculate - especially when you don't understand the basics of the subject. For mostly aviation enthusiasts, your lack of knowledge is pretty spectacular.

It's been interesting reading what some of the posters think happens in the cockpit during a landing though.

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I'm not saying this to anyone in particular.... If you don't know (and from what you've written - many of you don't) - there's no need to speculate - especially when you don't understand the basics of the subject. For mostly aviation enthusiasts, your lack of knowledge is pretty spectacular.

It's been interesting reading what some of the posters think happens in the cockpit during a landing though.

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Nothing is pilot proof. and I'm pretty sure the majority of crashes are pilot error, but I welcome any correction.

I'd say it's in the 90% range too - exceptions are places in Africa where maintenance isn't exactly high on the list of priorities (plus the odd sabotage thrown in for good measure...). I'm actually working on a book about how computerisation and automation within the cockpit, combined with the current focus of pilot training on managing the systems rather than flying the aircraft, is actually making flying a more dangerous occupation than it was 20 years ago.

Vince

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I'd say it's in the 90% range too - exceptions are places in Africa where maintenance isn't exactly high on the list of priorities (plus the odd sabotage thrown in for good measure...). I'm actually working on a book about how computerisation and automation within the cockpit, combined with the current focus of pilot training on managing the systems rather than flying the aircraft, is actually making flying a more dangerous occupation than it was 20 years ago.

Vince

That sounds like an interesting book. That topic is favorite of mine also. Wheneveer I bring it up I hear from pilots about cases where this actually happened. As an example, I was talking to a Coporate pilot in his late 40's, who had 1000's of hours in 767 & 757, who said he would NEVER pass a CPL Instrument flight test since the computers do all the work and he has forgottne most of the basics.

You should post the details about your book if/when you get it published!

Sean

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It's been interesting reading what some of the posters think happens in the cockpit during a landing though.

^_^ Agreed.

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+2 to the above...

I echo the concern that modern pilots are becoming so heavily dependent on automation that they are sometimes forgetting how to do the basics. Those of us who grew up with analog systems and no magic can still revert to backup systems and fundamentals when we need to. For example, when the pitot/static system is lying to you (similar to the Air France high-altitude problem), it is necessary to stick to the basics like flying a pitch attitude and a power setting, and ignoring the false airspeed indications. That requires two things:

1. an ability to figure out what is true and what is false, and

2. knowledge of your aircraft and its systems, including what control inputs (attitude and power) should result in safe performance in all flight regimes.

I have flown a couple times into the San Francisco area (into NAS Alameda before it closed), and I can tell you it was HUGELY busy. So much so, that we had 3 attempts at being sent for a visual approach on one flight before making it onto final, and even then our little Tutor trainer was sent right between two USN F/A-18s that were in trail on approach; a quick visual belly check as we turned onto final revealed the second Hornet on a collision course with us, belly up as well.

Add up the difficult elements here, and without knowing what happened or why it happened, it's possible to imagine how this could have happened.

1. Very busy airport

2. High, fast transition from altitude to final approach quite possible, meaning crew was rushed

3. ILS off the air

4. Pilots maybe using incorrect FMS (Flight Management System) inputs, or misreading information on their displays

5. Asian crew whose level of English may not have helped them understand the situation or communicate adequately if they had questions about the status of navigation aids or other options

I taught business jet transition onto the Challenger 604 about 10 years ago, and I now teach advanced technology systems at an aviation college. I have seen experienced pilots get overwhelmed by the "magic" in an advanced cockpit, especially when things don't go exactly as they planned. Luckily, in the simulator, I could either pause the flight, reduce the level of difficulty by changing the scenario, or in extreme cases let them do something dangerous so they would learn a lesson. Real flights do not have those options.

"Hangar flying" is easy - we all have time to speculate. Scooby is quoting numbers that professional pilots know only too well. Over the first 100 years of aviation, the proportion of crashes and serious incidents attributed to mechanical faults or systems problems has steadily declined, while pilot error has risen to comprise a very high percentage of the cause factors in modern times.

Luckily, the overall number of crashes is far lower (per 1,000 flying hours) than in the past, but pilot error is now the first thing that I consider when imagining why a crash took place, because it is the most likely cause.

This time, for whatever reason, many people got lucky and did not die. It could have been far worse, and for that I am very thankful.

ALF

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Here's a scenario that could be very possible

Nothing whatsoever is pointing to the ILS being involved. Even if it were, it doesn't account for the aircraft being 35 kts too slow on the approach and stalling (or nearly so). They were cleared for a visual approach in severely VMC conditions, which means by definition that they were hand flying the approach. A much more likely scenario, knowing the facts that have been released by the NTSB so far, is that it's simply a case of ignoring basic airmanship - FLY THE AIRPLANE FIRST and do everything else second, third, or tenth. If nobody's flying the airplane, crashes happen. Same thing with Air France 447 over the Atlantic. Everybody was mesmerized by all the flashy lights and beepy things and nobody was actually flying the airplane. The Asiana captain has over 10,000 hours, and recently transitioned from the 747-400 to the 777. The FO had a lot of 777 time. But having stripes on your shoulder and getting a big paycheck doesn't relieve you of the responsibility of first and foremost being a pilot. I don't care if the ILS, the GPS, the FMS, the PAPI, the VASI, the autoland, the autothrottle, or their condoms were inop, they were flying a visual approach in perfect meteorological conditions to a 10,000' long runway that they had had in sight for several minutes - and they blew it.

These guys were literally and figuratively behind the power curve.

Edited by Jennings

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