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Asiana Airlines Pilot Had Limited Experience with Boeing 777

Destiny Baker3 years ago

ABC News reports that Lee Kang-kook, pilot of the Boeing 777 that crash landed in San Francisco July 6, had only 43 flight hours with the aircraft.  The black boxes recovered from the crash site indicated that the aircraft’s speed was significantly lower than the desired 137 knots upon its decent towards the landing strip, according to Deborah Herman, Chair of the Nation Transport Safety Board (NTSB).  Further, they indicate that the engine was functioning normally during the moments leading up to the crash.

The Seconds Leading to the Crash

Data on the black boxes show that the pilots attempted to abort the landing seconds before the plane hit the runway,  as they learned the plane was about to stall.  One of the pilots can be heard requesting an increase in speed 7 seconds before the crash over on the cockpit voice recorder obtained by the NTSB.  This was followed by the yoke control shaking in the pilot’s hand, as recorder by the aircraft’s black box, and the final choice to abort the landing only two seconds before the crash.

Upon the attempt to abort the landing, the aircraft's tail touched first, short of the runway.  This caused the tail of the plane to be sheared off, leaving it several hundred feet behind the majority of the fallen aircraft.  Between the tail and the main body of the Boeing 777, the runway was littered with debris including wheels, landing gear, and the vertical and horizontal stabilizers.

While Lee Kang-kook was in charge of the flight, Asiana Airlines reports that he was with a Boeing 777 mentor as airline regulations require.  The airline also ensured the public that Kang-kook was a seasoned pilot with over 10,000 flight hours on other aircraft.  The crash marks the first fatalities on a Boeing 777 in 18 years.

Results of the Crash

  • Of the 307 individuals on the flight, 2 are reported dead and 181 are reported injured with 49 in serious condition and 22 in critical condition.
  • At least two passengers have been paralyzed due to spinal fractures.
  • Other injuries include severe abdominal bleeding, head trauma, broken ribs, fractured sternums, and minor burns.
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