• Join FlightAware (Why Join?)
  • Login
  • US Flag 
06:34AM EDT


 

Airport Tracker/Info


-or-


 

Squawks & HeadlinesAsiana to proceed with TV station suit -- but NTSB off the hook

Back to Squawk list

Asiana to proceed with TV station suit -- but NTSB off the hook

Submitted
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- Asiana Airlines says it will proceed with its planned lawsuit against an Oakland, California, television station -- but it's not going to pursue legal action against the National Transportation Safety Board. Over the weekend, the Korean airlines had said it would sue both entities after an intern at the NTSB mistakenly confirmed "inaccurate and offensive" names as those of the pilots of ill-fated Flight 214. (www.cnn.com) More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]


WALLACE24
WALLACE24 7
Those names "damaged the reputation of the pilots and the airline".... REALLY
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Interesting thought to me as well... LOL, there name was not much to begin with.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 7
Asiana should concentrate on getting their planes into the sky and back down to the ground safely, and completely revamp their pilot training. They shouldn't be worrying about a prankster's joke.

Asisna's reputation is in the tank, but it's all their own doing, and had nothing to do with this prank. Their reputation couldn't get any worse than it already is this week, no matter any prank that is committed.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
Right you are.
In their pathetic condition, what else can they think of ? Another stupidity! No one will be a greater fool to rush to a court of law with such a petty issue only to fall flat on their face ! Thus adding insult to injury, further damage to an already damaged and tarnished image.
And, as suggested by you, they must and have to concentrate on their pilot training programs and ethics.
Their reputation is at stake as well their national honour in various ways!
More over, in my humble opinion, simultaneously air safety agencies all over the world must unite and frame common guidelines to frame rules of pilot training and refresher courses as well testing, whether on 'job' basis or/and simulator basis. All this on periodic and statutory basis.
Further, once or twice a year every airport all over the world must be "instructed" to switch off their ILS for a few weeks AFTER advance notice so that EVERY pilot undergoes 'self orientation' for manual operations. And as an abundant precaution, the ATC including intermediate ATCs can also fore warn or remind the approaching AC of this fact about manual landing.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 5
I'd have to agree with Torsten, you don't want anh perfectly functioning ILS systems not on, if at all possible.

The situation at SFO was that for one or more runways the ILS was off for a few weeks due to a construction project.

Having a PIC demonstrate manual piloting skills with a FSO periodically is totally fine by me. In addition, a pilot should perform manual take-offs and landings regularly to maintain skills.

That Saturday of the crash would've been a great day to land manually, even if the ILS had been fully operational. Regularly exercising manual piloting skills means that when a pilot arrives at a facility without ILS on a particular runway, the pilot won't get anxious about completing a routine landing.

Had the weather been unpleasant, SFO would likely have switched landings to a runway with operational ILS. Otherwise, operations would've likely backed up, causing flight delays for departures and arrivals, moreso without ILS than with.

So:
There's no reason to turn off ILS for safety.
But every reason for pilots to land manually on a regular basis, when the conditions permit.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
The ILS was not turned off for safety. It was due to the construction.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Mitral suggesting turning off perfectly good ILS systems for safety, inessence to force pilots to be able to land manually.

It was widely recognized to be a very bad idea to turn off a safety feature of many major airports' runways in the name of safety.

I understand the desire to get pilots to use their manual flying skills. The motivation to learn and maintain manual flying needs to be something other than regular deactivating of perfectly good ILS approaches.

Pilots can perform manual flight operations, even with ILS on. But you need airline pilot training, airline policy and regulator policy to support the importance of good flying skills.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Buddy, all said and done, how do you handle a situation like the present which can happen any where and may last for any length of time. The ILS at the SFO was down for many days earlier. AND, all airlines were landing their aircrafts safely. Even this ASIANA 214 flight which is daily flight had been brought safely by Asians's pilots till the fateful day.
So why and how THESE pilots faltered and no one else till then? Including their own Koreans who flew in on previous days!
These are some of the questions which will weigh VERY heavily on all agencies, NTSB, FAA,Asiana(internally) and lastly the Courts. And Asiana and the pilots in question may have tough time answering them.
I seek enlightenment!
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I read but did not verify that the Asiana 214 flight from the day before the crash performed a go around.

