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  • 43

Asiana pilot says he was blinded by light prior to crash

Aggiunto
 
Federal crash investigators revealed Wednesday that the pilot flying Asiana Airlines flight 214 told them that he was temporarily blinded by a bright light when 500 feet above the ground. Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said it wasn't clear what could have caused the problem. Asked specifically whether it could have been a laser pointed from the ground, Hersman said she couldn't say what caused it. (www.usatoday.com) Altro...

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tcmarks
Tim Marks 23
Actually, that bright light was the stall warning lamp illuminating to tell them they just screwed the pooch.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 13
I guess that light blinded him from seeing the airspeed indicator too. On a visual approach if you can't see the runway what should you do?
preacher1
preacher1 2
Pray hard and/or go around.LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Didn't go around. Prayers unanswered. They won't be California Dreamin anytime soon.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
You never know about the dreamin part... They could have been Dreamin all the way down... and now they are Dreamin that they are going to get off from their major goof up.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Cover that butt, 4 days after the crash and initial NTSB testimony. Good Job!!!!!!!!!!
preacher1
preacher1 -1
where you been?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 -3
Son is working for me for the summer. Been working way harder than I ever intended to. Some retirement!!!
preacher1
preacher1 -3
LOL. I been helping mine some too on sales for his brokerage. Between that and some
flying(not much), I can't get enough time for that fishing or tea jar. Too hot to fish anyway. We just got the first decent rain here yesterday afternoon late in over a month.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Check Your FA Email. I just sent you something
magnusdw
California has lots of earthquakes, right? So he could have used this excuse, an earthquake occurred when I was on final and moved the runway.
HerrThor
HerrThor 1
LOL!!!!
jmilleratp
John Miller 11
Oh, c'mon! These guys have to try harder at excuses than this. First, it's the autothrottles screwing up, then it's a blinding light. Next it'll be that landing the plane got in the way of him having his Subway sandwich! :-)
SootBox
SootBox 3
The seawall jumped up and bit us!
jshhmr
josh homer 7
"Blinded by the light! Lyin' like a douche, a triple seven with no height!"
- Manfred Mann
kellyholman
HAHAHAHA amazing
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 2
LOL I got that same song in my head when I heard that report.

Maybe he even saw it on Midnight Special!
preacher1
preacher1 7
I think by the time all the news conferences she has had, especially the one this afternoon when she said all automated systems were working OK, she has effectively nailed their butts. As I have told others, flying 101 will tell you to monitor speed & altitude to the ground, whether VFR or fully automated and they didn't. END OF STORY
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
That is the bottom line.
dazsworld
Daz Weir -6
That is the bottom line: AIRSPEED people. Myself being an SEL pilot, it doesn't matter if you are a C172 or a C5A...lose airspeed, lose your life. Tell these speculative idiotic morons from Fox to CNN to shut the fuck up. Please!
sparkie624
sparkie624 7
I agree with you til the end of your statement, but please... Lets keep this clean.. Some younger eyes may be viewing this and it is not appropiate, but I do feel that fox and cnn should shut up. Some of us prefer to keep it clean.

Thanks.
rossmans
Right on. Some people lack vocabulary....
preacher1
preacher1 4
Contrary to popular opinion, regardless of it's everyday and common use now, there are still some of us from another generation that regard it as the worst kind of profanity.
GaAubie
Ken Hardy 3
" What he really said " The dog ate my homework "
Bowenaviation84
What a liar. Bull crap. He just screwed up and got behind the power curve. If you believe this guy than you are a fool. This guy should never be aloud to fly again simply because he's making up lies to cover his butt. He screwed up period.
frankgoodale1
"This guy should never be 'aloud' (sic)to fly again". "Aloud is used as in "to speak aloud" (as opposed to whisper, etc.) Did you mean to say "...Be allowed to fly again..." as in to allow? Spelling correctly is important.... The art of writing, together with the art of flying, appears to be losing ground.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
If he can hold airspeed he'll be ok. Spelling won't kill you. I have made that type of spelling mistake before but have never landed short. Maybe iPhone got him

[This poster has been suspended.]

WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Good thing Boeings don't finish your thoughts for you! Lol
abres
When people get an adrenaline rush their pupils dilate and let in more light. Maybe he had realized his error at this point, hence the flash of light.
sparkie624
sparkie624 5
Sounds like they are pulling from excuses... The light could explain why he was so high, but it does not explain how the crew disconnected the A/P, commanded 137kts expecting a system that has been disabled to work, and the other pilot not noting the drop in airspeed, and why is there nothing on the CVR. If I am somewhere and get blinded by a light, I am going to say something at the time. The CVR we know was fully operationally.... That guy is not even a good liar.
cmhurripsh
AP and AT are different systems...they disconnected the AP...the autothrottle would normally continue unaffected.
navydoc192
Ohhhhh.....the light excuse! That does not account for them disabling the altitude alert, or coming in a few hundred feet over the water for the last mile instead of the standard 3 degree approach. What are you supposed to do-if that happens? Can ya say "go-around...or missed approach? (There were 2 other pilots on the flight deck)They were too slow, way below the correct approach speed and too low-there is no excuse for that.
Arcticame1
I wonder why there was no warnings from TAWS or GPWS.I have not seen any reports about this.
sparkie624
sparkie624 5
Some of it was because his flaps and gear were down, and the a/c was in landing configuration. Since there was no ILS there was no "Too Low Glide Slope". The "Too Low Gear" and "Too Low Flaps" did not apply since they were in normal landing configuration.
preacher1
preacher1 3
That's probably correct. All I think she said anything about were altitude callouts, ground proximity.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Also, keep in mind that coming in over water that GPWS is not accurate, so you have to be careful with that one. The way the Radio Altimeter works that feeds information to the GWPS or TAWS bounces a signal down to the ground and then again back up. With water it can absorb some of the signal causing it to go inop, or it could give an erroneous readout
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
Is "Sink Rate" also inhibited in a landing configuration?
Arcticame1
That is true for GPWS but I'm pretty sure not for newer TAWS sys they should have got Glide Slope warning unless they pushed Glide slope inhibit or alt was selected to 29.92 even if ILS was not working.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Not if they are not receiving an ILS Signal... If the ILS was transmitting then yes, but there was no reference for it at that point. The only possible message would be Glide Slope not available, and they already knew that... Besides they were on a visual approach... No need for a Glide Slope.
preacher1
preacher1 2
She said something in one of her briefings about automated callouts, that they were getting them
hardhike1
Oh please....a quick look at the papi lights tells you what you need to know
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 2
Lights? What PAPI lights? You mean that strange looking light array next to the runway? They still have those???

Oh yeah... that's the "VGSI" reference on the approach plate. Let's see... it has a 2.85º glideslope. And it's not coincidental to the ILS that was OTS but is coincidental to the GPS 28L. Gosh, that would have been such a handy doggone tool!

