Saturday, July 6, 2013

Asiana 214's Crash Was Not Caused by Wind Shear

I don't know why CBS and The New York Times are talking about wind shear. Here is the Times' update this evening:

Here is the wind data for the pertinent time period from San Francisco International:
There are a few wisps of fog that haven't completely burned off about 1,600 ft. above the ground ("FEW016") and the wind was less than ten miles per hour. In fact, the wind was so light, its direction was not steady.  This is not enough to bother a Cessna, let alone a jumbo jet. I've checked the satellite image and these weather observations are accurate: There are no clouds that could cause a microburst, there is no front or other weather feature that would have caused wind shear.

This is not a downburst, microburst, or wind shear accident like those of the 70's and 80's!

UPDATE: 8:45PM CDT. Have been asked how I can be so sure. I was a meteorological investigator for many of the original wind shear plane crashes like Delta 191 and USAir 1016. I have done research into wind shear and I have published on wind shear in a peer-reviewed journal. Here is a blog post I wrote on the 25th commemoration of the crash of Delta 191

You can read the entire story of Delta 191, the changes it forced in aviation and meteorology, and the subsequent litigation in Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather


  1. Mike FYI....Todays accident not the first undershoot incident on 28L at SFO. I am in my mid 70's and remember this incident real well.

    Unfortunately many other undershoot accidents in conus have been far more tragic.

    Jerry L

  2. Jerry,

    You may be correct but there is always a chance there was a mechanical problem on final.


  3. I checked the track data on flight aware. At roughly the 1000' out he was still 300', (runway 28L is at 28') at 123kts and slowed form there . His sink rate was 800'-900' Not a exactly stabilized.02:27PM 37.6016 -122.3340 297° West 141 162 600 -1,320 FlightAware
    02:27PM 37.6045 -122.3410 298° West 134 154 400 -900 FlightAware
    02:27PM 37.6073 -122.3480 297° West 123 142 300 -840 FlightAware
    02:27PM 37.6103 -122.3550 298° West 109 125 100 -120 FlightAware
    02:28PM 37.6170 -122.3740 294° West 85 98 200 120 FlightAware