I suspect that if you look at the data from all the Asiana flights, and likely other airlines that don't value manual piloting skills, you will find more go arounds during this time that ILS is down for construction. You will also find other approaches that are erratic, unstable and departing from normal in some way.

I would guess the NTSB is looking at that data now. I would.

Before issuing recommendations, it's a good idea to look at the data and figure out how big the problem really is.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 2
>> Further, once or twice a year every airport all over the world must be "instructed" to switch off their ILS for a few weeks AFTER advance notice so that EVERY pilot undergoes 'self orientation' for manual operations. And as an abundant precaution, the ATC including intermediate ATCs can also fore warn or remind the approaching AC of this fact about manual landing.

Not sure if serious...
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
Sorry , " Not sure if serious..." meaning what ?
I am told that at SFO during this crash ILS was off for some time(months) !
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 2
How about the airlines simply have the PIC fly the plane with a FSO supervising rather than turning off what is arguably the most crucial aid for safe landings?
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
If you mean pilot in charge/command and flight safety officer , then I differ strongly. Similar was the case here if not same. Let us see facts also. The ILS was off at SFO for quite some time already for what ever reasons, right or wrong. And this Asiana 214 was not the first flight that landed AFTER the ILS stopped working. And no body complained, at least not formally or to the Competent Authority like FAA and/or NTSB ! Then what to do? And such are the situations I am aiming at.
One of the knowledgeable guys of this portal very well familiar with aviation (PhotoFinish) has also tried to address the 'mental cramps' (my terminology) that develop due to incessant use of automation. And as a result pilots loose the ability and/or reflexes to handle emergencies or exigencies like this.
Unless made part of the statutory routine, no human will comply voluntarily. Irrespective of culture or any category. In certain ways all humans all over the world are alike.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
I still don't believe that turning off vital flight safety equipment is the key to improving the situation. Not using it as part of training is one thing, turning it off is something else entirely. Imagine the lawsuits that would arise from a mishap, whether they are actually caused by the lack of available ILS or not.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
What you and I are talking is all hypothetical. So let us forget it.
But, what is your take on current reality that ILS at SFO is NOT working since many weeks? And aircrafts are landing, no body complaining.
And no more blogs from me on this . I am not here to get your 'yes'. You may or may not respond. Your choice.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Not serious at all... It was scheduled out of service and had to bearing on the safety of flight. Systems fail, and you have to be prepared for that... If the ILS was bad on the plane they should recognize it before landing, but they knew long before the arrival that they would not being using this ILS because it was published out of service. The SFO ILS is a mute issue.. No one else crashed because of it.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, Brother Mittal, you are the lawyer, but last I heard on DEFAMATION, there had to be INTENT shown, which was clearly not in this case. Good old American sarcasm at work. As gar as the manual flying skills, the FAA put out an ADVISORY to 121 carriers a few months back that they ought to incorporate more manual flying into their training regimens, for this very reason. As it was just an advisory, sort of suggestion, I don't know whether any have or not.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear friend, like I stated else where, in the world of socio-political satire and humour twisting names is very much a part of cartoon and sarcasm business. And extent of this freedom is determined by the level of freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed by the Constitution of the land. We live in a 'global village' and we have be tolerant to a certain degree. This is one such case.
Do we not know how words in one language including dialects, spelling wise or phonetically, can mean differently when considered in another language or dialect? Even the same word in different context can have different meaning? To top it how about the art of punning, a science totally based on twisting the words or/and their meaning?
These all and many more plus the post event steps taken by the TV company will weigh heavily against the Asiana people. Hence I say categorically, their petition will fail miserably, and the lawyer/counsel/attorney who chooses to go ahead will only be doing so to make a living for her/himself. Because if s/he does not do it some one else will do it for same pecuniary reasons.
And I echo your views about the 'advance advisory'. These pilots knew about ILS non functionality at the SFO much before they took on the 'non stop' flight. The Asiana 214 is a daily flight, right? So prior to this day how their brethren had been landing the similar B-777 in SFO?
The fault squarely lies on the Airline in general and these pilots in particular. And they will have to bear the consequences no matter what they try, whether inside or out side the Court of Law.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
I would think a more reasoned approach would be to ignore it. Let it settle on its own, not pour oil on troubled fires.
rayksaintange
Asian Airlines said the pilot's name is Lee Kang-Kuk, and said his name is not "Sum Ting Wong" as KTVU reported. Asiana needs to focus on issues at hand and not be distracted at this point in time. It need not have happened and the serious incident that has happened should drive the airline forward. As for the names, accept the apology and remain focused. On another matter..am I reading the name as he can cook?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
"Not sure if serious?" was pertaining to the suggestion to turn off perfectly good, functioning ILS systems at other airports.

