Asiana Flights between ICN and SFO Banned.

Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-largest carrier, was ordered to halt its daily flights to San Francisco after the crash while landing at the city’s airport in July last year killed three passengers.

The airline won’t be allowed to fly to the city for 45 days from Seoul- Incheon airport, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said today. Investigations by the US National Transportation Safety Board found pilot error, inadequate training on automation system of the B777 aircraft led to the fatal accident.

Asiana strengthened pilot training, appointed a new chief executive officer and hired an official to oversee safety after Flight 214 struck a seawall short of the San Francisco airport on July 6 last year. The carrier violated US law by not promptly helping victims and family members immediately after the crash, which also injured 49 people, the Department of Transportation said in February.

“The government plans to implement additional measures to ensure proper pilot training at Asiana,” the ministry said.

The government reduced the penalty from the maximum of 90 days because of the crew’s efforts to evacuate passengers, the ministry said in the statement. Asiana has six months to comply with the ruling. The order will be finalized if the airline doesn’t object within the next 15 days.

Asiana will consider legal steps against the government’s decision, the Seoul-based airline said in an e-mailed statement after the government pronounced its verdict. The carrier’s shares gained 3.4% to 4,630 won as of 2.21pm in the city.

IATA’s support
Since the San Francisco crash, the South Korean government has stepped up regulations to improve airline safety standards, including steeper penalties for accidents involving casualties.

The International Air Transport Association had sent a letter to the South Korean transport ministry last month that the airline shouldn’t be sanctioned over the crash. A carrier already suffers significant financial loss from life and equipment, legal liability and damage to image, the group said.

The pilots on Flight 214 mismanaged their approach to the airport, failed to
notice the deteriorating speed and lights near the runway showing they were too low, and then didn’t abort the touchdown, which they were trained to do, according to the NTSB. The two pilots also didn’t communicate as they each made changes to the cockpit automation, the board found.

Source: Bloomberg News
Photo: Reuters

Asiana Airlines Generates Even More Doubts About its Pilots Training.

The Korea Office of Civil Aviation – KOCA is investigating an Asiana Airlines incident in which a Boeing 767-300 crew continued flying on one engine to its destination instead of diverting to a close alternate.

On April 19, an Asiana Airlines Boeing 767-300, flight OZ603 departed Seoul-Incheon bound to Saipan with 253 passengers on board. One hour after departure, the pilots received a warning light related to one of the aircraft’s two General Electric CF6 engines. The flight crew reduced the affected engine power but the light remained on.

Instead of divert to a close airport in Japan, they decided to continue the flight, landing in Saipan four hours later on a single engine.

On arrival at Saipan, the engineers discovered “metal particles” – apparently caused by abrasion – blocking an engine oil filter. According to South Korean official news agency Yonhap, a replacement engine had to be flown to Saipan.

Asiana operates a fleet of seven 767-300s and one 767-300ERF. The average age of its 767s is 18 years.
A 47-member committee comprising government officials and experts will be assembled to look into the incident.

The Yonhap report adds that the two pilots involved in the incident have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

The incident will raise further questions about the competence of Asiana’s flight crews following the crash of an Asiana Boeing 777-200ER while attempting to land in San Francisco on 6 July 2013. Investigators later attributed this crash to pilot error.

Capt. Ivan

Asiana Airlines’ first Airbus A380 performs its maiden flight

A380_Asiana_landing_02Asiana Airlines’ first A380 has successfully completed its maiden flight. The A380 flew on Friday from Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse, France to the aircraft manufacturer’s site in Hamburg, Germany, where it will undergo painting and cabin furnishing.

Asiana Airlines will become the twelfth operator of the A380 when it takes delivery of its first aircraft in the second quarter of 2014. The airline has firm orders for six A380s and will operate the aircraft on its primary routes from Seoul to the US.

Source:  Airbus – Press Release

Asiana Recruits ANA Veteran to Manage Safety Program

Asiana Airline’s new chief safety officer vowed yesterday to improve safety at the nation’s second-largest air carrier after a fatal accident in San Francisco in July.

Yamamura Akiyoshi, who spent more than 40 years at Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) as a pilot, safety officer and auditor, began his new job as senior executive vice president of safety and security management at Asiana this week.

It is the first time Asiana has given the top safety job to a foreigner. Akiyoshi, who also worked as a safety auditor for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said that although there are many differences between Korea and Japan’s airline businesses, safety is the highest priority in any country.

