Pilot Inexperience Being Investigated As Cause of San Francisco Plane Crash

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Investigations into the plane crash at San Francisco International Airport that killed two passengers of an Asiana Airlines flight have begun. Those investigations are now focusing on the lack of experience of the pilot of the Asian Airlines plane.

The pilot was still in training on the Boeing 777, and had never landed a Boeing 777 at San Francisco Airport before. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate this angle further, but it is not rare for pilots to have varying levels of experience on a new plane. The pilot in this particular case had logged 43 hours flying the 777 jetliner, over a total of nine flights. It takes experience of 60 hours and 10 flights for a pilot to be considered fully qualified for flying the 777 jetliner. However, the pilot had more than 9,700 hours of experience flying a number of other jetliners included the Airbus A320. The co-pilot, in this case, had logged more than 3,000 hours of experience flying the 777.

So far, it seems that the plane clipped a portion of the sea wall, when it descended, and bounced around the runway before finally crashing in a field. At this point, it is also clear that the plane descended significantly lower than the 150 mph targeted speed, and it also appears that the pilot and co-pilot tried to abort the landing just a few seconds before the crash.

Two female passengers, both of them 16 years old were killed in the crash, and it is believed that they were ejected from the plane. Investigators are also probing whether one of the girls was run over by a fire truck that was racing to help the plane, which burst into flames as soon as it crashed landed.

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