SAN FRANCISCO — An Asiana Boeing 777-200ER operating from Seoul Incheon Airport, Korea to San Francisco, California crash landed at SFO today at 11:29AM PDT. Following 10 hours, 23 minutes in flight, flight 214 suffered a hard landing short of runway 28L near the rocky jetty in San Francisco Bay, the tailcone and tail separated aft of the passenger cabin and the aircraft continued down the runway before coming to rest between a runway and taxiway. The tail separated from the fuselage and parts of the ceiling of the fuselage have burnt away. The emergency exit doors opened and many evacuation slides deployed. Critically, SFO fire crews began dowsing the plane with foam before a larger fire could erupt. Local FOX affiliate, KTVU-TV reports there have been 2 fatalities and 61 injuries. San Francisco General Hospital is treating 10 people (8 adults and 2 children) described as critical. In a press conference they announced, a second wave of 20-30 victims are being sent to the hospital. All of their victims are described as “Korean speaking”. There are approximately 75 victims being sent to various hospitals.  SF Fire Dept. says Asiana provided manifest says “291 passengers with 16 crew for 307 total were onboard. 48 initial transports to area hospitals. Accounted for 190 people sent to safety zone at SFO, but numbers are fluid”. These are the first fatalities due to a 777 crash in the type’s 18 years of service. Mayor of San Francisco Edwin M. Lee says “not everyone has been accounted for”. Another airport official puts the number at “60 unaccounted for.” FBI Agent at press conference says “crash was NOT an act of terrorism”.

At the 5:30pm lt press conference, the total number of people unaccounted was decreased to one person. 123 uninjured people remain at the airport while 181 people are being treated at local hospitals. They also confirmed that two are dead. Prior to the news conference, Asiana Airlines released their official Press Release which can be read here. The next update will be at 7:30pm lt in San Francisco.

During a 7:35pm PST press conference in front of Sandford hospital, a spokesperson for the hospital, said that out of the 45 patients they have seen, 16 were admitted to the hospital.

At the 7:30pm PST airport news conference, it was announced that all passengers and crew members were accounted for. There were two fatalities. The NTSB is expected to arrive in San Francisco around midnight local time. Currently, there are limited flights departing and arriving at San Francisco on two of the four runways. The other two runways will be opened after the NTSB investigation.

Flight Track of Asiana Flight 214.. (Credits: FlightAware)
Flight Track of Asiana Flight 214.. (Credits: FlightAware)

Video from the terminal of Asiana 777-200ER after accident.

One passenger, David Eunner @Eunner on Twitter, who was a passenger on the aircraft has posted a photo and tweeted: “Lots of activity here. Friends, pls don’t call right now. I’m fine. Most people are totally calm”.  There is no as of yet obvious reason for the crash as weather at SFO was fine with light winds, Visual Flight Rules, and just broken clouds at 1,600 feet. The NTSB has dispatched a Go Team to SFO to investigate. San Francisco Airport was immediately closed to all arriving and departing traffic. However, at 6:40pm San Francisco affiliate KTVU-2 reported that 2 runways Runway 1L & 1R were opening to traffic. These are 7,500 to 8,648 feet long respectively so there may be some weight restrictions on heavy aircraft. LAX’s twitter account indicated some flights have diverted there. 17 flights diverted to San Jose.

Flight 214 crashed into the sea-wall rock jetty short of Runway 28L where the tail separated and the remainder of the fuselage continued down the runway.
Flight 214 crashed into the sea-wall rock jetty short of Runway 28L where the tail separated and the remainder of the fuselage continued down the runway.

The 777-200ER, MSN-29171 and registered HL7742 first flew in February, 2006. It is only the second hull loss of a Boeing 777 since the type began commercial service in 1995. British Airways flight 38 crashed just short of the runway at London Heathrow on January 17, 2008 after a flying in from Beijing. This is the first crash of a mainline airliner in the U.S. since American Airlines flight 587, an A300 B4-605 crashed after taking off from New York JFK on November 12, 2001. All 260 people on board the flight were killed, along with five people on the ground. The last fatal crash involving an airliner in the U.S. was Colgan Airlines flight 3407 on February 12, 2009. All 49 people on the Dash 8 Q-400 were killed.

