News / USA

    Asiana Plane Flying 90 kph Too Slow Before Crash

    Wreckage of Asiana Flight 214 airplane after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco,  July 6, 2013.
    Wreckage of Asiana Flight 214 airplane after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, July 6, 2013.
    VOA News
    The Asiana Airlines plane that crashed Saturday in San Francisco was flying at less than 160 kilometers per hour as it attempted to land, according to independent tracking data.

    A National Transportation Safety Board official says the minimum recommended landing speed for the Boeing 777 is 253 kilometers per hour, 90 kilometers per hour more than the flight was tracked by Flightaware.com.

    Two Chinese schoolgirls were killed and about 180 of the more than 300 people on board were injured when the Asiana plane clipped a seawall short of the runway and went skidding out of control, shredding the tail end of the plane and starting a fire.

    The airline says the pilot was still in training to fly a Boeing 777 and was trying to land that type of aircraft at the San Francisco Airport site for the first time.

    The flight data recorder also shows as the plane approached the runway, its pilots were warned the aircraft was likely to stall and were asked to abort the landing.
    National Transportation Safety Board chair Deborah Hersman said Sunday the verbal "abort" request came just 1.5 seconds before impact, too late to avoid the crash that killed two people and injured dozens more.

    Seconds earlier, she said, "engine stall" warnings sounded in the cockpit.

    The two passengers killed were identified as 16-year-old Chinese girls who were among a group of 30 students and their teachers headed to a summer camp from east China's Zhejiang province.

    The flight originated in Shanghai and stopped in South Korea before heading to San Francisco in the western U.S. state of California.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: GH1618 from: USA
    July 08, 2013 11:43 PM
    I listened to all of the two press briefings by Chairman Hersman that are available online, and she did not say "engine stall." She did say that there was a "stick shaker" warning of an impending stall of the aircraft, but an "engine stall" is something else. I'm sure she knows the difference, based on her competent performance in the briefings.

    by: sjclynn from: San Jose, CA
    July 08, 2013 4:25 PM
    I think that you have stumbled in the units conversion. The target landing speed has been published as 137 knots (knots/hr) which is 158 mph (miles/hr) which is 255 kph(kilometers/hr).

    The plane was clearly too law and too slow but, it the 90 kph that you have is shifting from kph in knots to kph in kilometers.

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