/sarcasm ;-)
jamesholt202
James Holt 2
OK..Let's give the guy the benefit of the doubt and consider the statement that they saw a "Bright Light". Why didn't they initiate a Go Around? Even though WX conditions were not a factor, I assume, isn't there a DH. My comments are from the ATC side of the business.
AT
preacher1
preacher1 3
DH per se, would not apply except on a CAT landing, in it's true form. That said, were he paying attention to the altimeter and airspeed, we wouldn't be having this conversation as he would have initiated the go round earlier. In addition, had he not pulled the nose so high, he might have actually landed. I say might, and very rough at that but not scattered all over the runway. There has been a whole lot of speculation on this thing and a lot of WHAT IF's. The NTSB final report will be interesting.99% of folks on here already have it PILOT ERROR for various reasons. We shall see.
cparks
cparks 2
Wait until they release the CVR transcript. If the PF doesn't cry "Ow! My eyes! Take the controls!!!" Then we're all gonna smell BS.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
I already smell it.... (or was the beans I had earlier)
cparks
cparks 1
I have to admit: I smelled something as soon as this statement was made public.
greenshiel
This is not about the crash per se. This is about insurance. With about $1 Billion Dollars in claims property and liability combined at stake the defendants, ie. the airline is already preparing to mount a defense in front of a jury. The tactic is called poisoning the well. They want to put as much doubt as possible into the minds of the jury even before they know who will be on the jury.

The fact is that there was neglect of some kind which means that the airline is liable. The only question is to what degree. Chances are that the airline was self insured and probably under insured. The typical scenario is for the airline to own its own captive company and then to reinsure the coverage around the world. To save money they would under insure and under report their sales which is the basis of the premium paid.

What this means is that a $1 Billion claim could put the company out of business. Insurance companies love to have high loss reserves because they can deduct the reserve from their taxes while earning money from investing the reserve fund.

I am just guessing here but it is likely that the insurance was South Korean which means that it would be a form of investing through insurance in a protected market, unless of course you have a catastrophic accident as we have in this case.

Insurance is fun.
foxxyroxxy1967
if u will listen to the cock pit recorder you can hear all the warnings going off long before the plane even got near the sea wall.. he saidd he had the speed set at 103 anyone knows that is not enough speed to keep a plane that size up high enough until landing. He had no time to rev up his engines, if u look in the cockpit u will see the yokes pulled back of which they should not have been. they are trying to put all the blame on a "greenie" or a "nugget as the navy calls them and u wait and find out none was his fault. there was only a half of a landing check list done, now whose fault is that. we shall wait and see how all this comes out but it is going to all fall back on the chief pilot. bet u my navy wings on it........
PhotoFinish
Is this speculation or new data? It's been nearly 4 days since Thursday's final NTSB briefing at the scene. I'm hunkering for some good new real info.

You're probably not too far off in your thinking. Though they both performed below the level of proficiency.
preacher1
preacher1 1
HE said he set speed for 137. NTSB said 103
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I know for a fact the sun ain't up in Ar. yet. Must have serious wood cuttin to do today. Lol
preacher1
preacher1 1
Had to P.LOL
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
He has to get up early to wake up the community rooster.
preacher1
preacher1 1
P on both of ya'll.LOL
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
That is just wrong. LOL
onceastudentpilot
you can set it to whatever you want but if you don't have it engaged it doesn't mean a hill of beans.
im4point
If you can't see, you say "you're airplane."
sstuff
sstuff 2
No, you say "your airplane."
preacher1
preacher1 1
Apparently neither one of them could se. That was a bright light.
Derg
Roland Dent -2
Dirty windshield..light scatter.
KauaiGolfer
And he's married to Morgan Fairchild, who he has seen naked. Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket.
preacher1
preacher1 3
This all really goes back to the culture though. It is either PERFECTION or SHAME/DISGRACE. There is no middle ground, or as in Christianity, FORGIVENESS
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 3
I wonder if suicide's going to be next...
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
That is an option, but first check with your physician to see if its right for you!
AABABY
AABABY 3
Now that IS funny!
preacher1
preacher1 1
Check your FA Email. I just sent you something.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
If he was trying suicide, he failed again... that didn't work either.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 2
It's like when people only notice what you do....until you don't do it.
Windval
Once I was blinded. Now I am married for forty-six years! Is that also an excuse?
No it isn’t!
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
LOL, By that Analogy, I was blinded by the light, but kicked her cheaten but out after 7 years.... the Blinding light went away and now I can see. :)
jwmson
jwmson 2
A blinding light? Reported days after the accident? No mention of it on the CVR? A flat out lie. Trying to save a little "face" when there is none left to save.
sparkie624
sparkie624 6
They should have been trying to save face at 500' and made a go around. I would rather loose face of burning the fuel for a Go Around vs Explaining why peopled died and they destroyed an airplane... Again, I ask... What was the PNF and the observer doing... Looking at how pretty the airport was from such a low angle and how nice it would be to take a swim in the Bay... I mean really.
FedExCargoPilot
If you have ever flown in California, which I have, the sun blinds your vision to the point you cannot see anything, this is a valid reason, but not a reason to crash. Should have used ILS 28R
sparkie624
sparkie624 6
Have you have had a bright light in your eyes and not uttered even one word about it. If he truly did get hit with a bright light, why did we not hear about it on the CVR... Sorry wrong answer, and why did he continue the approach... Visual approach and you are blinded... Time for go around.. Sorry. They are full of BS.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 5
Let's see... heading 280º with a 17 mile final at about 1330PDT when the sun is practically overhead?

I'm thinking... No.

Throw in the typical direction of the sun even in the evenings along with the magnetic variation from the runway. Even the prospect of a laser is far-fetched given the location of the approach as the closest would be well to the left.

I'm sorry. That dog don't hunt.
n7224e
BC Hadley 2
Don't they have sun other places? This probably wasn't his first experience with it.
preacher1
preacher1 2
You know, it's roughly 1500 miles from SFO in here to Western AR. I'd swear and be danged that the sun rises and sets over here every day and is awfully bright at times
PeterMercer
If they were not even watching the air speed, I doubt the glide slope would get much attention either.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
at noon? I could see it happening toward sunset...
RobSJC
OMG . While I have to remind myself, the Asiana incident was tragic ... Some of you, (Tim Marks) come up with some great material that should be used in a comedy club ... start the stand up act in LAS !!
LarryQB
LarryQB 1
The four principles of aviation:
Stall
Spin
Crash
Burn
preacher1
preacher1 2
And that is pretty much what they did, in that order, except the spin and the crash kinda came together and on the ground.lol
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Well... Their spin was not until after the crash in this case, but then again... No one mentioned an order here :O)
SootBox
SootBox 1
The pilot was blinded by the light? That means the co-pilot was revved up like a deuce?
k2lck
Ed Mentz 1
years ago two senior pilots (equals), one checking the other, stalled a 707 into a few apartment bldgs. (in Queens I think) each thought the other had the problem and were too polite to mention it..(FAA conclusion)....(-+ my memory)). my bet on this one....
bgriffithsspain
Sounds more and more like a Bob Newhart skit to me "And the flashing red light blinded you?"
abelethiopia
I was on that flight when it happened and they started descending so low we finished by spining around and then 2 minutes after the impact fire started first in the first class. since actually the pilot said to don't evacuate we were almost killed by this fire thanks to the crew for saving so much lives!!
PhotoFinish
"The NTSB final report will be interesting.99% of folks on here already have it PILOT ERROR for various reasons. We shall see."

NTSB has made it clear that the aircraft was operating completely normally and as expected. They have also not mentioned any external factors that may have had an impact on the operation of the aircraft. So the only thing left is the pilots.