Asiana, began operations in December 1988 and international services in 1990. The airline operates 12 Boeing 777-200ERs. Asiana airline has suffered 2 fatal crashes: In 1993, a Boeing 737-500 crashed short of the runway at Mokpo Airport. 2 of the 6 crew members and 66 of the 110 passengers on board were killed. On 28 July 2011, Asiana Cargo Flight 991, a Boeing 747-400F bound for Shanghai Pudong from Seoul Incheon, crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Jeju Island, South Korea after reporting a fire in the cargo compartment. Asiana on their Twitter feed said “Our thoughts and prayers are with all the passengers, and flight crew on the flight. We hope to provide you with further info asap….Thank you for your concern and support at this time. We are currently investigating and will update with news as soon as possible.”

We will stay on this story, but needless to say, our prayers and thoughts go out to the victims, families, and those affected by this accident.

Three passangers of Asiana 214 are suing Asiana claiming they suffered “extreme and catastrophic injuries and emotional distress.”

An Asiana Boeing 777-200ER operating from Seoul Incheon Airport, Korea to San Francisco, California crash landed at SFO on Saturday around 11:29AM PDT. Following 10 hours, 23 minutes in flight, flight 214 suffered a hard landing short of runway 28L near the rocky jetty in San Francisco Bay, the tailcone and tail separated aft of the passenger cabin and the aircraft continued down the runway before coming to rest between a runway and taxiway. There were 291 passengers and 16 crew members on board the flight. There were two fatalities. This is the second Boeing 777 crash landing. We will stay on this story with our continuously updated timeline, but needless to say, our prayers and thoughts go out to the victims, families, and those affected by this accident.

July 18 – Update 9:45AM EDT

Two passengers aboard Asiana Airlines flight 214 have sued Asiana claiming claiming they suffered “extreme and catastrophic injuries and emotional distress.”

Asiana is liable to pay up to $150,000 in damages per injured passenger based on an international treaty. Experts say that the damages would likely be paid by Asiana’s insures. Experts also say that if passengers can prove it was Asiana’s fault for the incident, they could get more.

July 17 – Update 9:45AM EDT

The pilots of Asiana 214 that crashed earlier this month have been hospitalized in South Korea “for psychological trauma and injuries caused by the incident,” The Associated Press reports. They were questioned by both U.S. and South Korea officials in the U.S., and they will be questioned by South Korea officials again soon.

Asiana Airlines said that they have decided not to sue KTVU for falsely reporting racially offensive names of the pilots involved with the crash. “Asiana Airlines has decided not to proceed with the case since KTVU has issued a formal apology and in order for us to focus all our efforts on managing the aftermath of the accident,” the South Korean airline said in a statement.

July 15 – Update 6:35PM EDT

The NTSB is concluding their on-scene phase investigation of the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco. They have examined the airplane wreckage and runway, and the wreckage will still be available at a storage facility at SFO if they wish to continue to examine it.

The next phase of the investigation will be more of an in-depth analysis of the aircraft’s performance. They will conduct additional interviews, examine the evacuation slides and other aircraft components.

July 14 – Update at 8:52am EDT

The name of the third fatal victim of Asiana flight 214 was released on Saturday. San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault confirmed 15-year-old Liu Yipeng’s identity. The Coroner said the girl was still in her seat when she was rescued last week. Chinese state media said she went to school with the other two victims killed in last week’s accident, a pair of 16-year-old girls. They were both found outside the wreckage.

Foucrault said Liu Yipeng was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with head injuries after the July 6 crash. She died Friday morning at San Francisco General Hospital where she had been in critical condition.