The answer us obviously no. You don't rid of inadequately capable pilots by subjecting planefuls of passengers to potential death to weed out the bad pilots.

There are better ways to ensure that pilots get adequate manual training/ skills maintenance.

But as far as whether ILS being out at SFO is serious or not, sparked nailed it. it had been out already for a month or two. I would think that it had been discussed within Asiana and Korean Air pilots circles.

If I were new to type, I would've sent lots of extra hours on the sim practicing manual landings, especially if I were scheduled to fly into an airport with ILS down on some
runways. The 777 tends to fly into larger airports, the ones that tend to have ILS. So it is possible this was this incident was the training pilot's first manual landing of the 777 ever outside of a sim environment. (although I do not recall that being reported as such by any credible source: NTSB, Asiana, etc.) although he was type rated for the 737, and 747, it had been years since he was at the controls in a Boeing. It had also been years since he's landed at SFO. He spent years on the A320. Asiana doesn't fly A320s into SFO. Years on A320s clearly softened up his flying skills.

The lack of ILS only provided the opportunity to illustrate the deteriorated skills.

[On a side note, how automated can the 747 landings be? Could the pilot have flown the 747 type for years without ever performing a manual landing at SFO?]
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 2
There is just Sum Ting Wong about all this.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
For some, best form of defense is offence. But ironically they have no case so they try to find flimsiest of excuses to protect themselves from the wrath from the obvious quarters.
And did you say 'cook'? Another storm in the tea cup! Eh?
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
They have no case in this case or the botched landing... LOL, Problems come in 3's. They have 2 down, just have to wait for the next one.... LOL
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I think that if "Sum Ting Wong" was in the cockpit instead of "Wi Tu Lo" maybe they would have gotten out of it.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
I have Q if permitted. There are many airfields in the world where ILS isn't there. Another category, ILS is there but becomes dysfunctional, like the current case, as well as my home town New Delhi,India where during winter for reasons unknown to me ILS fails to help.
How landing is achieved?
This dysfunctionality can happen any time and can last for any reasonable length of time. Pilots HAVE to be trained and subsequently ready for all eventualities as many as experience and history can expose or teach.
From the commencement of 'fly by wire' I had learnt that pilots DO undergo training for last minute take over of the command in case any wrong doing by 'Mr. Computer'. And all were told of the lead time or the reaction time of change over too. And accordingly to keep margin of this 'time' by keeping a 'hawk's eye' on instruments, hoping for the best but ready for the worst!
In the same breath, another Q. Aren't there many AC's, turbo-prop and jets, not capable for ILS? How pilots fly them? Also, does the simulator of the modern jets NOT test for manual landings or take offs before the examinee is let off? Whether as part of type/class test or as refresher routine?
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
LOL, who ever said the world was reasonable...
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Hol Eee &&&&
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Wi Pu Lup could have been a help as could fli di plan
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Phineas Thomas Barnum?
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
LOL... With all these aviation names.. LOL, they should be able to fly any plane.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
LOL... Nice.. From a circus no less.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
The concerned agencies have apologized formally and have ordered to proceed with disciplinary action against the defaulters. What else do they(Airline) want? Any further insistence will only lead to their mockery through the media because they will FAIL in the court of law, what ever be their demand before or prayer to the court!
DUTCH750i
Can someone explain to me the following: The pilots were allowed to return to Korea after they possibly made a major mistake and possibly were the origin of the death of at least 2 passengers. How is this possible, are there laws that allow pilots to return home after a crash or accident occurs?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
They were so, so close to having a smooth uneventful landing.