I had hoped that there was some exculpatory external factor such as last minute windshear. But alas nothing explains away the incompetence.

The NTSB even mentioned the light glare reported by the PF at 500, but even clarified that thR light was big a significant factor knbthr operation oc the aircraft. That the light had not had much if sm impact on the pilot's vision. That he was immediately after able to look at the PAPI lights, which he acknowledged was showing 3 red lights with less than a minute of flight left and plenty of altitude to call for a go around and power up the engines.

They could try to figure out why they had lost glidepath altitude after their recent attitude correction to change to a descent even with the glidepath, and why the airplane was not performing as they has expected. Their plane was also starting to significantly loose airspeed.

Nothing external can account for their failing to monitor altitude and airspeed. The record shows that they failed to monitor these two critical values, and failed to respond to these signs if an unstable approach until AFTER it was too late.

Note that in mentioning the insignificant bright light at 500 ft, the NTSB is making clear by inference that there is no other more important external factor that has not been briefed.

The case is clear. The NTSB just needs to corroborate their findings and write ug down in a written report before they come out and make conclusions. Plus they need to look around and dig through records of flight training and operation of aircraft by the pilots in question as well as the airline they fly for.

When they issue a report they not only tell us what happened (everyone already knows) but also why. Not only the proximate cause (incompetence: the pilots can't fly manual of they don't understand auto-throttle settings) but the ultimate cause of the crash and the pilot incompetence. How can pilots rack up so many thousands of hours on commercial aircraft and not be able to competently command an aircraft in perfect conditions. They'll look at company policies and relevant regulatory safety protocols.

They will likely recommend changes to pilot training and safety regulations, to insure that pilots acquire, refresh or maintain, as necessary, the proper basic piloting skills that become lazy when one doesn't use them (flying automatic all the time).

But what happened or more importantly what didn't happen at the crucial moment, we already know that. The video, the eyewitness accounts, the CVR, and blackbox, and interviews are all consistent. Do we need anything more? All that's left is the final report and the tightening of part 129 rules that will follow, and the tightening of manual flying regs, be it additional sim time or a required number of manual landings and take-offs on a regular basis.
PhotoFinish
* sorry, clarified that the light source was NOT a significant factor, and not having any significant impact on the operation of the aircraft.

That the PF was still able to look out the window and see 3 red PAPI lights at 500. (if only it had been 4 red PAPI at that point and they might've gone around sooner, and made for a less eventful week.

[This poster has been suspended.]

PhotoFinish
No way. They've already proven themselves to be incompetent.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that they're not unique, nor rare among commercial airline pilots, especially at some carriers, or on dome types. There are lots of pilots with less than proficient manual piloting skills flying commercial airliners every day.

I'd rather we deal ASAP with the structural issues that allow pilots with poor manual piloting skills to fly major airliners with paying passengers, and fix their skill deficiency.

We don't need a repeat. The next time might not be as fortunate.

And they prob need shoulder straps for passengers in the back of the plane too.

[This poster has been suspended.]

PhotoFinish
"I have been a Capt on 767 & 777 for a long time now and stick and rudder skills for a lot of pilots are way off of what I think they should be. But I also don’t like the use of AT’s at takeoffs nor do I like the use of Cat II & III ILS’s and in ten thousand hours in the 67 & 77 I have done 1 auto landing in real life. Pilots skills have went way down even in GA 75% of the SR-22, 172’s or others have auto pilots that was not even thought about when some of us old school guys was learning to fly. If you look at the NTSB’s list each month you will see well over 50% of the accidents are due to pilots not doing the simplest things that any of us should be able to do."

This pervasive use of automation even in GA, is the reason why I was impressed some weeks back when a GA pilot lost all his instruments, radio and auomation, was able to continue flying VFR to his destination airport (Grand Junction) and land without incident. He even thought to call ahead to the airport to let them know he was coming, since his radio was out too. He happened to get the TSA office, and gave them a headline.

But a pilot who had become used to flying with all the fancy automation, flew without any of that stuff (even as backup). All he had was his gauges, and the view out his window. He did fine. Even though he did not get up that morning thinking that he'd get in a plane and lose all of his electronics and have to rely on his foundational pilot skills to get home that day.

These big time commercial pilots with tens of thousands of hours in the seat were not able to live up to the same standard, even with all the fancy equipment in perfect functioning condition. They had 300 souls in the seats behind them. That other guy only had his hide in the plane.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Sir, I don't think I took up for the pilots anywhere in this post. I don't fly heavy iron but airspeed control on final is paramount in a 150 or a 777. Getting behind the curve will cause the earth to reach up and smite thee no matter what you are flying. All the evidence isn't in yet but when it smells like poop and looks like poop the odds are ??????

[This poster has been suspended.]

WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I don't want to raise the ire of a pro. Lol. Been lucky enough to never hurt an aircraft except for bullet holes in my time. I started in '66 and hope I got a few more years. When I crawl onto an airliner I always hope there is an old guy upfront. :-)

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
preacher1 2
I'm flying enough that I sure won't forget how.LOL Tim, auto pilot has been around awhile.I ain't that old, yet. LOL
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Old.... Coming soon...
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Wayne came up old school so I would guess his skills and even more his wisdom and knowledge make him a guy you want to be sitting behind.
onceastudentpilot
Wayne has probably forgotten more than some of us will ever know....Wayne and others in his generation are a part of a group of people that actually had to rely on their skills and brains. Heck even an E6B was considered highly technologically advanced...It's one thing to only read their post online but it is a totally different experience whenever you actually go out to a small airport on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and engage in hanger talk wit these aviation pioneers...They were flying before there was autopilot, GPS and VOR's. I remember stories from one of the guys, who is no longer with us at Shelby,where he said that there used to be beacons on the hill tops and that was what outlined their courses or airways.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Tim: gimme a break. The E6B wasn't deployed til 98.I was 12 years out of a 707 at the time and a 757. I ain't thaold, and Sparkie, you have said enuff.LOL

[This poster has been suspended.]

WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Have a good week sir
PhotoFinish
I think I've been consistent.

Seems to me that they were unable to perform the basic responsibilty of a pilot with 300 souls, which is to get the plane back down to earth in one piece with everyone alive, on a clear day with no external mitigating factors.

This could've happened to anyone. Everyone's had an 'oh shit' moment. But they failed the most basic of pilot responsibility - to monitor airspeed and altitude on final approach, which in their case resulted in hull loss, and loss of human life. Doesn't get worse than that.

I find that to be incompetence, and I would not want to fly with them. I will grant you that none of these pilots are likely to repeat such a ridiculous simple mistake, and be involved in another tragic crash. They'll likely be too vigilant. If allowed to fly, they'll likely never let their manual piloting skills get stale.

Some people want blood. And it seems appropriate that the victims, survivors and victims' families get justice. Manslaughter convictions seem appropriate.

For me, I don't care if they go to jail. But I do care to learn from year mistake, and use this tragedy as an opportunity to insure that similar crashes do not happen in the future.

More impacrful would be a worldwide tour of shame, explaining to pilots how important it is to keep manual piloting skills fresh when 100's of lives are in your hands.

My only dog in this race is insuring a safer future for commercial aviation.