July 13 – YouTube animations of crash from Eyewitness Animations

First Video shows “shadow” aircraft in purple showing stable approach alongside Asiana 777 on unstable approach, leading to crash. Videos created by John Suchocki.

The second video shows the pilot’s point of view from the cockpit in a split-screen format. Note the 4 PAPI lights (left of frame) are all red on the ill-fated Asiana approach, indicating their approach is too low. The top video shows a stable approach with 2 of the 4 PAPI lights in red, and the other 2 in white.

July 12 – Update at 10:06pm EDT

San Francisco Airport Runway 28L, site of the accident has re-opened at 5:05PST local time with the arrival of a Southwest Airlines flight. The airport has returned to full normal operations with all runways operating for the first times since the incident. SFO authorities report the runway will need 1,000 feet of fresh asphalt repaving.

Image of SFO runway 28L tweeted by SFO.
Image of SFO runway 28L tweeted by SFO.

The wreckage of Asiana flight 214’s fuselage was moved from the crash site early Friday morning July 12th to a part of the airport known as Plot 41 for storage temporarily. It will be moved to a permanent location away from the airport within the next two weeks for further examination in the investigation.


July 12 – Update at 6:02pm EDT:

KPIX-TV in San Francisco is reporting a 3rd victim of the Asiana flight 214 accident has died. The name of the victim has not been released. She is reported by the hospital to be a young Chinese “minor”.

In an interview with KPIX Friday morning, SFPD confirmed what had been suspected, that one of the two teenage girls killed in the crash of a passenger jet at SFO was run over by an fire truck. 16 year old e Meng Yuan was hidden by foam sprayed by firefighters extinguishing the flaming jet. It is not known whether she had expired before the first responder vehicle ran over her. The coroner has yet to release a report.

July 11 – Update at 9:30pm EDT:

Today, the NTSB held their last media briefing in San Francisco. All other updates will be made at the NTSB headquarters in Washington D.C.

More details about pilot communication were released. The NTSB said that the pilots called for the landing to be aborted before the aircraft crashed. The call to abort came about three seconds before the crash and another call was made 1.5 seconds before that. However, there was not talk among the pilots about the aircraft’s speed prior to the crash. Also the pilot who said that there was a flash of light told investigators he did not believe the light affected his ability to fly the plane.

The debris field is being cleaned up and the destroyed fuselage, engines, and parts are being removed from Runway 28L and nearby areas. The runway has been handed back to SFO Airport. New pictures are released by the NSTB of the charred 777-300ER cabin and the debris field, which includes rocks kicked up from the seawall during impact.

NTSB replay of Final Press Conference

July 10 – Update at 10:15pm EDT:

Today, the NTSB released some info from their interviews with the pilots. The NTSB interviewed the pilots for 4 hours and described them as “very cooperative”. The flying pilot said he got about eight hours of sleep, and came to the airport six hours before the flight. The instructor pilot also says he had eight hours of sleep, and he arrived at the airport at 2:20 p.m. Two main pilots flew the flight for about 4 hours and 15 minutes, and then the relief crew of another two pilots took over for the middle of the flight.   The original two pilots came back for the final hour and a half of the trip. The flying pilot says that he saw a flash of bright light that temporarily blinded him, at around 400 or 500 feet. The NTSB says they’re looking into possible causes. There also offering accounts on whether the auto-throttles were functioning and in what configuration. A pilot gave conflicting answers from the CVR recordings that he Pilots have given warning about the low approach speed. Crew Resource Management questions, an issue with some Asian carriers back in the late 1990s, have risen anew. With 2 Captains in the cockpit during the landing, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman told disclosed that investigators are looking at how the the senior pilot and the two other pilots in the cockpit communicated what the “tone'” of their conversations were.

There were 12 flight attendants on board the flight. 6 have been interviewed by the NTSB thus far. Two were pinned by one or more emergency ramps. Three flight attendants were ejected from the aircraft. After the crash, the pilots originally told the flight attendants not to evacuate the aircraft, but 90 seconds later, the pilots told them to evacuate the aircraft. Fire trucks arrived on the scene within 2 minutes.

