Entries in SFO Crash (5)


NTSB: Asiana Airline Approached Runway Below Target Speed

NTSB(SAN FRANCISCO) -- After analyzing Asiana Flight 214’s black boxes, the National Transportation Safety Board has a better idea of what caused the Boeing 777 to crash Saturday, killing two people and injuring 182 others.

The cockpit voice recorder was found to have a 2-hour long, good quality recording, and the data recorder recorded 1,400 parameters of data, capturing the entire flight.

According to Deborah Hersman, chair of the NTSB, the approach to the runway was normal. There was no discussion between the pilots of any aircraft anomalies or concerns with approach. An examination of the data recorder found that the plane was approaching the significantly below the target speed of 137 knots, or a little over 157 miles per hour. When asked how much slower, Hersman would only say that “we're not talking about a few knots.”

Crew members called to increase speed seven seconds prior to impact. The sound of a stick shaker, a device which jostles the controls in the pilot’s hand to indicate a stall is imminent, was heard four seconds prior to impact.

The engines appeared to be responding properly when the pilots attempted to increase speed, but it was already too late.

A call to initiate a go-around and attempt to abort the landing, occurred 1.5 second before impact.

All the systems that were required were operable and weather conditions were clear when the plane crashed. The glide slope operation was not functional, but it is not required by the FAA in good weather conditions.

Hersman said the investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Injuries from Asiana Airlines Crash Include Paralysis, Road Rash

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Doctors treating passengers injured in the Asiana Airlines plane crash Sunday in San Francisco say at least two people are paralyzed from severe spine fractures and others have head trauma and abdominal injuries with internal bleeding.

Only two people, both 16-year-old girls from China, died as a result of the crash, but San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes White says that number, unfortunately, could rise due to the severity of some of the injuries.

San Francisco General has treated 53 patients -- the most of any hospital. Doctors say 19 patients are still in the hospital as of Sunday afternoon, six of whom are in critical condition with life threatening injuries, including one young girl. The oldest hospitalized adult is 76 years old.

Dr. Margaret Knudson, chief of surgery at San Francisco General Hospital, says that most of the injured were sitting in the back of the plane. Speaking at a press conference Sunday, she said patients with the most severe injuries appear to have suffered them from being thrown around while restrained in seat belts.

“One of the patients we talked to said that the seats in front of her all collapsed and came at her. She was sitting in her seat and that's how she got her injuries,” Knudson said. “We've also seen a large number of chest injuries with fractures of the sternum.”

She said the most critical injuries are head trauma, and severe inter-abdominal injuries with internal bleeding.

Several patients are being treated for “road rash” type injuries as well.

“This type of road rash is what we see with people who have a motorcycle crash and they're not wearing leathers,” Knudson explained. “It's that type of injury and we don't know how they got it, but we were a little surprised to see it.”

Knudson complimented the triage at the airport, saying that it could have been much worse had it not been so great.

“Whoever triaged these patients at the airport did a fabulous job because they got to us the sickest patients in the shortest period of time or I don't think those patients would have survived, truly.”

A total of 182 people were injured in the crash.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Asiana Airlines Crash Survivors Recall Harrowing Moments Before Impact 

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- When Eugene Rah looked out the window from his seat on Asiana Airlines Flight 214 as the flight approached the runway at San Francisco International Airport, he said he knew the plane was going to crash.

"Right before the plane touched the runway, I could hear they were putting full power through the engine to try and lift the plane back up," he told ABC’s Good Morning America Sunday. "I knew it was too late."

Rah, a hip-hop producer, said he gripped his chair to brace for impact, but the plane landed so forcefully on the runway that he thought he had died upon landing.

"The impact was so powerful, I thought that was it. I thought I was dying until the plane stopped," he said.

Rah, who has taken the flight from Seoul, South Korea to San Francisco 173 times, said passengers on board panicked as the plane crash landed on the runway, and only started to calm down when the plane came to a stop.

"When it first crashed, everyone was screaming," he said. "Finally when the plane stopped, there was silence for some time before people started realizing we are back alive."

Rah said the plane's crew was heroic, and immediately helped passengers exit safely from the plane before it caught fire. But Rah said pilots did not warn the passengers of the possibility of a crash.

Another passenger who survived the flight, Lee Jang Hyung, told ABC News that upon landing, a voice came over the plane's intercom to say the flight had landed safely and everyone should stay in their seats.

Hyung, a 32-year-old Korean citizen who lives near Berkeley, Calif., was travelling with his wife, Lee Jee Young, 33, and their 15-month-old toddler son. The family was sitting in the front row of the plane's economy class section. His wife's parents were in business class.

Hyung said he put on an oxygen mask that had dropped down and put another on his young son and ran to the door after the announcement was made.