[This poster has been suspended.]

mrbill767
mrbill767 2
Glad I didn't go with UAL. Could have.....back in 85, but there was the strike and then of course there was chapter 11. Would have lost most of my pension with UAL as well. Til BK, I would have been well ahead with UAL but as it turned out I was probably at least 1 million to the good!!!
PhotoFinish
I'm not an advocate for jail, mostly because of the reasons you mention.

But I strongly suggest a period of purgatory, or a shame tour or whatever you want to call it.

Basically a time to bring the entire commercial aviation industry's attention to the need to keep manual piloting skills up to par.

A tour of shame that provides an opportunity to atone for their mistake was be most cultural appropriate to the compete loss of face that they experience in Korean culture. Gives them an opportunity to rebuild their character, their reputation and third honor. At this point they've gone from top dog to zero in their culture.

I would co-op this outward expression of shame that would be far worse than jail in their culture, but more beneficial not only in rebuilding their personal/professional lives, but also in repairing an important deficiency in commercial aviation. Hopefully, it will help avoid future needless crashes that need not happen.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, if you remember the FAA, to part 121 carriers a few months ago, recognized this and told carriers they need to incorporate more manual flying into their pilot training regimen to overcome the automation thing.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I've seen it talked about right here for years. Only problem with laws, rules, regs, etc is that not everyone follows them. And when you leave the US you REALLY don't know what you are getting. Not just aviation wise either. Just a thought.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
That's provocative. People blindly think somebody is looking out for them. I have always said " if I ever entertain getting on a bus anywhere in the world in the mountains, please slap me!" Some airlines may rate the same wariness.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
500 ft AGL, that would put him how far out? How long to touchdown? Too late to go around? Hmmmmm.
OTOH, "with 40 hours on the bird, I can do this with my eyes closed" doesn't sound right.
Grain-O-Salt time IMO
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Agreed, Cat II Approach DH is 100 feet to execute a go around... He had 5 times that amount of time, and CAT IIIa is 50 feet, he had 10 Times that amount of time.
preacher1
preacher1 3
yeah, maybe so, BUT, he didn't have the speed and with engines at idle, no time for a spool up to full power. That is one reason I have always thought that the DH on CATII or III is an exercise in futility or stupidity, one or the other. At that height, with correct approach speed, you are going to find the runway, in one form or another, as you have absolutely no real chance of doing anything.
jjm361
Sounds like the pilot is playing CYA with that fairy tale.
olgarey
There was no record of the Captain flying the approach reporting to the control tower his vision had been impaired at about 500 feet.
If this was true and his vision was impaired there was a qualified pilot (a check airman) setting in the co-pilots seat who should have been monitoring the approach very closely and should have corrected any flight path discrepancies before they caused this accident (that is what he was there for)

Pilot Error on the part of the Captain and Check Airman -- No other Valid reason for this accident
preacher1
preacher1 1
I was a thinkin' that the vision impairment came from the check airman, but as you say, it matters not, it's all BS anyway. I think the NTSB report will be rather fast and your last line will be their finding.
Dl8698
David Loh 1
ooops! I didn't mean an engine with only a single piston, I meant to say, piston type, single engine planes
Dl8698
David Loh 1
For all those who still say I have no idea what DH is, all I can say is, look back on your ab initio training, now tell me you were not taught about DH at that stage of training, when you were flying single piston engined light planes. Or have so many multi jet CPL pilots really got so out of touch with flying totally UN-Automatic, seat of the pants VFR light planes that they have forgotten? When I was learning to fly, my instructor says "even if your approach is absolutely perfect, at 200 ft, IF you do not receive clearance to land, or preceding landing aircraft does not clear the runway, GO AROUND!" No ifs, no buts!! That 200 ft was referred to as DH.
preacher1
preacher1 3
David: It's not that we have forgotten it. It is just that on big iron it has place and meaning in a CAT instrument approach and is used as such in that vocabulary. Any pilot has a decision height for a go round for whatever reason, and that will vary by pilot and aircraft. Just a for example, 200' might be just fine for whatever type single engine piston plane you are flying, but it is quite a bit further out on, say, a 767 or CRJ, with twice your approach speed. I personally think that a CATIII landing of any type is nothing more than a controlled crash anyway; there is no way that you can do anything at 150' or less, except be along for the ride and hope like hell that the approach is right and that your instruments are right. In 36 years of active flying I only made 2 CATIII landings and those both in a 757; and each one required a new seat as you could not get the pucker out of the 1 that I rode. I see what you are talking about in DH but that is not the context it is used there on a routine basis.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
My DH in my piston single may be as low as 0 feet. I may be kissing asphalt and see a deer heading into my path. I'm outta there. A luxury not afforded to larger or jet powered aircraft. Instant power is one of the few advantages of piston over jet. Lol
preacher1
preacher1 1
4-7 seconds for spool up to full power is an eternity. 3-5 on a 767 for about 75% and then a good prayer.LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
On a marginal length runway you are committed a ways out in your iron. I think about that every time I fly SWA into MDW. Lol
preacher1
preacher1 1
Just don't fly SWA to MDW.LOL. I done got hot. I been cutting wood. We had a little windstorm Thursday. We walked over to the house where the boy used to live and about half of a big momosa tree had broke off, and scraped the house but didn't hurt it, but it tore the power service line loose. Neutral was holding up the whole service. Both hot ends are loose but they are up in air and apart so I'll wait til Monday and call Entergy and have them come down and hook them back up, but that limb was vine covered and a mess. Took about 2 hours, me cutting and wife carrying.
preacher1
preacher1 0
I have said to heck with it. I got to get a message ready for tomorrow and NASCAR will be starting in a few and this AC feels pretty good.LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Important things first! Have a good one.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Interesting finish. They need onboard fuel computers like they have in their bj's. Maybe a rules thing.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I guess they are just good but I know they get looked at, but why does that 54 jump so far out ahead that quickly, and have so much more gas than the others. He went thru 3 GWC and still had plenty for a super burnout and go to victory lane
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
I cut some yesterday. That chainsaw works up a sweat quickly. It will be a fluke if I do the SWA to MDW ever again.
chalet
chalet 1
Bunch of incompetent liers and that includes the presidnet of that "airline" who said from Seoul right after the crash landing the usual BS: my pilots were quite experienced, in what really.
Derg
prolly drive trucks on days off
robertgrande01
if the asiana pilots can't talk to any and the ntsb is the only one talking granted it sounds like bs whos bs who
leon4056
not true his head wae stuck up his butt tofar to be able to see the lite
geneg738
geneg738 1
Wait a sec...in one article the PF said he was temporarily blinded by a light and in the other article the PI said he thought the AT's were engaged...excuse me?...don't know if the AT's were engaged??? Wow! PI said he was watching the PF guide the plane to a landing. what about the view out the windscreen...the sight picture, the PAPPI and then what about checking the air speed?? this is total BS!
WithnailANDi
No, no... it was the PDF talking to the SE about the GS on the LDR, and the GOP segued into the LIRR and FYI now they're thinking WTF!
PhotoFinish
NTSB:
V-ref = 137
lowest recorded speed = 103