The NTSB noted that the Survival Factors Group disclosed that seatbelts in business class on the aircraft had a shoulder/lap belt & travel class had lap only. The more traumatic abdominal injuries occurred in the economy cabin of the rear of the aircraft that hit first, but also had the less robust seat-belt configuration.

The NTSB will begin to remove the aircraft from the runway 28L at San Francisco within the next 24 hours. SFO custodial teams began cleaning up the debris field not crucial to the investigation. SFO hops to be able to re-open the runway within days.

NTSB replay of 4th Press Conference

July 9 – NSTB Press Conference at 5:50pm EDT

The pilot-in-command told the NTSB assumed the auto-throttles were engaged and maintiaing the target approach speed of 137 knots on finals, but the plane’s speed had dropped to 103 knots at the time of impact. The pilot-in-command was serving as an instructor for the pilot flying the ill fated 777-200ER.  The 4 PAPI lights for the glide-slope were all red indicating OZ214 was flying too low on final approach. The commanding pilot told the NTSB that he realized a go around was necessary and that the pilot flying (under training) had pushed the throttles forward, but it was too late. OZ214’s main landing gear hit the sea-wall, followed by the tail section which snapped off and then went into a 360 degree spin. There were 3 pilots on the flight deck at the time of accident. The fire ignited after impact was caused by a ruptured oil tank, ignited by the hot engine number 2 still attached to the aircraft wing. Engine number 1 was ejected from the wing. The flight deck crew was not tested for drugs or alcohol testing post-accident. U.S. requires this but foreign airlines follow their own governments regulations. Still, when asked about speculating on the cause of the crash and whether it was pilot error, NTSB Chairman Hersman said that determination would not be made on-scene and said “I would really encourage all of you to be cautious while speculating on the cause of the crash”.  2 surviving flight attendants were injured when ejected from the aircraft.

“We are the advocate for the traveling public. We believe its important to be transparent and tell people what we are doing”, when the Chairman was asked to respond to pilot union accusations that NTSB was sharing too much information during the investigation.

@TheABVinay of Bangalore Aviation has created this info-graphic laying out just how safe the Boeing 777 is.

777 safe infographic

July 8 – 11:15pm EDT Update

Today, NTSB investigators said that the aircraft was flying “significantly below” its target speed during approach when the crew tried to abort the landing. However, the NTSB is not firmly saying that the pilot’s experience on the Boeing 777 is to blame, even though scrutiny in the continues to point to that direction. The pilot-in-charge, Lee Kang-Kook had 9,793 hours of flight experience, including on the 747 and into SFO, but this was a “training flight” as his first 777 landing at SFO. The ILS on runway 28L was not functioning at the time and  the plane was hand flown to landing.  The NTSB has begun to interview the pilots, but it is going to take some time as they need to translate. The interviews began after agents from the Korean Aviation and Rail Accident Investigation Board arrived from South Korea. At the same time, a number of Asiana cabin crew are being lauded as heroes for their calm and effective response, including literally carrying passengers off the plane “by piggyback” and for being among the last on-board the ill-fated jet until the fire finally forced them off.

The NTSB released more information about what happened seconds before the crash. The autopilot was switched off around 1,600 feet as the plane began its final descent, according to an account of the last 82 seconds of flight. Over the next 42 seconds, it appears that the plane was descending normally to 500 feet and slowing to 134 knots (154 mph). During the following 18 seconds, the plane slowed to 118 knots (136 mph) which is below the target and typical speed of 137 knots (158mph) to cross the runway threshold. Eight seconds later and at 200 feet, the pilot attempted to increase the speed, but it was too late. Here’s a replay of NTSB chairman Hersman’s press conference today.