“I assure you that we at Asiana Airlines will continuously improve and enhance our aviation safety by strengthening independent oversight,” Akiyoshi told a press conference at the company’s headquarters in western Seoul. “I will apply the know-how I have acquired during my career in aviation safety at ANA and IATA to identify and mitigate risks and construct an improved systematic safety management suited to Asiana Airlines.”

Akiyoshi said he was positive about working here after experiencing the warm culture of the country as an ANA pilot flying Boeing 767 planes between Korea and Japan.

The 65-year-old is reviewing and analyzing Asiana’s safety management system and hinted there could be some changes. He emphasized that safety is something not only one person or division can achieve, but every team – maintenance and engineering, cabin,  airport services and cargo should be involved.

The Meiji University graduate said he was in Shanghai when Asiana Flight 214 crashed during landing at San Francisco International Airport, resulting in the deaths of three Chinese and injuring more than 180 passengers. Akiyoshi said he felt deeply sorry for the victims and their families.

He declined to comment on the ongoing investigation by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, saying he would inspect Asian’s safety system again when the accident report is released. He is scheduled to attend an NTSB hearing on the crash next week in Washington.

 “Every airline has its own safety culture, and we will abandon unnecessary things and collect good things from others,” Akiyoshi said. “I want to help Asiana create its own safety culture.”

Source:  Korea JoonAng Daily

Asiana Crash Response to Families Triggers Review by U.S. Agency

Asiana Airlines is under review by the U.S. Transportation Department on whether the South Korean carrier met its legal obligation to assist passengers’ families after a July crash in San Francisco.

The review, prompted by the National Transportation Safety Board, is the first time the board has raised concerns with the department over an airline’s assistance, said Keith Holloway, an NTSB spokesman. A 1996 law requires airlines to provide aid such as posting toll-free numbers and providing lodging and transportation for family members after an accident.

“We didn’t feel that Asiana was providing that information in a timely fashion to the families as they should have, so we notified the DOT about that,” Holloway said in a telephone interview yesterday. Bill Mosley, a DOT spokesman, confirmed that the department is conducting a review.

The July 6 crash occurred when one of Seoul-based Asiana’s planes, carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew members, struck a seawall short of the San Francisco airport, resulting in three deaths and dozens of injuries. The pilots’ manual flying skills and cockpit teamwork are part of an NTSB investigation into the cause of crash, which has prompted the carrier to increase pilot training and begin an outside review of safety standards.

Kiwon Suh, an Asiana spokesman in South Korea, didn’t respond to a call and an e-mail outside regular business hours seeking comment about the U.S. review.

The NTSB raised its concerns with the department immediately after the crash, Holloway said. Asiana’s aid plan, filed with the Transportation Department, was last updated in 2004, he said.

Source:  AP

Korean Pilots Unions criticize the handling of the investigation by the NTSB

The Asiana B777 accident last July 6 at San Francisco airport continues making noise in the worldwide aviation community. 

This time the Korean’s Pilots Unions, representing the flight crew of Asiana 214, issued an statement criticizing the handling of the accident investigation by the NTSB.

The Asiana Pilots Association and the Airline Pilots Association of Korea expressed their concern that the final result of the investigation will not reflect accurately the several factors involved in the accident, since the NTSB has slipped publicly its position on pilot error as the main cause of the accident.

“We have conveyed our concerns about the possibility of inaccurately identifying the cause of the accident, due to NTSB’s press conferences which only give prominence to the possibility of a pilot error and unprecedented speed in disclosure of related materials to the public,” the unions said in a statement.

In several media briefings, the NTSB released information to the public obtained from FDR’s – Flight Data Recorders, meanwhile while the serious fact that one of the victims of the accident survived the same and was hit by one of the fire trucks, is kept concealed.

The autopsy determined that Ye Meng Yuan died crushed by at least one of the rescue vehicles meanwhile she was lying on the runway covered by firefighting foam.

The crash resulted in the deaths of three teenagers, Liu Yipeng died at hospital six days after the accident, meanwhile Wang Linjia died on impact with the seawall of runway 28L at San Francisco Airport.  The three girls were on a group of 34 students travelling to USA.

Asiana 214 Victims

Capt. Ivan


Retired Senior Boeing Flight Instructor blames on the Auto-throttle System

The B777 activated auto-throttle system is under close investigation by the NTSB after has been determined that the Asiana aircraft was flying too slowly before impacting the seawall at runway 28L at San Francisco airport last July 6.

