Asiana: B777 Systems Partly to Blame in Crash

Some interesting excerpts from Asiana in their report filed with the NTSB yesterday as to what factors caused last July’s B777 SFO crash:

  • The Boeing 777 had inadequate warning systems to alert its crew about problems with air speed.
  • The cockpit crew believed the auto throttle would keep the plane going fast enough to reach the runway, though the auto throttle was effectively disengaged after the pilot idled it to avoid an unexplained climb earlier in the descent.
  • The plane should have been designed so the auto throttle would maintain the proper speed after the pilot put it in hold mode.
  • The plane gave no indication that the plane’s auto throttle had stopped maintaining the set air speed, and a low air speed alerting system came on too late for the pilots to avoid the crash. “The flight crew believed that the autothrottle system would maintain the commanded airspeed through the final approach.”
  • Air traffic controllers at the airport failed to respond to the flight crew’s initial request to land and responded late to a second request. That increased the pilots’ workload during the approach.
  • However, the crew failed to monitor and maintain a safe airspeed and failed to abort the landing in time.

“Boeing believes that the evidence supports the following conclusion: This accident occurred due to the flight crew’s failure to monitor and control airspeed, thrust level and glide path on short final approach,” the airplane manufacturer said.

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Comments

  1. This is a summary and I suppose it would be best to read the whole report to be sure in judging these talking points.

    But as someone who knows a bit about flying, many of these points are pretty lame. Let me summarize. We as pilots expected the plane to handle the throttle for us, or tell us if it was not. Really? Would approaching the ground at a crazy rate not be a clue at all? These guys are not pilots, they are video game players. They should learn how to handle the plane EVEN UNDER mildly stressful conditions or get out of the cockpit.

    Now I KNOW I don’t want fly Asiana. This is the same ridiculous type of behavior that got Korean Air in so much trouble with an accident in 90s.

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