Additional objects of investigation of the National Transportation Safety Board came to light: First, why some coach-cabin seats came off their tracks, sustaining unacceptable damage on impact? Second, why two of the inflatable emergency slides opened inside the cabin, trapping several people, including flight attendants before some passengers found an ax to deflate the slides?

The victims of the accident incurred “severe road rash”, suggesting they were dragged as the aircraft smashed into the ground. Many of those hurt in the accident have spinal injuries, which has led to paralysis in some cases. Those admitted have head injuries including traumatic brain injuries, fractured spines, stretched ligaments, and head injuries. Clearly, the injuries are much worse then initially thought. San Francisco General, the city’s trauma center, treated 53 patients, 34 of whom have been discharged. Hospital officials said six of the patients there were still in critical condition. “These injuries include large abdominal injuries, spine fractures, head traumas, and orthopedic injuries,” said Dr. Margaret Knudson, chief of surgery at a Monday news conference.

As criticism towards Asiana continues to mount, its CEO Young-Doo Yoon, said: “We at Asiana Airlines would like to express our utmost sympathy and regret for the distress experienced by the passengers of flight OZ 214 and their families as a result of this accident. We apologize most deeply.”

In other news, PPRuNE Network received an email from a United crew holding short of the runway as the Asiana B-777 approached. You can read the email below.

“On July 6, 2013 at approximately 1827Z I was the 747-400 relief F/O on flt 885, ID326/06 SFO-KIX. I was a witness to the Asiana Flt 214 accident. We had taxied to hold short of runway 28L at SFO on taxiway F, and were waiting to rectify a HAZMAT cargo issue as well as our final weights before we could run our before takeoff checklist and depart. As we waited on taxiway F heading East, just prior to the perpendicular holding area, all three pilots took notice of the Asiana 777 on short final. I noticed the aircraft looked low on glidepath and had a very high deck angle compared to what seemed “normal”. I then noticed at the apparent descent rate and closure to the runway environment the aircraft looked as though it was going to impact the approach lights mounted on piers in the SF Bay. The aircraft made a fairly drastic looking pull up in the last few feet and it appeared and sounded as if they had applied maximum thrust. However the descent path they were on continued and the thrust applied didn’t appear to come soon enough to prevent impact. The tail cone and empennage of the 777 impacted the bulkhead seawall and departed the airplane and the main landing gear sheared off instantly. This created a long debris field along the arrival end of 28L, mostly along the right side of 28L. We saw the fuselage, largely intact, slide down the runway and out of view of our cockpit. We heard much confusion and quick instructions from SFO Tower and a few moments later heard an aircraft go around over the runway 28 complex. We realized within a few moments that we were apparently unharmed so I got on the PA and instructed everyone to remain seated and that we were safe.

We all acknowledged if we had been located between Runways 28R and 28L on taxiway F we would have likely suffered damage to the right side aft section of our aircraft from the 777.

Approximately two minutes later I was looking out the left side cockpit windows and noticed movement on the right side of Runway 28L. Two survivors were stumbling but moving abeam the Runway “28L” marking on the North side of the runway. I saw one survivor stand up, walk a few feet, then appear to squat down. The other appeared to be a woman and was walking, then fell off to her side and remained on the ground until rescue personnel arrived. The Captain was on the radio and I told him to tell tower what I had seen, but I ended up taking the microphone instead of relaying through him. I told SFO tower that there appeared to be survivors on the right side of the runway and they needed to send assistance immediately. It seemed to take a very long time for vehicles and assistance to arrive for these victims. The survivors I saw were approximately 1000-1500′ away from the fuselage and had apparently been ejected from the fuselage.

