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Asiana flight crash at San Francisco

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Asiana flight crash at San Francisco

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Old 9th Jul 2013, 02:02
  #1001 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Portsmouth NH
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AF447 and OZ214 pilot error

Now we have 2 examples where the PF didn't recognize that they were clearly in trouble, and didn't take appropriate action to remediate. Both flights had very experienced and well trained crews. Both aircraft are lavishly equipped with many tools specifically designed with keeping the aircraft and passengers safe.
Despite all this, these aircraft crashed.

Is it really that the aircrews are over saturated with information during these operations?
How do the other members of the flight deck crew keep quiet or refrain from acting when their lives are at risk?

Is the answer to really put the computers in charge of everything? That isn't an idea that makes me comfortable either.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 02:08
  #1002 (permalink)  
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What scares me about all this is that these are apparently 'professional' crews from ALL different cultures and backgrounds who seem incapable of keeping a perfectly airworthy aircraft in the air when faced with what amount to very very minor defects or unservicabilities.
This all comes down to bean counters who want to reduce training costs - this is then a 'customer requirement' and the training companies compress the training, the manufacturers put in more automation allowing less training. And none of these people will think that they are creating a flight safety problem they will congratulate themselves on 'keeping the company profitable'. The post cold war military and boomer generation of pilots is now at retirement and are being replaced by pilots who have only been under the bean counter regime of absolute minimum training. It is starting to apparent in the statistics. Unfortunately, the bean counters will only react when the costs of the crashes exceed the savings in training - unless someone gives them some 'guidance' first.
That is aviations greatest challenge for the next decade summed up beautifully in one short post . A real obstacle to overcoming the current situation is that the people making the safety critical decisions don't understand what flying an airliner is about. They think they do, but unless they've done it, all but a few won't get it.
Airline bosses used to be pilots, then when business folk stepped up Chief Pilots had clout and backbone and their decisions were respected. Now days they are hand picked to be compliant. So the people making the decisions aren't aware of what is required to fly an airliner day in, day out for thirty years and avoid having an incident. They are normally unaware of the frailties / limitations and biases of their own brains, the number of errors they make while driving their car or typing a letter, or how any of that applies to consistently providing safe air transport in all weather conditions.
As long as we have people at the helm with zero flying experience the problem will persist and accidents ( crashes is a more appropriate word) like Lion Air, Air France, and Asiana will increase dramatically as the older , well trained generation of pilots retire.
That's my take on it anyway.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 02:30
  #1003 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 193
CAT 1 , racism is rife in overseas Airlines , in your face , you cant sweep it under the carpet .
The sad thing is the guy who speaks up will maybe avoid a disaster , so you wont read about it , but mysteriously will fail his next medical and be looking for a job .
Theres no excuse for this 777 disaster but its obvious why and I dont think it will improve anything.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 02:31
  #1004 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2012
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I'm no expert, just an aircraft enthusiast & plane crashes interest me on a technical basis as to why they happen, but with all this automation why is there no audible &/or visual warning of low speed....

apparently this flight was below 137kts for 35 seconds.....

I can only assume the entire crew was either worried about other parameters or enjoying the view! But a warning at 10kts below a normal approach speed (determined by aircraft weight) would have brought them back into focus real quick & with plenty of time & altitude to react!

Was it only when the stick shaker acted they realized they were too slow?

Also this does not seem to be a stable approach....speed was being washed off all the way down, shouldn't it be constant throughout the final stages of landing?

Is it possible the pilot tried to fly the B777 like an A320 & there is a significant difference in flight aerodynamics in the landing configuration? i.e the 777 has more drag?

Thumbs up to the NTSB for getting the facts out very quickly & regularly.


Last edited by StormyKnight; 9th Jul 2013 at 02:32.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 03:02
  #1005 (permalink)  
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Stormy knight

My understanding from a friend who flies Boeing, there is an EICAS AIRSPEED LOW message. Along with amber and red airspeed numbers to alert pilots of the low speed condition. At some point, we have to assume that the operator put sentient pilots in the seats.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 03:14
  #1006 (permalink)  
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Lorimer, Post 1007 says:

"There's one important thing I need to add which is this. The reason I'm in this left-hand seat is because I've been doing this job longer than you. It doesn't mean that I'm incapable of making mistakes. So if you see or hear anything which you don't understand or appears to be not right, please speak up and tell me."

My company had excellent CRM training, but I still felt that it was important to give a new and maybe nervous young F/O full permission and encouragement to say something if they weren't comfortable. There is absolutely no room for pride in the flight deck; the important thing is that the day's flying is accomplished safely, and hopefully enjoyably as well.

