New Information Arises During NTSB Probe of Fatal Asiana Plane Crash
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Dec 11, 2013 in Local
Although it was fairly well-known that the veteran pilot flying the Seoul-based Asiana was being trained on flying that aircraft when it crashed into a seawall in 2009, new information has been released.
According to documents the pilot was nervous about making a manual landing and inadvertently disabled a speed-control system. Captain Lee Kang Kuk had adjusted the power without realizing the planes computer would assume that he wanted the engines to remain at idle. Investigators asked the three-pilot crew about their understanding of auto-trust and each thought it was engaged at the time of the accident although it was not.
The National Transportation Safety Board documents suggest that there were two main problems, the plane descended too fast and its forward speed was too slow. Speed-protection systems on some planes do not allow planes to slow too much; the Asiana plane on the verge of losing lift due to its slow speed broke apart upon impact.
New information also suggests that the pilots did not realize the danger until seconds before the impact although one crew member did say the plane was descending too quickly about two minutes before the airplane accident. The other problem though, speed, was not addressed though until seven seconds before the collision; a command to abort the landing was called out only three second before impact. The pilots added power much too late in order to prevent the crash.
In the following footage released by the NTSB, the plane is shown flipping while landing.
Kuk told the NTSB that he felt stressed and he was not accustomed to landing without an instrument-landing system guiding him. Kuk had to manually land the plane due to the airport construction happening in San Francisco that day.
In November 2013 the Federal Aviation Association released a study which found that pilots growing reliance on automated systems was leading to confusion and new safety risks. Reliance on these automated systems could lead to the loss of basic manual flying skills.
Since the accident Asiana has increased the number of hours pilots spend on flight simulation training and have taken other steps to improve passenger and crew safety.