We made numerous PAs to the passengers telling them any information we had, which we acknowledged was going to change rapidly, and I left the cockpit to check on the flight attendants and the overall mood of the passengers, as I was the third pilot and not in a control seat. A couple of our flight attendants were shaken up but ALL were doing an outstanding and extremely professional job of handling the passenger’s needs and providing calm comfort to them. One of the flight attendants contacted unaccompanied minors’ parents to ensure them their children were safe and would be taken care of by our crew. Their demeanor and professionalism during this horrific event was noteworthy. I went to each cabin and spoke to the passengers asking if everyone was OK and if they needed any assistance, and gave them information personally, to include telling them what I saw from the cockpit. I also provided encouragement that we would be OK, we’d tell them everything we learn and to please relax and be patient and expect this is going to be a long wait. The passenger mood was concerned but generally calm. A few individuals were emotional as nearly every passenger on the left side of the aircraft saw the fuselage and debris field going over 100 knots past our aircraft only 300′ away. By this point everyone had looked out the windows and could see the smoke plume from the 777. A number of passengers also noticed what I had seen with the survivors out near the end of 28L expressing concern that the rescue effort appeared slow for those individuals that had been separated from the airplane wreckage.

We ultimately had a tug come out and tow us back to the gate, doing a 3 point turn in the hold short area of 28L. We were towed to gate 101 where the passengers deplaned.”

July 8 – 12:00pm Asiana Press Release

“Asiana would like to provide a brief update regarding the status of OZ214.

The special charter flight dispatched by Asiana Airlines yesterday at 13:33 (Korea Time) carrying twelve support staff, eight government inspectors and members of the Korean media has arrived on location in San Francisco. Its passengers have begun supporting the victims and their familes and assisting in the investigation.

Asiana Airlines is providing airfare and lodging for families of the  passengers. In the event that the number of family members seeking support increases, Asiana is also preparing to operate additional charter flights.

Two Korean family members departed for the United States yesterday. Another four are expected to depart today followed by an additional four on  Wednesday. Asiana Airlines is also supporting twelve Chinese family members and six Chinese government officials, who will depart from Shanghai for the United States (via Incheon) today.

48 injured persons are being treated at local hospitals in the San Francisco area. Each hospital is staffed with dedicated personnel and transportation to provide the utmost support for the victims and their families.

Asiana Airlines deeply regrets this accident and is dedicating great efforts to support and ensure a swift and thorough investigation.”

July 8 – 8:11AM Update

Korean based air carriers are again being scrutinized as a whole. In the late 1990s, a spate of accidents caused Korean air carriers to be downgraded by the FAA in August 2001 to Category 2. Code-share airlines such as Delta temporarily discontinued their partnerships until this was resolved. This caused Korean regulators and the airlines to overhaul their flight training and operations, including increased focus on crew-resource management. Airlines with excellent safety records such as Lufthansa were bought in to assist. The accidents caused the government to tighten down safety standards at Korean carriers, strengthening regulations on pilot and maintenance. Korean air carrier pilots were required to be trained and evaluated by international pilots and at international facilities. Korean based airlines were required to fly more hours on domestic routes before obtaining a license to fly overseas. Indeed Asiana had to prove itself domestically before being granted long-haul routs in the beginning. In December 2001, the the FAA raised Korean air carriers and operations back to Category 1 status. Asiana became one of the top 5 SkyTrax rated carriers in the world. Korean Airlines has also enjoyed similar status adding new equipment and growth as both Korean and Asiana develop their North Asian hub at Incheon. Since the safety revamping, Korean air carriers had no fatal air crashes between December 1999 and July 2011, until an Asiana Boeing 747-400 freighter crashed. The South Korean Safety ministry Monday ordered Korean Air and Asiana to check engines and landing equipment on all forty-eight 777s they operate, even though mechanical issues aren’t being initially thought to have contributed to Saturday’s accident. The government will carry out special inspections on the nation’s eight carriers for 50 days until Aug. 25.

The San Francisco Coroner’s office is conducting an autopsy to determine whether one of the two of the 16-year old victims of the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International was possibly run over by an emergency response vehicle.  One of the victim’s bodies was found on the runway near where the plane’s tail first broke off. The other fatality was found on the left side of the aircraft about 30 feet away from where the Boeing 777 came to rest after it skidded down the tarmac. The San Francisco Fire Chief has said she does not know if the two dead girls were alive when emergency responders arrived. She did tell “The San Francisco Chronicle” on Sunday that the girl found on the side of the airplane had injuries consistent with having been run over.

