777 from Korea crash-lands at SFO

I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok. Surreal… (at @flySFO) [pic] — https://t.co/E6Ur1XEfa4— David Eun (@Eunner) July 6, 2013 An Asiana Airlines 777 from Seoul, Korea crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport last night. Two were killed, ten were critically injured, 181 others were taken to hospital.… READ THE REST

[quote=“doctorow, post:1, topic:2853”]A prominent theory cited in several news reports is that the tail of the 777 caught the seawall and ripped free[
[/quote]I think that is fairly well established now based on witness reports. The question is, why was the aircraft flying so low and slow? Did it experience a rollback of both engines during final approach, like BA38?

Different engines - PW4000s, not Trent 800s.

Yeah but maybe its not the engine. Maybe its the aircraft systems and the bug wasn’t found in the BA38 investigation.

I have always found landing at SFO to be a little spooky because the plane comes in over the bay, so there is water, you go down lower, there more water, you go even lower, more water, then all of a sudden there is an airport.

It was an issue in the Fuel/Oil Heat Exchangers. I believe that the GE and PW engine designs were looked at and found not to be vulnerable to the same issue (and the RR ones will all have been modified for a long time now anyway).

This is a good article on the BA incident, including links to the AAIB reports.

Also see this article.

In the most recent note to operators, Boeing says that 777s powered by
GE and Pratt & Whitney engines are not prone to the problem. “Based on
our knowledge of the system configurations, scenario studies and
laboratory test results, we do not believe that immediate action is
necessary or warranted for 777s powered by other engine types or
non-777 airframes regardless of engine type,” the letter states.

The wheels feel like they touch down only a couple of inches past the water.

The two deceased were Chinese women born in 1996 and 1997

Thank God for the survivors.

eyewitnesses claim that the aircraft was at an abnormally high angle of attack before it struck the sea barrier. while this is obviously a sign of low-and-slow that might point fingers at the pilot, i’d wait to see what was going on with the flight management computers. my wager is on the autopilot being set to land the aircraft at sea level instead of the ~15’ msl at the end of the runway, and responding to the radar altimeter data in the last seconds by pitching the nose up to a catastrophic angle.

at any rate, i’d bet everything that a) the autopilot f’d up, and b) the pilot will be blamed for not responding to the autopilot f’ing up fast enough.

everything +1 says that boeing is not found in any way culpable, heh…

Why? Omnipotence wasn’t enough to save all of them?

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Sometimes “thank god” is just a generic phrase. Lighten up Francis.

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completely visual approach yesterday. ILS is down on 28L (and maybe 28R) because they were, get this, in the process of moving the runway threshold a few hundred feet further down, to prevent accidents such as this. 777s do not have any GPS landing capability, so there’s no auto-landing going on in this scenario.

current speculation on airliners.net is simply pilot error, though it’s really wide open at this point.


And sometimes it’s quite literal. There could have been hundreds dead. Are those lives spared worth a little gratitude? I think so.

i’m surprised to learn that the 777 doesn’t have auto landing capability, but a little relieved i guess. i wonder if the pilot was just too used to flying the ILS (i guess it’s possible he’d never been into KSFO in decent weather…?) i’m surprised that a pilot on a transoceanic flight in this aircraft would blow an approach so badly, but i suppose it happens.

i’m quick to defend pilots in situations like this because it seems like more and more gets placed at their feet as the tech supposedly improves… case in point being the air france flight that went down in the atlantic… there almost needs to be a big red “fly it by hand!” light that just tells them outright to stop trusting the aircraft. of course, that’s just one more alarm =p

Not from an invisible sky fairy who could have used his omnipotent powers to prevent the crash in the first place (and therefore, by implication, deliberately caused it and killed two teenagers), no. Maybe thank the engineering work that went into making the 777 a safe aircraft and the emergency services for their prompt response, instead.

I think he’s saying that it does, but only ILS, and since that runway doesn’t currently have ILS, the pilots couldn’t have been using it.

If you don’t already know it, PPRuNe is normally a good place to read about these events (generally seems to be a little better than airliners.net, although I check both)


well the 777 can probably fly an ILS beacon automatically but as far as i know, GPS is not approved by the FAA as a primary navigation device, certainly not for landings.

the “too used to ILS” is one theory floated on airliners.net. also possibly just fatigue, or maybe CRM (cockpit resource management) - supposedly korean air had this problem where junior officers just would not challenge the PIC when he/she made a mistake.

well, the NTSB is having a press conference right now and this does seem like loss of situational awareness on the part of the crew. 7 seconds before the impact someone on the flight deck called for increased power, 4 seconds before impact the stick shaker activated (stall) and 1.5 seconds before impact the call for a go-around was made and the throttles were pushed forward. engines were at idle until that moment which seems a little weird to me. given that it takes 10s of seconds to spool up one of those engines they generally trim the plane to allow the engines to be running at a few percent of thrust.

edit: also they were well below approach speed of 137kts.

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correcting myself here, the 777 can use GPS to establish a glideslope but it can not autoland on GPS.