Had they come in at 2400 at DUYET (that would be 600fy above the GS),, they may have glided all the way in with engines idling and a descent rate of about 400 per nm, stalling only after pulling up the nose to put the main landing gear down on the runway. If you're going to run out of go, it would be awesome to have it happen right when you planned to put down the aircraft.

If they had passed DUYET at the prescribed 1800, an descended at 300ft per nm. This descent rate needs more power than idling engines provide. So they would've noticed the decaying airspeed and altitude much sooner. A minute earlier yet would've either fixed their approach or gone around. On the seond approach they wouldn't have not noticed the airspeed, altitude, and autothrottles. They'd be hyperaware because of having missed the auto throttle setting on the first approach. The instructor might've even made it into an important learning moment. Nit only remembering it for future check rides, but fir his own flying as well.

As it is, they made alternations in their approach in the last minute. The new approach configuration was unstable without power (idling engines). They were too close to the ground. If they didn't notice in the first few seconds, it would e too late to recover before a crash. The rest is history.

If either pilot had noticed the decaying speed or altitude 15 seconds earlier or more,and done something about it right away, they might've still been able to have a likely smooth landing. At least a pilot, who puts his aircraft down manually on a regular basis would've.

My point is the difference between smooth landing and tragic crash come don to only seconds. How many flights come down just barely on the untragic side of those seconds. Hoe many pilots have 'oh shit' moments, and are sonlad to just barely make it through without an ugly incident.

These guys may not be significantly worse than most of their colleagues. Remember, at the end of a 10-hour flight, they missed a crucial aspect of their professional duties and were only 15-30 seconds late in noticing, but it was the wrong 15-30 seconds to not monitor airspeed and altitude. I get the impression that at any other time in the flight these two would've been able to get their plane and themselves out of that pickle. The laws of physics just didn't allow it. At the moment they finally noticed, it was too late.

It would be wrong to only single out these guys for their unforgivable mistake, and not take steps to help their colleagues avoid a potential similar incident in the future.

BTW At the time of the crash, the ILS had been out for weeks and was scheduled to be out until August.

Turning off other functioning ILS systems may uncover another set of pilots who crash tbeir airplane. But that's no way to weed out bad pilots. A better alternative would be pilot training, coupled with company policy that facilitated the acquisition and maintenance of manual flying skills.
canuck44
John Donaldson 1
Lead counsel will be Wi Su U, Esq. assisted by Ms. Hu Wi Soo.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
In the world of society oriented cartoons and satire it is very common to twist names to mock some one or a class people. And no body talks of suing. this is true for all countries, to the extent of freedom of speech and expression available in that society.
What is different here?
It is clearly a case of misguided society. And an excuse for the airline management to digress from the main issue at hand. Why even some people are speaking against the mockery of names? Because they too are feeling let down by their own fellow country men. By way of basic action as well as by the observations made by relating to training system prevailing in Korea as revealed by experts.
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
Yep, those fake names were WAY more embarassing to Asiana than something like its experienced crews making a bit of a boo-boo when landing one of its aircraft. Good to see they have their priorities straight.

The idiots at the Fox TV station should face the consequences of their stupidity, but the FCC can and should handle that. I worked in broadcasting including in management at stations in two countries and heads should roll for what they did, but it's ridiculous that Asiana should be more worried about it than about how the crash could have happened.
jpcooper
Peter Cooper 1
" damaged the reputation of the pilots and the airline ".......I would have thought the sight of a totally destroyed near new B 777 would not have done too much to enhance the reputation of the pilots and/or the airline. Early investigation results suggest it looks like pilot error and smells like pilot error....not too sure how muck lower the public perception of both pilots and the airline could go at the moment. As an aside, can the FAA impose any restrictions on Airlines flying into the US where it can be proven that the quality of the pilot "training" is simply not up to the standard expected ?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
There's a fairly robust system of on-going pilot training, certifications, re-certifications, check rides, sim use for new aircraft type, flying with instructor pilots for your early flights in type, etc.

So the question is not whether there is pilot training, but what is being taught specifically and differing philosophies on aircraft piloting in general. For example there is a debate about whether pilots should need to have manual flying skills or whether they should just be better systems managers. Some piloting philosophies believe that automation is better at piloting planes than humans so it leads to teaching different skills than under a philosophy of the human piloting the plane with automation as a tool available for certain operations.

So you first have to get the pilots and their trainers to agree that being able to pilot a plane by hand is important. Whether in the case of automation failure, or to have situational awareness to not let the automation crash the plane and/or not crash the plane when the plane feedback goes against basic piloting fundamentals.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
They have not been charged... Atleast not yet.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Yes, right you are. Like I have been saying repeatedly, during the times of introduction of 'automation' EVERY training was supposed to include the manual operation as an emergency maneuver. Last minute take over command by humans from Mr. Computer.
Ways will have to be found to insist on training on manual operation and acquire HIGH degree of dexterity.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
There are a lot of misspoken on purpose names... I don't see AirBus suing for people calling them ScareBus, or the old usair being called and the list goes on...
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
There is not many that don't have an "Ah Sh?t" moment.... We have them in maintenance as well...
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
"heads will roll"

The TV station got the names confirmed by the NTSB. what better source is there for confirmation of any crash aircraft info? Everyone at the station should be fine. That did their due diligence.

Now if you can prove that someone at the station intentionally created thee names, that might bs a different story. Good luck trying to prove that.

At the NTSB, that summer intern that confirmed the story will likely be fired (that is unless he gave name Benjamin Dover). Even if he gets fired, he'll have the best "what I did for summer vacation story."

I don't doubt the sincerity of most of those being outraged by the tongue in cheek humor because of the ethnic nature. But sometimes you must be able to laugh at yourself and your ethnicity. There would be no stand up comedy otherwise. Laughter is good for the soul, and apparently they've discovered it's also good for your physical health. Most can also understand that it helps blow off tension and can be a great salve for mental and psychological well-being.

PC sensitivities can be overdone sometimes. We can't be afraid of laughter. We should be worried more about hatred or incompetence.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I think they can put this in the "EPIC FAIL" category.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Do not worry Pal, they(Pilots and the Airline) are legally liable to be available 'always' to attend to inquiries and proceedings related to this accident. Whether the subject matter relates to accident or the damages.
Any failure will attract severe legal implications. And the pilots as well as the Top Brass of the airline can be put behind the bar in no time. There will be no escape.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
The FAA/ federal government can impose whatever restrictions it wants. All foreign nationals coming into the country legally are let in by the Feds ( including terrorists, subversives, criminals, pilots, etc).
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear Friend, sorry for repeating a question or observation. The ILS at SFO was not working for weeks. Yet pilots flying ALL kinds of aircrafts were successfully landing. Again, pilots of even Asiana 214, a daily flight, had been landing B777 TILL 5th July safely. Knowing that SFO is a fairly busy terminal, even some flights must have landed minutes before this particular aircraft on the same runway.
Why and how?
So what was so different at that fateful precise moment for this specific aircraft?
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I think Wi Su has a branch office here in the US... By the looks of things, they stay pretty busy on petty things that makes no sense.
preacher1
preacher1 1
It is comical.LOL
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
P.S. - Thus one can not find fault with the training system at Asiana nor the attitudanl error of the Koreans/Orientals/Asians!
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I am not sure what is funnier... Them suing because of the statment, or the published statement it self.... LOL, I am lauging at both of them.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
How right you are my friend! Bull's eye!
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Goofed my own replay.. I meant to say USAir being called UselessAir.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Good point... Look at what all got confirmed in the TWA800... Only thing that I see confirmed that the NTSB can be influenced by outside sources... If they are not careful they are going to loose too much credibility. Call it like it is. The pilots totally screwed up and close the case.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
How can you not fault the training system when the trainers them selves said that they do not like to do manual flying and it is not one of their larger subjects (reworded, same comment). How can you have a training department that does not teach how to land and takeoff proficiently in any and all a/c that they actively fly. The training department screwed up, and ALL of their pilots should be grounded until more simulator time with LOTS of hands on flying.... PERIOD.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I disagree... They have stated that they avoid a lot of manual flying, and I consider that a major fault.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I'd have to agree with sparkie.

It's not a problem unique to the Korean carriers, though is certainly present there.

In Korea the problem stems from hiring pilots without prior experience (fast growth airline growth rates and no large pool of GA pilots to hire from in their country). Then they train them to be systems monitors, rather than pilots. No problem if everything goes right. Unfortunately, everything can go to crap really fast. Then the problem is exacerbated with socially influenced CRM deficiency and their social difficulty in pointing out mistakes of a superior, which is an essential aspect of cockpit communication.

It a similar problem that you'll see at many airlines that have all or mostly Airbus equipment. The pilots develop the mindset of system monitors and forget to be pilots.

The Airbus is built more for automation and system monitors. Even Boeings come with lots of automation. Automation is good when you need it (eg at cruising altitude or landing in conditions) but the cockpit is built for flying.

The Airbus is built with a different philosophy. While the planes are sturdy (with possible exception of the A300), their cockpits come with joysticks rather than yokes. That shows the lower priority that Airbus engineers give to piloting (vs systems monitoring).

I still think it would be great for Korean pilots to take a few weeks (paid by their company or on their own dime) to travel to US and hand fly small C172s without any glass. Actually learning real piloting would do wonders for their situational awareness in unexpected circumstances, where the pilot's ability to think clearly will be most important.

The French AirFrance 447 pilot would not have stalled his plane from all the way from FL350 into the ocean, if he were a pilot and not just a systems monitor. A bunch of real stall exercises in a Cessna with just him and an instructor would've given him the confidence to take more appropriate action the airliner.

If the Korean pilots of Asiana 214 regurly hand flew planes (no matter if Cessnas, 777s, or A320), they would've have forgotten to monitor airspeed and altitude on final.

Piloting skills ate still important for pilots. not in spite of automation but because of it. Automation is great but not perfect. When something goes wrong, I want pilots in the front that know more than plane and who have better cognitive skills than the plane and have better flying skills than the plane.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
But my question is not answered and hence my doubt remains.
1. Asiana 214 flight is a daily flight and deploys B-777 every time. Right? Wrong?
2. As a standard routine, every pilot of every Asiana 214 flight knows the status of ILS at SFO well BEFORE departing from Seoul(Incheon Intn'l) for SFO. Right? Wrong?
3. Till noon of 5th July and since the time ILS at SFO got under repair, the Korean pilots of Asiana were landing theirs birds safely, whether under protest or not. Right? Wrong?
4. All pilots of Asiana supposedly follow the same operational and professional ethics guided by common organisational culture. Right? Wrong?
5. All students of the same institution, same class, same subject taught by same teacher perform differently. In class, in profession. Right? Wrong?
6. So if one or some specific persons fail to perform, the blame wrests squarely on the defaulting persons. And not on the whole class/group or teacher or the Institution. Right? Wrong?

PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I answered your question directly above.

The proficiency in flying manual (or lack thereof) in endemic in that institution and the other national airline of the subject country. They just give it little priority.

The only difference is that these pilots' troubles resulted in a crash and some other didn't. Bi OT could've easily been reversed. Some other crew could've just barely crashed and this crew could've just barely made it.

Call it luck of the draw. These guys are probably not substantially worse than their colleagues, nor their colleagues substantially worse.

The failure happened in the space of 15-30 seconds. If they had only noticed as few as 5-10 seconds sooner they would've been able tonpull the plane out and tried again or been able to land uneventfully. Some other crew could've been lucky to have noticed only a few seconds earlier. But it could've been easily reversed.

Clearly the training in inadequate.

The very first words out of the CEO's mouth: nothing wrong with plane, we're going to improve training.

I'm sure this issue was widely known by the executives in charge of the airline (eg CEO, Chief Pilot, etc.) They may have wondered how significant an issue it was. The crash answered any lingering questions about the seriousness.

I would expect that they are working behind closed doors (not only at Asiana but only Korean Air) to prevent such an incident in the future. I can't guarded that their fix will be adequate. But it is clear that they wouldn't want a repeat.

They have 2 significant issues to deal with:
1) manual piloting skills
2) CRM in the cockpit

This is true irrespective of the specific findings of this crash. The crash only highlighted issues that were there, and will continue to be there until the airline takes specifics steps to overcome these deficiencies.

There have been improvements over the years. Just not enough. We can't wait for another crash before they correct the deficiencies.

Wayne is doubtful they'll get it right. This crash is supportive evidence of them not getting it right despite much outside consultative effort to correct these known deficiencies.

I'm hoping Wayne's wrong.

An airline's star pilots can't be crashing perfectly good airliners in perfect weather. They were both instructor pilots. One an instructor on 777. The other had been an instructor on the A320.

That this happened to their best is instructive about the seriousness of the underlying issue.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Your question above: "So what was so different at that fateful precise moment for this specific aircraft?"
To my way of thinking (or lack thereof) the difference from all the others in recent history is this particular 1) aircraft, 2) aircrew, and 3) time of day.
What makes these different is the crux of the investigation and we await the report. Another question might be "how many near misses have there been that don't make the news?"
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
ThanX for being precise. I too hold same view. Yes prima facie, these specific pilots were wrong. But wait for final and concrete and full details. You may agree that during trial, many guys will be called to testify before the Court. Chairman of Asiana plus many many more from the organisation and many non Asiana personnel.
This is one of the rare air crashes with SO much of evidence available, almost as much as possible, socially and technologically.
AND do not blame a class or group as a whole.
Or else, this bias which I notice on this forum may transgress into else where and vitiate the trial as and when it commences.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
* These guys are probably not substantially worse than their colleagues, nor their colleagues substantially BETTER.

Throwing these guys under the bus won't fix any if the structural problems with their airline's training and pilot proficiency.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying these guys did not perform horribly. I'm saying their colleagues are likely not much different.

My main concern is to fix the problem an avoid safety issues in the future. Had been since day one.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
So you mean that ALL pilots of earlier Asiana 214 were as bad. Assuming ILS was bad since 30 days as on 6th July, so as many flights of Asiana 214 with a deployment of 10 to 15 different pilots on this route roaster, all are as incompetent. All previous flights landed safely because ALL 10-15 pilots were just lucky. A strongly biased remark!
Wait and watch, many pilots of previous flights will ALSO be called to depose before the Court to assess their perception during landing vis-a-vis the perception of the specific pilots during landing of the flight in question. This number can be a few of them on random selection basis to each one of them. If I were to be the Judge or defense Counsel, I shall call for ALL pilots for better and objective understanding.
And wait for Court's observation/verdict on this score.
Then I will ask you and your expert but similarly biased colleagues the SAME question. And your answer will be different though guarded, I am sure.
Please pardon my language if found lacking in softness!
Diplomatic language has never been my virtue.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
The reality is that ONE flight crew failed to monitor airspeed and altitude on final approach resulting in the hull loss of the plane they were entrusted and many severe injuries and 3 deaths of their passengers. They must be responsible for their own performance. At the end if the day, no matter what institutionally deficient pilot training/ flying philosophy and culturally influenced CRM deficiencies that may be an issue to overcome for their organization, it was these specific individuals - the pilots at the command of this specific aircraft on this specific day and failed to bring her down safely and in one piece, despite it being a beautiful sunny day.