Don't matter what you set it at, if the AT are off and the throttles are just a fancy handrest or worse hands completely off. The plane with engines idling will go whatever speed it wants or whatever speed it can muster as it's falling out of the sky in a descent. But pointing the nose up just won't work if you want to stay on speed at idle. Gravity only works but one way for large aircraft.
deshayeslartigau
L'ILS fonctionnait-t-il correctement ?
HerrThor
HerrThor 1
Vous n'avez pas lire les nouvelles!
KDSM
Tim Swift 1
What do you guys think of the bright light theory and what Rick Price had to say.
"Having landed at SFO thousands of times I can attest that the sun can be a factor on the west runways. If the conditions are right, it can be brutal. On rare occasions I've heard pilots go around because of it. Its not the only factor that led to this accident but it certainly could be a contributing cause.e bright light theory sounds like BS but not according to pilot Rick Price who commented from the USAtoday article "
preacher1
preacher1 3
Bright Light-excuse, face saving...2 days after crash,BS---Sun????? at noon, straight up??
I guess it could have been a factor but nothing on the CVR. I would think there would be something said. I think BS on the whole thing
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
A vivid imagine to cover up the fact that he is going down and hard... He is trying to soften his landing.
KDSM
Tim Swift 1
Amazing more people weren't killed in this crash. Was there a delay in evacuating the plane. The comments from the USAtoday article go from idiotic to professional pilot feedback who have landed SFO thousands of times.
Dl8698
David Loh 1
Thanks Preacher for re-posting this story. I'm glad I had a chance to read it. This crash had demonstrated the "flying skills" or lack thereof, of those 2 pilots. I guessed things were bad in some airlines, but never knew it was as bad as this.
Dl8698
David Loh 1
GS=GLIDE SLOPE...I presumed everyone could see that...sorry
smoki
smoki 1
How could they see it when their heads were so buried in their posteriors where even the bright sunlight of that day couldn't get in?
GaAubie
Ken Hardy 1
Capt. We Dung Screw said the flash of light may have come from a blast of methane released in the cockpit and ignighted by sparks coming from grinding of FO teeth on short final
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
LOL, Nice... LMAO...
mrbill767
mrbill767 1
What's up with needing an "interpetor" to talk to these guys since their English isn't real good. Several years ago the FAA began requiring pilots to prove they could speak English and have it on their license since proficiency in English is absolutely required to fly airplanes anywhere in the world. And using autothrottles on a visual approach?? They make you porpoise big time and just about anyone I ever flew with turned everything off NLT than 1000 ft!!!
Flightdog
It is certainly not unreasonable to utilize an interpreter to communicate with a pilot who speaks "aviation English" sdo that he can describe the minute details of this incident in language with which he is well-versed so there is no unintended errors in his word choice.
mrbill767
mrbill767 1
Roger,
It IS unreasonable to use an interpreter. The requirement for flying commercially is NOT that a pilot be able to speak "aviation English", but rather to be completely proficient at English, period. Pilots need to be able to communicate even the most minute details if they're going to command an airplane and its passengers on board. Flying an airplane is not done by reciting a script but rather improvising every minute of every flight. English is the universal language of the developed world. If you can't speak it, you have no business in aviation, medicine, scientfic world, etc.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I think most would agree, but most have accepted the fact that is just the way it is. The NTSB would be doing a service if the noted this in their report and made a recommendation to the FFA to enforce it.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
It is a good point, HOWEVER, he is giving a statement, not operating a A/C.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
It's unreasonable to not think outside the box and not use an interpreter to make sure no details get missed if the person giving the statement can not remember a specific word to use.
PhotoFinish
Both should be true.

1. Foreign pilots should be able to communicate proficiently in English.
It's shocking how often it is difficult or impossible to understand some foreign pilot while communicating with ATC. While a sexy accent may be cool, being intelligible I'd essential for effective communication.

2. Interpreters should be made available for interviews of foreign crew while investigating an incident, particularly when it results in hull loss and loss of life. Even those with adequate skills on English sufficient to be a successful pilot, may be able to communicate mote comfortably and more thoroughly in sone other language, typically their native language.

Any steps to facilitate improved communication during the interviews, such as providing interpreters should be automatic (no pun intended).
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Sometimes I feel like I need an interpeter in this country... LOL places like Walmart, Burger King, and even the airport sometime.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
Very true. LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
And who can we thank for that?
Barrientos
I cant believe this guy is going to try and use a defense like that after killing innocent people. How do you expect me to believe that a light was the cause of this when the biggest light (the sun) is always in your eyes when flying. I'm calling bs!!! The laser in the eye defense....that's grabbing at straws.
TWA55
TWA55 1
Fly the box.....
RobSJC
I do not agree with the NTSB . . so stated about "No drug or alcohol testing" ... No justice coming,for the families or the two, teens who died . because the reported 3 "Bozo's" in the cockpit .. who could not get it right ... I've landed at SFO plenty (as a passenger) .. and even I know, like most wth common sense, you land on the RUNWAY, not the sea wall .. It was also stated by the NTSB, "The GLIDE SCOPE was not operating at the time of the crash and had been turned off, in June" ..
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Under CFR 129 they could not drug test... Not NTSB's decision. that decision was made along time ago.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
Is there a source for the CVR transcript and a more precise timeline showing speed, altitude, configuration, ect based on the FDR?
AABABY
AABABY 2
The CVR is probably with the Nixon tapes by now.

HMMMMMMMMMMMMM1
FritzSteiner
Nah ... It's probably sealed with Barack Obama's college transcripts
HerrThor
HerrThor 0
And with his birth of certificate!
AABABY
AABABY 1
Evening news says now 3rd person dead. Also, the girl reportedly run over was on the ground and covered in foam so the firewagon couldn't see anyone there.

Does anyone know anything about the 2 flight attendants that were ejected from the A/C?
TXCAVU
NTSB now says 3 FA's ejected. The skinny is they were caught in the vortices causing internal injuries and "road rash" (no kidding). There are several small children hospitalized because they were flung from their parents arms with the powerful impacts.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
I do not like the rules on Child in Arms... Bad deal.. In a crash the child becomes nothing more than a projectile. What parent is going to be able to hold a child in that kind of crash... If child was in a child seat they most likely would have survived and so would the person who the child hit.

[This poster has been suspended.]

WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
It's kinda like no seatbelts on school buses. Go figure!
AABABY
AABABY 1
Thanks for the update.
I did see the OP-Ed Re: training, etc.
trinidude
That light was the torch his Guardian angel shone in his eyes in an effort to figure out if he was seeing the BS he was doing.
Dl8698
David Loh 1
Doesn't DH refer to the height at which you must have got "clearance to land" from the tower or you see anything that will make the landing unsafe, like for example runway is occupied or in bad weather, runway not sighted? I don't think it applies to a case of an aircraft not established in the approach, like in this case. They should have aborted at a higher altitude, instead of still fighting to get back on track. I assume of course that at least one pilot did notice how screwed up their approach was!
preacher1
preacher1 1
DH is "Decision height on an instrument landing of some category" in which you must land or go around. You are ass u ming that the one pilot did see something. I don't believe the CVR had anything on it about that.
Dl8698
David Loh 1
DH applies for all landings, instrument or visual, but DH is not the issue here. First your aircraft must be properly established in the approach, correct gs and track, correct speed, then DH comes into the picture. If you are still not on correct gs or track or airspeed even before DH is reached, then you should abort before DH. Once I was at the side of a runway, very near the arrival threshold, waiting for a B747 to arrive. As I watched the aircraft on approach, I could see the pilot desperately juggling the wings, hard left turn, hard right turn, a few times, until he was, I estimated, about 300-400 ft agl, before he aborted. That flight subsequently landed safely. Why didn't this flight abort way, way earlier, when they could see they were not going to make it....errr...assuming either pilot noticed that altitude, track and airspeed were all screwed up?
onceastudentpilot
DH is just what Preacher1 said it is....DH is basically the minimum height above ground in which a pilot is safely allowed to descend during IMC (instrumental meteorological conditions)....If you have descended to minimums and the runway or chase lights are not visible you must go missed and fly to the published point of holding....If you are in VFR (visual flight rules) conditions and you are cleared it is basically pilots discretion unless the tower instructs you otherwise or you realize that you can not safely land.
onceastudentpilot
they didn't abort/go around because they were either distracted, not paying attention or just lost track of where they were....that's just speculation.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
You don't seem to understand what DH is. DH is an altitude on an instrument approach, even though a common sense decision should be made prior to all landings.
Also even though groundspeed does play a part in the big picture, the correct groundspeed you're mentioning to be properly established, should be indicated airspeed.
bgriffithsspain
It is a sad fact that this incident is beginning to sound like something from a Bob Newhart skit...
ExCalbr
You people are being overly critical, in my opinion. Did you hear the pilots say they were blinded by the light and that that was the reason for the crash? I didn't think so. Plane crashes always seem to have multiple causes, including communication, equipment failure, inexperience, weather, etc., etc.

My reading of the news about the blinding light was that it was a minor component to a set of circumstances.

I'm curious that there is no discussion here about the evacuation slides deploying inside the cabin. Is that operator error or a manufacturing defect or something else?
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
The crash impact caused one or both of the rear door slides to deploy.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
You are exactly right, more than one cause and I will agree with you 100%
1.) They turned off the AutoPilot expecting the AutoThrottles to work.
2.) PNF did not track the airspeed as he should have. Never noticed a 25kt loss of airspeed.
3.) Crew had very little experience in a/c type. (Captain not completed training, Instructor was on his first training flight).
4.) None of them had ever landed at KSFO
5.) They were at 2200 feet and should have been at 1100 feet, and they tried to correct this.
6.) Called for power too late, engines did not have time to respond.

There are 6 contributing factors, all tracks pack to Flight Crew Screwed up.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 2
The captain (the actual pilot doing IOE in type) had landed at SFO in the 747 34 previous times.

I'm not following your #5.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
Ok.. That still leaves 5 valid reasons.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
I'm not following your #5.

Regardless of the reasons whether automation error or what, they had an incredibly clear day. They had GPS available as well as VGSI for vertical guidance. Both would be the same 2.85º GS.

They had a seventeen mile file with plenty of time to stabilize on a descent and approach. The PNF who had all the 777 experience should have backed up the numbers with the configuration and Vref with each change.

I still think there might have been an issue between the crew with the "senior" pilot in rank not being treated properly like a student. That is, the lesser ranked but more experienced pilot was not calling the shots. That was an issue in another Korean flight a decade ago.

I equate it to the time I had a student come to me for single engine training. This guy flew back seat in F-4 recons, King Airs and eventually a C141. In civilian life, he gets 757 and 767 type ratings flying cargo. But he had never had single engine privileges.

He may have had tens of thousands of hours over me but my instructor status in that Skyhawk ruled. Not ego but experience in that plane. He learned quickly you don't flare a Skyhawk at the same height as a 757.

The fact they made him captain in the left seat when he was so new to the type, let alone first actual flight, leads me to believe that attitude is still prevalent in Korea.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
They were twice as high as they were supposed to be before they started their final decent... and I do mean FINAL DECENT. At one point they were too high, probably why the throttles were at idle, and they forgot to bring them back up when they should have.
ExCalbr
Another item to add to your list is the reported possible wind gusts (haven't heard anything from NTSB about this), reported by someone who landed just before 214. I'd really like to read more on this either way, although I doubt it will have been a significant factor.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Still does not explain why they were not controlling the Throttles. Forget the wind, if it played a roll, it was minor to everything else they did wrong.
ExCalbr
Like I said, "I doubt it will have been a significant factor". Just like the glare. Speaking of which, the time was just before noon, so at SF, the sun would have been about 55 degrees up, round numbers, since we're not far after solstice. A glare could have been from anything -- maybe a window of another plane, for example. What people saw from another plane is likely not relevant, since they would not have been able to tell if there were a window glare from a different perspective.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
The sun would nearly be overhead, about 10º west of vertical.

You can use this tool to calculate the sun for any location:
http://www.sunearthtools.com/dp/tools/pos_sun.php
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
Yes, the chain was started much, much earlier. No argument there. But the light claim seems a bit unrealistic.

I'd heard about the slide issue. I'll be interested in what the NTSB finds out about that one.
ExCalbr
Do you expect the pilot to leave out that fact when interviewed by the NTSB? The only people I see making a big deal over it is those people accusing the pilot of lame excuses. It was a circumstance in the scenario. That is all.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 0
Leave it out if real, no. But it's puzzling where it came from. There was a plane sitting to the left of the 28L threshold waiting to cross. I'm wondering what they saw.

The position of the approach relative to anywhere an effective artificial light could come from head on and not be seen by anyone else is puzzling.
pilotenthusiast
you don't know what everyone else saw because there plane did not crash. Who knows maybe other pilots did see a light.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 2
I"m going by what was reported and I've looked at the area around the airport.

You cant take a look yourself via Google Satellite or Google Earth and get a good idea of what the approach would look like.

As for other pilots, I can't speak for them but when I'm sitting near the threshold and ready for departure my head is on a swivel paying attention to what's going on. At least one pilot should be doing that at all times while moving and when near a runway, active or not.

Even the aircraft sitting to the left of 28L displaced threshold should be looking down the runway before crossing as well as the direction of any expected approach.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Multiple causes for sure......as, vs, alt, power setting, etc.
dral6503
Ed Berling 1
I think we'll have an answer to all of these questions once the movie 'Pacific Rim' comes out. Makes as much sense as this pilot.
N650DD
N650DD 1
Liar liar pants on fire
PeterMercer
If they were not watching the air speed, I doubt the glide slope would get much attention either.
Something was going on there. They were totally distracted from what they should have been engaged in. Bright light? I'm surprised they did not mention possible wind shear causing a sudden loss of air speed, but wait, may be they will think of that and use it tomorrow.
onceastudentpilot
nah.....tomorrow they will tell the investigators to go look for the banana peel that the plane spun around on.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
LOL, I like that one.... And CNN will probably have a video crew on site looking for it.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
They won't find it on the runway!!
JD345
JD345 0
That's like the NWA pilots blowing past MSP because they were debating company policy...
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I had forgotten about that incident, but you are exactly right.
AABABY
AABABY 1
Didn't a DL crew do that soon afterward going to west coast? Reportedly asleep?
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I thing ==k so, and there was another one in an ERJ in Hawaii who over flew their destination by 30 minutes. ATC had been trying to call them unsuccesfully. That was the regional that is (or was) owned by MESA.
preacher1
preacher1 0
That's what it was Pete, I'm certain of it. What else could possibly cause a 35kt drop in Airspeed. I'm a multi thousand hour check airman for a major oriental airline. It had to be that. I surely didn't have my head up my ass.
gftt
gftt 1
Oh why don't they just admit, they scewed the pooch........
preacher1
preacher1 2
When you screw the pooch in that culture, you go from the top to the toilet quickly. It is total disgrace and no middle ground. They are trying to put some kind of spin in there to take the heat off of them.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
It AINT gonna work this time... with emphasis on AINT.
onceastudentpilot
I think he was already heading toward the toilet
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Blinded by the light,revved up like a deuce...or a triple
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 0
bahahahaha!
akayemm
Fine, he was blinded. What to conclude? Hang him now or what? Or search for the source of light AND hang that person? The Chairperson says 'she was not clear what caused it'. She has also failed to say what was the effect of this temporary 'blinding'. What a shocking display of speculative reporting or briefing !
randomguy
randomguy 2
Where's the speculative reporting? The briefing is what was related in the interviews. Speculating would be saying what the effect is! Why do you need other people to speculate for you three days later? Can't you wait for them to finish investigations?
Derg
Mr Mittal...most people know that if you are blinded and you are moving forward you can no longer make a judgement as to your orientation.
akayemm
for how long .
deshayeslartigau
L'ILS de bord fonctionnait-il correctement ?....la finale contrôlée GCA aurait évite l'accident s'il s'agit d'une faute de pilotage !!! CD ancien chef de station GCA .
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
The ILS was OTS. The GPS was available but probably not loaded in the FMS.

