Saturday, July 6, 2013

777 Crash in San Francisco

I've been asked to comment on the crash of the Asiana Airlines 777. But, I don't have any special news since it does not appear to be weather-related. The San Francisco airport (SFO) is closed until further notice.
click to enlarge
I am struck by the fact they keep calling it a "crash landing." In aviation circles, a "crash landing"often = "emergency landing." There is little doubt the place struck the breakwater at the Bay end of the runway at SFO. So, there may have been some sort of issue on the plane before landing but that is nothing more than speculation based on the repeated descriptions this was a "crash landing."

Addition: I have circled where I believe the crash occurred. H/T: Alan Reppert.

4:23pm Central: Based on an eyewitness account, the back end of the aircraft clearly struck the breakwater and the plane slid down the runway. As to why the back of the plane struck the breakwater, I don't know and do not wish to speculate.

The air traffic control tape (tower communications) is here. It begins with the controller telling Asiana 214 Heavy he is cleared to land. The crash occurs about :39 with a controller shouting in the background shouting "go around." Then you hear them pilot of the Asiana flight and the controllers telling him emergency vehicles are responding.

The aircraft being told to "go around" and "maintain 3,100 ft." are being instructed to hold altitude and not to land. The controllers really earned their money in this situation!

Here is the SFO approach plate for that runway:

Comment on CBS News' Report:  Normally, I don't comment on news organizations' reports as it is very early in the investigation. That said, there is NO indication this is a "wind shear" crash as CBS suggested on its evening news minutes ago. There is also no indication that the pilots "declared an emergency" prior to landing.

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