News

No sign automatic equipment failed in plane crash

No sign automatic equipment failed in plane crash

Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 is engulfed in smoke on the tarmac after a crash landing at San Francisco International Airport in California July 6, 2013 in this handout photo provided by passenger Eugene Anthony Rah, released to Reuters on July 8, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Eugene Anthony Rah/Handout

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – There are no signs of failure of the autopilot or other key automatic flight equipment on the Asiana plane that crashed in San Francisco last week, the head of National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday.

“There is no anomalous behavior of the autopilot, of the flight director, and of the auto-throttles, based on the FDR (flight data recorder) data reviewed to date,” NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman told a news conference, referring to the flight data recorder from the Boeing 777.

The plane, carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew from Seoul to San Francisco, hit a seawall in front of the runway on Saturday, killing two passengers and injuring 180 others.

The tail section of an Asiana Airlines plane hit a seawall in front of the runway at San Francisco International airport, and initial information from the NTSB investigation shows that it was flying much too slowly in the final stages of the approach.

The plane’s pilots have said in interviews with the NTSB that an electronic control known as an auto-throttle had been set to keep the plane flying at the proper speed, according to Hersman, and it remains unclear why the jet lost speed and why the pilots failed to notice the problem.

Hersman said the cockpit voice recorder showed that none of the three pilots on the flight deck said anything about speed until about 9 seconds before the crash. One of the pilots did raise a concern about “sink rate,” or the speed of descent, prior to that, but Hersman did not provide further details.

The charred wreckage of the plane will be cut up and removed from the airport runway beginning on Thursday evening, Hersman said.

A final report on the crash will likely come in about a year.

In five detailed press briefings since the crash, Hersman has painted a picture of a flight crew that inexplicably failed to correct a doomed approach as the plane came in too low, too slow and off-center on a clear day with little wind. She has declined to speculate on the cause of the crash.

The briefings have drawn criticism from an airline pilots union and others, who say the release of so much information from flight recorders and other sources at an early stage of the investigation has unfairly suggested the pilots were at fault.

The pilot flying the plane when it crashed was still in training for the Boeing 777, and the instructor pilot who was in charge of the aircraft was on his first flight as a trainer.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

Fresh
roseanne

A walk down Hollywood's memory lane.

in Sports

Different expectations as Warriors & Pelicans begin the NBA playoffs today on KPUG

Fresh
A logo for the NBA playoffs and official basketballs are seen on the court prior to Game 1 of an NBA basketball playoffs basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, April 21, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas.

The best-of-seven series starts at amped-up Oracle Arena, Coverage on KPUG begins at 11:30am.

in Local Sports

Gallardo, Rangers relievers shut down Mariners in 3-1 win

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo pitched six scoreless innings

in Local Sports

Lack helps Canucks top Flames 4-1, even series

A puck sits on the face-off dot during the first period of an NHL hockey game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Carolina Hurricanes, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, in Raleigh, N.C.

Daniel Sedin, Chris Higgins, Ronalds Kenins and Radim Vrbata scored for the Canucks.

in Sports

Friday’s NHL Playoff Results

FILE - In this file photo taken Sept. 17, 2012, the NHL logo is seen on a goal at a Nashville Predators practice rink in Nashville, Tenn. The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, and if a deal with the players' association isn't reached soon the whole season could be lost. The league wiped out all games through Dec. 30 in its latest round of cancellations. Negotiations between the league and the players' association broke off last week, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Sunday the sides are trying to restart talks this week.

Capitals, Canadiens, Predators and Canucks all win tonights games.