Asiana Airlines Admits To Pilot Error In San Francisco Crash

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While search for the missing MH370 continues, Asiana has admitted that pilot error at least partially caused its plane crash last July at the San Francisco International airport that killed three passengers.

Asiana SFO Crash

Seems that the Asiana, Boeing and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) are in disagreement exactly how confused the pilots were and if Boeing’s software is partly to blame as well.

You can read more about this on USA Today’s website here.

Here are some tidbits from the article:

Asiana said the plane’s navigation equipment “led the crew to believe that the autothrottle was maintaining the airspeed set by the crew” and instead the equipment “disabled the aircraft’s minimum airspeed protection.” The airline also said test pilots had trouble landing under the same conditions in simulators.

But Boeing, in its submission to NTSB, said the plane and all its systems were functioning as expected before the crash and “did not contribute to the accident.” The 39-page Boeing filing said Asiana pilots should have aborted their landing 500 feet off the ground as stated by the airline’s own policy because of numerous cues that the plane’s speed was lowering, the thrust setting was incorrect and the plane was flying too low.

“This accident occurred due to the flight crew’s failure to monitor and control airspeed, thrust level and glide path on short final approach,” said the filing from Michelle Bernson, Boeing’s chief engineer for air-safety investigations.

But NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman has said generally that even if there was confusion about how equipment worked, pilots are obligated to monitor their equipment and pay attention to their surroundings, to prevent crashes. She drew no conclusions yet about the Asiana incident.

In interviews after the accident, none of the three pilots in the cockpit recalled the flying pilot “or anyone else pressing the (flight-level change) button,” according to Asiana.

But in Boeing’s filing, the manufacturer said the click of the button being pushed at 1,600 feet can be heard on the cockpit voice recorder.

Conclusion

The final report by the NTSB should be ready by the first anniversary of this incident and should be interesting to read.

It is quite interesting that none of the pilots remember pressing one of the buttons when you can hear the click on the cockpit voice recorder.

And let’s hope that Boeing will do the software update that the FAA had strongly suggested it should to prevent confusion by the pilots happening in the future.

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