The visual glideslope was also available but ignored for most of the approach if not from the start. Weather was CAVU.

They appeared to ignore all possible vertical guidance.
deshayeslartigau
Thank you for reply ..Have a nice day, CD .
mrbill767
mrbill767 1
.....because they didn't know how to build a visual glide slope in the box!!!!! or....they were too rushed to build one. Maybe cleared a visual unexpectedly. Probably were distracted with maybe doing the checklist at the last minute as well as trying to do something other than the ILS which they probably always relied on. Would have been real interesting to have do the NDB at ORD Rwy 09R, I think!!! Don't know if they still have that one.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
How bout English Pepe Lepue !!!
HerrThor
HerrThor 1
haha, yes!
RobSJC
That statement by the pilot is a crock .... He was over water .. the sun most likely, for our area,would ha been above and behind him, now it's sounding like some one trying to save their butt, amid a box full of errors .. that caused a tragedy. Before you know it, the'll be trying to use the excuse, they had not landed before at SFO .. a crash is a crash, no matter how or who it happens to .. It's looking more and more like ... "Too low, too slow" .. plain and simple .. And since when is it an excuse to not test for drugs and alcohol .. because, they are an international carrier .. If they are not subject to the SAME rules as a USA pilot .. then pull their landing rights .. they should NOT be landing on USA soil. Wrong call on the part of the NTSB
preacher1
preacher1 1
Actually, your last line is in error. It was the right call. International carriers are subject to part 129, instead of 121 as US carriers are and it does not require a drug test
sbsigini
Sani Bala 0
It's unfortunate, may the souls of those passed away rest in peace.
bowlingpapa1945
RON WORLEY 0
to much saki
preacher1
preacher1 2
too much something
AABABY
AABABY 2
'Hubris' is the word you seek, Preacher.
rossmans
ASIATIC= loss of face when screwing up and found out. Hence lyin?. QED
AABABY
AABABY 0
To those of you in a position to see it through. Please don't let this deal slip away.
The whole Human (crew) factor here is very important.
Please, NTSB, No more lame excuses.
Please Airline Pilots Assn, Stay on it.
With all respect to everyone.
preacher1
preacher1 6
This was pulled as an OpEd, pulled as an FA SQUAWK, and pasted into 3 separate FA stories and those stories have been pulled but here tis one more time:

After I retired from UAL as a Standards Captain on the –400, I got a job as a simulator instructor working for Alteon (a Boeing subsidiary) at Asiana. When I first got there, I was shocked and surprised by the lack of basic piloting skills shown by most of the pilots. It is not a normal situation with normal progression from new hire, right seat, left seat taking a decade or two. One big difference is that ex-Military pilots are given super-seniority and progress to the left seat much faster. Compared to the US, they also upgrade fairly rapidly because of the phenomenal growth by all Asian air carriers. By the way, after about six months at Asiana, I was moved over to KAL and found them to be identical. The only difference was the color of the uniforms and airplanes. I worked in Korea for 5 long years and although I found most of the people to be very pleasant, it’s a minefield of a work environment ... for them and for us expats.

One of the first things I learned was that the pilots kept a web-site and reported on every training session. I don’t think this was officially sanctioned by the company, but after one or two simulator periods, a database was building on me (and everyone else) that told them exactly how I ran the sessions, what to expect on checks, and what to look out for. For example; I used to open an aft cargo door at 100 knots to get them to initiate an RTO and I would brief them on it during the briefing. This was on the B-737 NG and many of the captains were coming off the 777 or B744 and they were used to the Master Caution System being inhibited at 80 kts. Well, for the first few days after I started that, EVERYONE rejected the takeoff. Then, all of a sudden they all “got it” and continued the takeoff (in accordance with their manuals). The word had gotten out. I figured it was an overall PLUS for the training program.

We expat instructors were forced upon them after the amount of fatal accidents (most of the them totally avoidable) over a decade began to be noticed by the outside world. They were basically given an ultimatum by the FAA, Transport Canada, and the EU to totally rebuild and rethink their training program or face being banned from the skies all over the world. They hired Boeing and Airbus to staff the training centers. KAL has one center and Asiana has another. When I was there (2003-2008) we had about 60 expats conducting training KAL and about 40 at Asiana. Most instructors were from the USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand with a few stuffed in from Europe and Asia. Boeing also operated training centers in Singapore and China so they did hire some instructors from there.

This solution has only been partially successful but still faces ingrained resistance from the Koreans. I lost track of the number of highly qualified instructors I worked with who were fired because they tried to enforce “normal” standards of performance. By normal standards, I would include being able to master basic tasks like successfully shoot a visual approach with 10 kt crosswind and the weather CAVOK. I am not kidding when I tell you that requiring them to shoot a visual approach struck fear in their hearts ... with good reason. Like this Asiana crew, it didnt’ compute that you needed to be a 1000’ AGL at 3 miles and your sink rate should be 600-800 Ft/Min. But, after 5 years, they finally nailed me. I still had to sign my name to their training and sometimes if I just couldn’t pass someone on a check, I had no choice but to fail them. I usually busted about 3-5 crews a year and the resistance against me built. I finally failed an extremely incompetent crew and it turned out he was the a high-ranking captain who was the Chief Line Check pilot on the fleet I was teaching on. I found out on my next monthly trip home that KAL was not going to renew my Visa. The crew I failed was given another check and continued a fly while talking about how unfair Captain Brown was.