"But I was turned back to my seat by the flight attendants. Right when I came back to my seat, I saw smoke and fire outside the right window. The flames were spreading and smoke started to come inside the aircraft. I grabbed my wife and son and ran to the exit door. By then, they had slides ready," he said.

While the cause of Saturday's crash is still unclear, ABC News' aviation consultant Col. Stephen Ganyard told Good Morning America it seems unlikely that the Asiana Airlines flight suffered from a mechanical error.

"If [Rah] could hear the engine spool up to a full power position, it tells me that at the last second, this crew realized how low and slow they actually were," he said. "They were trying to save the airplane by running the engines up to full throttle."

Rah's daughter, Eunice Rah, was not on board the flight with her father but learned about the crash a significant time before she heard from him. It wasn't until he text messaged her that she knew he was safe.

"Just that he texted me, I was OK with that," she told Good Morning America. "I finally felt oxygen in my lungs again."

Benjamin Levy, who walked away from the crash's wreckage, told ABC News the "bouncing" plane's landing was surreal.

"The plane started going back up again and you don't know if you're going to go in a tailspin or not. Lucky we didn't," he said.

Levy said once the plane hit the runway, it was chaotic on board.

"People started going out and I just tried to lower the screaming and tried to have them exit as fast as possible," he said.

But despite witness accounts of the plane cart-wheeling or flipping onto the runway, Levy said it would have been impossible for that to have happened.

"If we flipped, none of us would be here to talk about it," he said.

 Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Asiana Flight 214 Black Boxes Recovered, Appear Intact

NTSB(WASHINGTON) -- The black boxes from Asiana Flight 214 which crash landed at San Francisco International Airport Saturday have been recovered and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board’s Washington headquarters.

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, more commonly known as black boxes, were found in good condition and may yield critical information that may help determine why the Boeing 777 crashed, killing two 16-year-old Chinese students and wounding almost 200 others.

The recorders arrived at the NTSB lab at 9 a.m. Sunday morning.

“We hope that there is good data, good information on those,” said NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman.

Meanwhile, investigators at the airport continue to comb through the burned out remains of the plane looking for clues. “We have teams that will be looking at aircraft operations and human performance, survival factors and we'll be looking at the aircraft,” Hersman said. “We'll be looking at power plans, systems and structures.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Crash Survivor Says Announcement Claimed the Plane Had Landed Safely

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Moments after Asiana Airlines flight 214 stopped its violent crash landing, a voice came over the plane's intercom to say it had landed safely and everyone should stay in their seats, a passenger told ABC News.

Within minutes, however, flames could be seen outside the plane's windows and smoke was seeping into the cabin.

Lee Jang Hyung, 32, was sitting with his wife Lee Jee Young, 33, and his toddler son who is 15 months old in the front row of the plane's economy class section. His parents-in-law were sitting in business class.

Hyung said he and his family survived the crash without injury, but he was clearly shaken by the harrowing close call.

"Just minutes before landing, I looked out the window and realized the plane's angle was strangely tilted. The seawater level did not look right," said Hyung, a Korean citizen who lives near Berkeley. His wife is an American citizen.

"Suddenly, the plane's tail part hit the ground and the aircraft bounced upwards and then bam, it hit the ground again. This time it felt like the entire plane hit parallel, but tilted to the left. That pressure was huge. Very strong. I saw luggage fall from the top. And the plane gradually stopped.

"Until then, there was no warning. The drop happened without a warning," he said.

Still stunned by the crash, he said, "We heard an announcement saying the plane has safely landed and everyone should stay put."

Hyung said he put on an oxygen mask that had dropped down and put another on his young son and ran to the door.

"But I was turned back to my seat by the flight attendants. Right when I came back to my seat, I saw smoke and fire outside the right window. The flames were spreading and smoke started to come inside the aircraft. I grabbed my wife and son and ran to the exit door. By then, they had slides ready," he said.

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes White said that when the first fire units arrived, three chutes were deployed and passengers were sliding down to evacuate the plane.

"My parents-in-law were on business class and they told us that they saw a stewardess hurt. When the plane made the second crash and all fell loose, some sort of computer machinery fell from the ceiling on top of her when she was sitting at the flight attendants' seat by the door," Hyung said.

"People were trying to help her, they said. My mother-in-law is injured.... both are bruised by luggage that spilled out," he said.

The ordeal didn't end after their evacuation Hyung said he was somewhere in the airport, but he didn't know where.

"They put us on some sort of cargo elevator and we are somewhere at a dirty smelly place. I had to wait five hours with no diapers and no food. After complaining hard, the authorities finally just brought me diapers," Hyung said.

He said the injured were taken to hospitals, but the other passengers "are all waiting for directions."

Later, they were moved to a more pleasant lounge and given crackers and fruit. But they were told that everyone on the plane had to be interviewed by the FBI before they could be allowed to leave.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio