As we approach the four-year anniversary of the crash of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco, security camera footage of the entire accident has become available. The airliner approaches runway 28L from the top right corner of the video.

The Boeing 777 came in too low and its tail struck the seawall short of the runway. As the plane cartwheeled to a stop, three flight attendants seated in the back of the plane were ejected from the aircraft while still strapped to their seats. Three passengers were killed, including a young woman who was run over by a fire engine that had responded to the crash. Of the 307 passengers and crew, 187 were injured, 49 seriously. It was the first crash of a 777 in its 21 years of service.

Advertisement

While placing a portion of the blame on Boeing for not adequately describing the function of the 777's automated systems, the majority of blame was placed on the pilots and Asiana’s flight training.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the flight crew’s mismanagement of the airplane’s descent during the visual approach, the pilot flying’s unintended deactivation of automatic airspeed control, the flight crew’s inadequate monitoring of airspeed, and the flight crew’s delayed execution of a go-around after they became aware that the airplane was below acceptable glidepath and airspeed tolerances. Contributing to the accident were (1) the complexities of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems that were inadequately described in Boeing’s documentation and Asiana’s pilot training, which increased the likelihood of mode error; (2) the flight crew’s nonstandard communication and coordination regarding the use of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems; (3) the pilot flying’s inadequate training on the planning and executing of visual approaches; (4) the pilot monitoring/instructor pilot’s inadequate supervision of the pilot flying; and (5) flight crew fatigue, which likely degraded their performance.[1]:129

A recording of the tower communications can be heard here.