Any of you Boeing glass-cockpit guys will know what I mean when I describe these events. I gave them a VOR approach with an 15 mile arc from the IAF. By the way, KAL dictated the profiles for all sessions and we just administered them. He requested two turns in holding at the IAF to get set up for the approach. When he finally got his nerve up, he requested “Radar Vectors” to final. He could have just said he was ready for the approach and I would have cleared him to the IAF and then “Cleared for the approach” and he could have selected “Exit Hold” and been on his way. He was already in LNAV/VNAV PATH. So, I gave him vectors to final with a 30 degree intercept. Of course, he failed to “Extend the FAF” and he couldn’t understand why it would not intercept the LNAV magenta line when he punched LNAV and VNAV. He made three approaches and missed approaches before he figured out that his active waypoint was “Hold at XYZ.” Every time he punched LNAV, it would try to go back to the IAF ... just like it was supposed to do. Since it was a check, I was not allowed (by their own rules) to offer him any help. That was just one of about half dozen major errors I documented in his UNSAT paperwork. He also failed to put in ANY aileron on takeoff with a 30-knot direct crosswind (again, the weather was dictated by KAL).

This Asiana SFO accident makes me sick and while I am surprised there are not more, I expect that there will be many more of the same type accidents in the future unless some drastic steps are taken. They are already required to hire a certain percentage of expats to try to ingrain more flying expertise in them, but more likely, they will eventually be fired too. One of the best trainees I ever had was a Korean/American (he grew up and went to school in the USA) who flew C-141’s in the USAF. When he got out, he moved back to Korea and got hired by KAL. I met him when I gave him some training and a check on the B-737 and of course, he breezed through the training. I give him annual PCs for a few years and he was always a good pilot. Then, he got involved with trying to start a pilots union and when they tired to enforce some sort of duty rigs on international flights, he was fired after being arrested and JAILED!

The Koreans are very very bright and smart so I was puzzled by their inability to fly an airplane well. They would show up on Day 1 of training (an hour before the scheduled briefing time, in a 3-piece suit, and shined shoes) with the entire contents of the FCOM and Flight Manual totally memorized. But, putting that information to actual use was many times impossible. Crosswind landings are also an unsolvable puzzle for most of them. I never did figure it out completely, but I think I did uncover a few clues. Here is my best guess. First off, their educational system emphasizes ROTE memorization from the first day of school as little kids. As you know, that is the lowest form of learning and they act like robots. They are also taught to NEVER challenge authority and in spite of the flight training heavily emphasizing CRM/CLR, it still exists either on the surface or very subtly. You just can’t change 3000 years of culture.

The other thing that I think plays an important role is the fact that there is virtually NO civil aircraft flying in Korea. It’s actually illegal to own a Cessna-152 and just go learn to fly. Ultra-lights and Powered Hang Gliders are Ok. I guess they don’t trust the people to not start WW III by flying 35 miles north of Inchon into North Korea. But, they don’t get the kids who grew up flying (and thinking for themselves) and hanging around airports. They do recruit some kids from college and send then to the US or Australia and get them their tickets. Generally, I had better experience with them than with the ex-Military pilots. This was a surprise to me as I spent years as a Naval Aviator flying fighters after getting my private in light airplanes. I would get experienced F-4, F-5, F-15, and F-16 pilots who were actually terrible pilots if they had to hand fly the airplane. What a shock!

Finally, I’ll get off my box and talk about the total flight hours they claim. I do accept that there are a few talented and free-thinking pilots that I met and trained in Korea. Some are still in contact and I consider them friends. They were a joy! But, they were few and far between and certainly not the norm.

Actually, this is a worldwide problem involving automation and the auto-flight concept. Take one of these new first officers that got his ratings in the US or Australia and came to KAL or Asiana with 225 flight hours. After takeoff, in accordance with their SOP, he calls for the autopilot to be engaged at 250’ after takeoff. How much actual flight time is that? Hardly one minute. Then he might fly for hours on the autopilot and finally disengage it (MAYBE?) below 800’ after the gear was down, flaps extended and on airspeed (autothrottle). Then he might bring it in to land. Again, how much real “flight time” or real experience did he get. Minutes! Of course, on the 777 or 747, it’s the same only they get more inflated logbooks.

So, when I hear that a 10,000 hour Korean captain was vectored in for a 17-mile final and cleared for a visual approach in CAVOK weather, it raises the hair on the back of my neck.

Tom
buzzard767
Incompetence can happen anywhere. I once had a copilot come extremely close to killing me and a planeload of 767 pax.

His background:
1. Marine helicopter pilot trained by the Army = NO fixed wing time and no previous civilian time
2. Hired at my company as a 727 flight engineer = NO fixed wing time
3. Upgraded to DC-10 FE = NO fixed wing time
4. Upgraded to B-767 International copilot - flew required minimum time with a check pilot and was turned loose.

I was unfortunate to get him off the reserve list for his first trip on his own. Without going into any of the details, something (caused by him) so frightening happened that I bypassed the pilot union and went directly to the chief pilot's office....
mrbill767
mrbill767 1
Same thing for me, except the guy was in the category of "minority". Turned into your worst nightmare. HR, EEOC, threat of Jesse (rent a mob) Jackson, and a huge lawsuit against the company. Company prevailed, thank God. But it took a few years for the process to be brought to completion. Bill
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
Thanks Preacher, that d**ded pesky internet thing lets these thinks keep popping up. Maybe your post will get this squawk pulled too.

Keep up the politically incorrect good work.
Amen
preacher1
preacher1 1
Actually, I was kinda hopin' that's what it would do but it's been on there about 2 hours and they haven't got it yet.LOL
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
If they do, I will post it some where it can't be deleted... My Web Server that is under My Control :)
mrbill767
mrbill767 1
Tom,
I thought your insight was terrific. I'm a retired 76/75 guy. Flew those two airplanes almost exclusively since I was hired back in 1985. Been retired for 2 years. I can really identify with what your remarks covered except the part about how the military guys couldn't hand fly and you had better experiences with Koreans. The military guys hand fly all the time I would think. I flew WC135s and T37s. While cruise was on autopilot on the -135s, the climb out, descent and approaches were all hand jobs......well some of the descent on A/P on the WC. I would think just the opposite for Korean guys. The Koreans get right into automated flying from the get-go. I lived for visual approaches. But landing at busy airports usually didn't include a visual except for the slam dunk abeam MIA at 7,000 ft and cleared just prior to base. I do remember a Korean Air baby blue 747 virtually stopping right on the runway after landing on Rwy 09R at ORD. he screwed up the whole approach sequence. The tower guy probably ripped out a lot of his hair over that one. Of course we got to do a go-around which was always a lot of fun, since we hardly ever got to do them!!!! MrBill
Derg
If your windshield is dirty...maybe they like a smoke...who knows?
treehouse4rent
Carlos Bea 0
This isn't the 1st time an over reliance on automation has lead to a crash. My guess: A percentage of manual operations below 1,000 feet will need to be implemented by the airlines. It will mitigate the lack of pilot awareness that keeps resulting from the lack thereof.
akayemm
I think I must think and behave like myself. A matured professional , groomed to always adopt an approach of scientific analysis no matter what the nature of problem is . Even prosecutors all over the world do not race down to courts WITHOUT sufficient evidence. And definitely never with half baked information. Every prosecutor worth her/his salt knows the caustic counter attacks that emerge from defense as well as not forgetting the reprimand from the bench in no uncertain terms, like adding insult to injury.
So no more participation in all these useless speculative brick batting by me!
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
There's certainly a lot of "Monday morning quarterback" activity after any crash. Some jump to conclusions, some build a hypothesis based on known information.

But among actual pilots such information is good if it gets people thinking about their own procedures and what they may be doing which needs some modification. Any tidbit of information that can later help prevent or interrupt the accident chain is a good thing.

Accedi

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