July 7 – 9:45PM EDT Update

Reuters is reporting that the pilot in charge during the Asian flight 214 landing was in training on the 777, with only 43 hours on the twin. It was his first 777 flight into SFO, but the pilot Lee Kang-Kook had 9,793 hours of flight experience, including on the 747 and into SFO. The co-pilot  during the landing had 3,220 hours of flight experience on the 777 and 12,387 hours of flight time. Also, Asiana’s CEO said on Saturday that he doesn’t believe the 777 suffered from mechanical failure, but didn’t speculate on whether crew error was to blame. More from Reuters here.

July 7 – 7:46PM EDT Update

“The New York Times” reports data collected by FlightAware suggested the plane was descending more than four times faster than normal shortly before it crashed. At 800 feet over San Francisco Bay, the plane was descending at 4,000 feet a minute. This is 5 times faster then the normal approach descent of 600 to 800 feet a minute at that altitude. Flight aware data indicated that at 100 feet above the water, the plane was descending at more than 270 feet a minute when it should have been slowing to a rate of a few feet per second. View the data from Flight Aware here.

July 7 – 4:51PM EDT Update from NTSB Press Conference:

The NTSB reports they have 2 good hours of recordings from the voice and data recorders beginning in cruise. In a press conference, Deborah Hersman, Chair of NTSB said 7 seconds before impact  the throttles were advanced, the plane went into a stall at 4 seconds before impact as the stick shaker activated, 1.5 seconds before impact call was made to go around. Flight data recorder shows OZ214 speed “significantly” below target approach speed of 137 knots/hour. Controller declared an emergency when aircraft hit the sea wall, no prior distress notifications noted in recordings. CBS reports “crew seemed surprised” at accident. CRM, crew monitoring and coordination to be examined by NTSB. This had been an issue with some Asian carriers in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

NSTB asked whether or not there are similarities with BA 777 incident in 2008. “At this time, not identified specific similarities with Heathrow Event. BA had Rolls Royce powered engines and Asiana 777 had P&W engines”. These engines will be torn down for inspection by P&W. At this time “all issues are still on the table”, NTSB not saying whether or not mechanical issues are at fault but that “Boeing is a party to the investigation.” The NTSB will be on-the-scene for “at least a week” as it takes 12-18 months to complete an investigation.

At SFO, the localizer was working, but glide-slope was NOTAM’d (not functioning). This shouldn’t have caused an issue. They were cleared for a visual approach due to good weather. Undisclosed as to whether pilots were flying “hand-flying” the aircraft.

United AIrlines, a Star Alliance partner with Korean Partner, is aiding Asiana and their customers.

CNN Posts Shocking Exclusive Video of the crash from Fred Hayes at

July 7 – 4:00PM EDT Update: Runway 28R re-opened at SFO. According to the tweet “This will improve our arrival rate to 30 or more aircraft per hour.” 28R’s parallel runway, 28L where the Asiana 214 crash landed remains closed. 28R is over 11,870 feet long and is ideal for the long-haul, heavy flight operations particularly for cargo and international.

July 7 – 3:42PM EDT Update: The NTSB arrived on the scene of the accident around midnight in San Francisco. The flight recording devices were removed from the aircraft, and they are now in Washington D.C. More information from them is expected within the next “6-8 hours” to get a first picture of what transpired in the flight deck according to NTSB Peter Goelz in a CNN interview on Sunday.  “It will be a fairly quick process…If the plane was coming in too low or too fast — at the wrong angle … by the end of the day the National Transportation Safety Board will have a fairly good idea what happened.” A Korean official involved with the investigation, Choi Jeong-ho, head of South Korea’s Aviation Policy Bureau said “The tail of the Asiana flight hit the runway and the aircraft veered to the left out of the runway,”

SFO tweets that they are expecting to re-open runway 28R within “a few hours”. This will mean 3 out of 4 runways at SFO will be open. Flight departure and arrival delays are narrowing, and have been down to 30 minutes.