This should be standard practice with all airlines. I don't like to use the work 'Rank", as it has caused many cockpit issues with the PNF being "Barked" at by the PF for making any remarks/suggestions/observations. The Stains Trident one springs to mind, but theres many others.

Each aircraft is now fitted with a CVR. If ANY crew member at the pointy end has been barked at for making an observation/suggestion, a report should be filed with the airline of the incident. It should be investigated THOUROGHLY and the offending PF/PNF should be reprimanded.. IMHO, there is NO room for rank in a cockpit. YOU WORK AS A TEAM.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 03:17
  #1007 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by doyoufly
Here is an X-Plane version o the crash. X-Plane simulates physics, true flight dynamics and flight characteristics. See what you think,
I think that flight sim enthusiasts who produce silly cartoons with no basis in actual FDR data are a waste of bandwidth, that's what I think. You did ask.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 03:26
  #1008 (permalink)  
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Pax reported a change in engine tone before impact with the sea wall, I wonder whether that was an Autothrottle wakeup or a attempt to go around. Looking at the FDR speeds with a vref of 137 the Autothrottle should have come out of hold (if for some reason it was there) and automatically applied thrust at 122kts. I think the EICAS AIRSPEED LOW would have been less than this; 1/2 way between Min Manouver and Stick Shaker.

Last edited by speed2height; 9th Jul 2013 at 03:28.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 03:31
  #1009 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Pardon me if this has already been mentioned, but who amongst you inserts the RW28L (or RWXX for that matter) into the fix page/s on approach to either non-precision rwys or when slop guidance unavailable (or for cross-checks) etc?? Just seems to come in handy for dist in nm x 300' for reasonable slope guidance i find... Maybe it was was in the fix page in the above-mentioned accident but not given enough credence?? Anyway, just a thought....
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 03:47
  #1010 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
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My two cents worth,

Has the aviation world moved 'world's best practice' down to 'world's minimum training required'? I have seen a trend of training programs getting shorter and shorter to minimise costs. The introduction of 'low cost carriers', the 'free sky's policy' and the movement by competition regulators to protect the price a consumer pays for a ticket are front and fore. Full service legacy carriers are having to reduce to the minimum to compete with airlines out of emerging countries that have a lower cost of doing business. Are these lower costs of doing business also a part of lower training costs and not adequately addressing CRM?

For those who dismiss culture and put it into a racism basket, you are quite nave and hoping to hide what could be a huge problem. By throwing the racism card out there, all you do is cover what could be a major issue. If you believe that culture is not an issue, then argue it from that perspective, don't just try and stifle debate by using a weak racism card.

It has been addressed here before that the over-bearing Captains of the past(yes from 'Western' airlines) have been part and parcel of why we now have CRM. From my readings here, CRM is covered extensively in the USA, ME, Australia/NZ, Cathay and Europe. I'm not sure of South Africa and South America and the wider Asia.

So do they in South Africa, South America and Asia have day courses of CRM? I don't include a line in your operations manual as counting as a CRM course either. Do your Chief Pilots, Fleet Managers, Training pilots encourage 'lower' rank pilots to speak up? Do you have a 'Just Culture'?

My readings on here by those who have worked in China and Korea seems to indicate, No, on all accounts.

What gets me though, is when I compare an airfare between say London and Sydney. Quite often the Chinese and Korean carriers are unbelievably lower than say a Singapore Airlines, Cathay, BA, QANTAS or Emirates fare. So are there corners being cut in the CRM and training departments to produce these lower but more competitive airfares? Is it a sustainable risk to have carriers with a known CRM issue pushing the cost envelope and bringing the world's CRM and training standards closer for the sake of dollars?

I hope these are all questions that the FAA gets to the bottom of in this investigation. The world would benefit from a safer aviation industry if the FAA does.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 03:53
  #1011 (permalink)  
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there are only 3 basic things that the 'pilot flying' has to monitor; speed, centreline and approach. The latter is considering your approach angle to the touchdown point. We are all taught these basics from day one and they should stay with us for our whole career. Hope this helps to explain the not so complexities of landing an aeroplane. It really isn't that difficult on a nice visual day.
Oh the naivety of it all...
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 03:54
  #1012 (permalink)  
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Asiana approach path

Approach path taken by Asiana using Google Earth data...
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 04:10
  #1013 (permalink)  
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I'm not yet convinced that I "don't get it", Bloggs. I'm not sure what the regs say in Korea, but in the US the PIC is the "final authority" for the safe conduct of the flight. If I'm insufficiently trained to land the aircraft on a huge patch of runway in near-perfect weather, it's up to me to refuse the flight, isn't it? I agree that there must be huge, systemic problems that contributed to this almost literally unbelievable failure on the part of the flight crew, and I'm 100% in favor of those problems being corrected in a rapid and draconian fashion. But the buck stops with the PIC...or he's no longer the PIC. Down that road (IMHO) lies chaos and MORE carnage, not less.