Anthony Keyter, a retired senior Boeing flight instructor said on Friday that the B777 auto-throttle system has a design flaw in its speed control system, suggesting that it may be the culprit of the accident.

“There is an inconsistent functioning of auto-throttle and stall protection systems in the Boeing 777 aircraft. This weak point has been discussed with grave concern among some B777 pilots,” said Keyter in a statement.

The flaw becomes evident when the aircraft is descending with autopilot in the – FLIGHT LEVEL CHANGE MODE.  If the autopilot is disconnected and the auto-throttle is left in – ARMED – position, the throttles will remain in IDLE position and would not automatically increase thrust to maintain the target speed”

“If a speed decrease is not noticed and corrected manually by the pilot, it would continue to bleed off to the point of – STICK SHAKER”, as it was the case of Asiana 214.

“Pilots rely on the auto-throttle system as a last resort to keep the aircraft speed safe under all circumstances.  Then the design flaw in the auto-throttle can thus be considered a contributing factor to the causes of the accident”, he mentioned.

Keyter added that Boeing should address the problem through changes to flight procedures, or an express note in the manual.

Capt. Ivan

Asiana 214 – Accident Animation

This is a very accurate reconstruction of the crash of Asiana flight 214 at San Francisco Airport on July 6, 2013 with the exception of the post impact fire. It is now reported that the fire did not break out until 90 seconds after the aircraft came to rest. That adjustment will be made and re-posted this evening.

All times, speeds, distances and scaling contained are accurate to the data available as of July 10, 2013. There is also included in the segment a blue transparent exemplar aircraft programmed to follow the correct 3 degree glide slope to the intended touchdown point 1,000 ft down the marked runway. This is the path and altitude the Asiana flight should have been flying during the approach. Please note that the blue exemplar aircraft is not programmed to fly at the correct approach speed, only the correct altitude. If it were programmed to fly the correct approach speed it would very quickly pass the Asiana aircraft and disappear off screen. The reconstruction also contains the actual SFO tower communications with flight 214 although the actual timing of the communications may not be absolutely synchronized to the animation since the data necessary to precisely synch won’t be available until it is released by the FAA or NTSB in the coming weeks.

This reconstruction will continue to be further refined and re-posted as new data becomes available.

If you have any questions regarding this animated reconstruction feel free to call Eyewitness Animations at (954) 941-2356 and ask for John.


Pilot’s View

Question of the moment: What lessons do you think can we learn from the Asiana 214 accident?

As investigation progresses we are learning that interaction between human factors and automatism played an important role in the Asiana 214 accident.

  • What do you think aviation community can do to avoid this type of accident in the future ?


We welcome your comments.  Please spam free.  All comments may be re-published by Cockpit Chatter.

Flight Attendants, much more than just a pretty for customer service

Asiana 214 Flight Attendants

Today, while reading the news, I found this picture, seeing their faces, I could not do anything than think about the terrible moments these young people lived days ago when the Asiana B777 impacted the runway 28L seawall at San Francisco airport.

The Asiana Flight 214 cabin crew consisted of 11 women and one man, ranging in age from 21 to 42.  Heroes, is the common word I saw on the news all over the world and I think there is no better description to their actions.

On July 6 crash, three flight attendants were ejected while still strapped to their seats from the aircraft’s sheared off tail section.  One of the items among the investigation of the crash will be the emergency evacuation and find a reason why the pilots of Asiana Flight 214 told the flight attendants to delay it for 90 seconds after the crash landing, giving the order only after a flight attendant spotted flames outside.  For sure this will raise inquiries about flight attendant authority during an emergency.  Those who were able, meanwhile, oversaw the emergency evacuation of nearly 300 passengers – using knives to slash seatbelts, slinging axes to free two colleagues trapped by malfunctioning slides, fighting flames and bringing out frightened children.

“I wasn’t really thinking, but my body started carrying out the steps needed for an evacuation,” head attendant Lee Yoon-hye, 40, said during a news conference Sunday.

“In the face of tremendous adversity and obstacles, they did their job and evacuated an entire wide-bodied aircraft in a very short period of time,” said Veda Shook, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants and an Alaska Airlines flight attendant.

“It’s such a shining reflection, not just of the crew, but of the importance of flight attendants in their roles as first responders,” Shook said.

Next time you see that pretty girl serving your dinner or that handsome boy walking on the aisle, think they can also save your life…

Capt. Ivan

Photo Credits:

– Kim Hong-Ji/AFP/Getty Im

– Jeff Chiu

  •   GDL 39