Photo Tweeted by the National Transportation Safety Board (@NTSB)
The Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 Flight Recorders. Photo Tweeted by the National Transportation Safety Board (@NTSB)

Asiana Airlines has confirmed that the two fatalities were two Chinese 16 year old girls who were traveling to the United States for a school program. One of the victims was apparently thrown from the plane when the tail separated while the second was found near the wreckage. The Chinese Ministry of Education has stated that there were 70 teachers and students on board the flight who were traveling for a summer program. At San Francisco General Hospital, 19 survivors remained hospitalized, six of them (down from 10) are in critical condition.  Survivors are being treated for injuries ranging from paralysis to “severe road rash.” Those in the back of the plane where the tail separated after first hitting the jetty appear to have suffered the worst.

Asiana Airlines released a new press release today that reads:

“We at Asiana Airlines would like express our utmost sympathy and regret for the distress experienced by the passengers of OZ flight 214 and their families as a result of this accident.  We apologize most deeply.

Asiana Airlines flight OZ214 departed Incheon International Airport on July 6, 2013 at 16:35 (Korea time) bound for San Francisco. On July 6, 2013 at 11:27 (Local time) an accident occurred as OZ214 landed on San Francisco International Airport’s runway 28.

A total of 291 passengers were aboard the aircraft. (77 Koreans, 141 Chinese, 64 Americans, 3 Indians, 3 Canadians, 1 French, 1 Japanese and 1 Vietnamese)

Asiana Airlines has established emergency response centers to ascertain the cause of this crash and to look after injured passengers and contact their families. Asiana continues to actively cooperate with all Korean and US governmental institutions in the ongoing investigation.”

New details from passengers are also beginning to arise. A passenger on board the flight told CBS News that the pilot did not give any warning about a possible crash landing. You can see his interview as well as read the full article here.

Aviation experts are commenting that the Boeing 777 has an excellent safety record, despite yesterday’s crash. The only other Boeing 777 crash was on Jan. 17, 2008, at London’s Heathrow Airport. While landing, British Airways Flight 28 from China landed hard about 1,000 feet short of the runway and then slid onto the runway. The impact broke the 777-200’s landing gear. There were 47 injuries, but no fatalities. The aircraft was written off. The aircraft crashed from fuel starvation as the fuel had frozen. Rolls-Royce performed a modification on the engine’s fuel heating systems to prevent this from happening again. No accident has ever been blamed on the 777 airframe design, outside the engine, since the type entered service in 1995.

Prior to the crash of Asiana flight 214, there have only been three other crash landings on airport property at San Francisco International Airport. The first was on October 29, 1953 when a British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines Douglas DC-6 crashed on approach into SFO into Kings Mountain in San Mateo County. All 19 passengers and crew died. On November 22, 1968, a Japan Air Lines DC-8 crashed, while on final approach, on a shallow underwater reef at the eastern tip of Coyote Point. There were 107 people on the plane, and there were no deaths or serious injuries. The plane was salvaged and re-entered service the following April. On July 30, 1971, Pan Am Flight 845, a Boeing 747 struck navigational aids at the end of runway 1R on takeoff for Tokyo. Two passengers were seriously injured by metal components of the runway approach light pier entering the cabin. After dumping fuel over the Pacific Ocean, the aircraft landed with emergency services deployed at the airport, and while landing, the plane veered off runway 28R. There were no fatalities among the 218 passengers and crew aboard. After an investigation, it was determined that the flight dispatcher gave the crew incorrect information regarding the aircraft’s weight and runway length.

Photo of the Japan Air Lines DC-8 that crashed near SFO. (Credits:Art Frisch)