By all means, if the company culture is poisonous to turning out capable pilots, fix it, yes! But when the camel of "not my fault" finger-pointing gets its nose under the tent, where does it end? The simple fact appears to be that these guys crashed a perfectly functional aircraft trying to execute a maneuver that I used to sign off 10 hour student pilots to do solo. So, maybe there's enough blame to go around?
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 04:16
  #1014 (permalink)  
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Honestly, if this is the sort of thinking that's prevalent amongst pilots today, I'll take my chances with the drones. We're going to excuse our way right out of our jobs, comrades.
You miss the point. We could all very easily say " idiots....I wouldn't do that" and walk away. But the reality is ( most likely) that the pilots were not idiots and that they had good intentions and were trying very hard to do a good job. If they were put in a different environment they would most likely be as capable and competent as the next airline pilot.
So what do we need to change about the environment they were operating in? If you can answer that question you actually make an impact on flight safety rather than just on your own ego.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 04:30
  #1015 (permalink)  
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It's not just airspeed, centerline, and approach.

Aimpoint(trend?), alignment(trend?), airspeed(trend?), variation from projected descend path(GS,VASI,PAPI,VTI, FMC deviation from path)(trend?), sink rate(trend?), power(trend?).

Any adjustments made? Verify the trends changing due to the adjustments made. And one adjustment often changes at least one, and possibly several of the performance criteria you're monitoring.

Cycle through the scan again and again and again and again until touchdown.
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 04:49
  #1016 (permalink)  
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I find it interesting (from various media accounts) that the pilot of the United flight that was waiting to take off, an 8 yr old passenger, and various spectators on the ground all thought the plane was too low - yet no one in the cockpit seemed to notice.

Why on earth would the pilot not order an immediate evacuation as soon as the plane came to rest? They crashed. Planes that have crashed tend to catch fire. So get off the plane!!! I can (maybe) understand if the order had been given to get all the uninjured people off, but to wait until help arrived for the injured - but even that doesn't seem to be the case.

Given the lack of urgency regarding an evacuation, it's hard to blame the passengers for taking their luggage with them.

If, indeed, one of the fatalities resulted from being hit by a vehicle - is there any evidence that the girl was thrown from the aircraft? Could she have gone down the slide and then been overcome by injuries/smoke/emotion and sat or laid down and then been struck?
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 05:03
  #1017 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by misd-agin View Post
It's not just airspeed, centerline, and approach.
Looks like the centreline may have been on the pilots mind looking at the approach path plot...

Originally Posted by win_faa View Post
Approach path taken by Asiana using Google Earth data...
He's right of the centerline till about 30 seconds out where he moves to the line but then back to the right. At the same time during this period the speed is continuing to drop below vref presumably unnoticed.

I'm really concerned that this is going to turn out to be "first landing must be perfect" itis. Especially a need to prove that you can capably fly any aircraft to your close seated peers....

After all why shouldn't the landing have been perfect given the weather conditions....this may have internally elevated the landing standard regarded as a pass/fail in his eyes....it may have delayed the TOGA too!
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 05:04
  #1018 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jugofpropwash
Why on earth would the pilot not order an immediate evacuation as soon as the plane came to rest?
When did you last do a pax evac in the SIM?
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 05:06
  #1019 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
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So many excuses being thrown around, but the bottom line here is that if a healthy airliner on a sunny day, with 11k of runway crashes, something needs to be done. A quarter billion dollars and 300 lives were at stake.
That crash would never have happened with an automated cockpit, and the move towards getting pilots out of airliners just took a huge leap. The day is coming, and like the horseless carriage opponents of yesteryear it would behoove us to accept and adapt to that fact.
Sure computers are only as good as their programming, but we are at, or close to the threshold where the overall reliability of an autopilot exceeds that of a human, and airlines and their accountants shareholders and lawyers will react accordingly.

Last edited by femanvate; 9th Jul 2013 at 05:10. Reason: i cant spell
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 05:07
  #1020 (permalink)  
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Caste system or religious hierarchy , many aircraft flying around in certain countries with the guy in the right holding more power and authority than the cpt .
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