So there is no excuse for them. No matter the underlying contributing factors, they failed. Even if it could've easily been some other colleagues on a different day who crashed a plane in good weather instead, it was them who did.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
So while you seem stuck on determining culpability, I'm trying to parce out what happened and why, so that we can avoid a repeat.

But which crew crashed or not, doesn't inform who needs additional pilot training, and who needs to learn manual flying skills or reinforce the same. Other crews could be making the same or worse mistakes, but have been lucky in the timing. 

I've mentioned above that the same crew (or another) might've accidently brought the plane down smoothly with the engines in idle had they started at 2400 at the outer marker instead of 2200 (actual) or 1800 (recommended). They would'vd made the same mistake and maybe not even notice. The landing could easily have been smooth as butter. No crash but SAME level of proficiency deficiency.

This same crew (or another) could been at specified 1800 altitude, and would've continued with the less steep recommended glide slope. In that case, they would've discovered their engine idling mistake much sooner. They would've added power, made corrections and landed, or gone around without incident.

So many pilots could "be afraid" of a routine manual landing on a sunny day, and make a small but crucial mistake. In many other scenarios, they would've had much tine to discover the mistake and recover from it.

On the day in question, since change in configuration was so late in the flight (literally the last minute of flight) they had limited time to correct any mistakes. As it is, it seems they did not notice the mistake until it was too late to recover.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
The culpability is iron-clad, so there is no point to a dishonorable defense. Any defense that brings additional shame to colleagues and employing airline, will only magnify the shame of the flight crew, and show them to gave bad character.

So, let's start with the mistakes. There were several which combined to crash the plane, injure do many and kill three:

1. They failed to activate the auto-throttles (when disconnecting the auto-pilot.) they thought the auto-throttles were controlling airspeed.
1b. Or alternatively they failled to maintain the speed (either manually or through automation)
1c. This mistake happened no later than DUYET.

2. The next mistake is that they made a change to the approach configuration to adjust the level of descent late in flight (under 600ft, less than a minute of flight). The approach was unstable. Ideally you want your approach stabilized with a unchanging approach for a good distance so that you have time to make adjustments early, and have a stable unchanging approach that will bring the plane down right on the runway hash marks.

3. They failed to monitor airspeed and altitude on final approach. There was no other function in those last 2 minutes of approach (from 2200ft at DUYET to the crash at the seawall) that was more important than monitoring airspeed and altitude.

4. The plane wasn't lined up with the centerline of runway. With such light winds, this should've been easy. While this was not one of the three mistakes that directly caused the plane to crash in the wrong location, it may have been a distraction in the cockpit that took attention away from essential job responsibilities.

There is no way to excuse these fellows.

Culturally they may be expected to fall on their own sword, rather than bring additional shame to their colleagues and airline by mounting a dishonorable defense that throws their colleagues and airline under the bus. Doing so would only magnify their own shame.

You couldn't mount such a destructive defense without the permission of the defendants. I couldn't see them agreeing to do so. They would dishonor what is left of their name. Beyond making a mistake (anyone could make a mistake), they would've shown bad character to dishonor the friends and work colleagues. Suicide would be much preferable to that shameful defense.

Lastly, I suggest, if one is not stuck in the legalistic thinking, it frees up one's mind to find the best solution.

The problem is not that a plane crashed on a beautiful sunny day. The problem is that planes can crash still on beautiful sunny days.

The solution arises not from from assigning culpability to the flight crew (or not), but in figuring out the factors that contributed to the crash and that still contribute to the possibility of another crash in the future. Once identified, steps can be taken to rectify those. 

Note that I am silent on the issue of punishment. Some make a case for. String them up so that future pilots will be more careful. Some make a case against. Full cooperation aids in the understanding of the incident. 
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
My sincere gratitude for you tolerance. Also, for ONLY referring to these specific pilots in your blog.
Let me add and you will agree that as a routine some ATCs will also be investigated against. Those present during the landing of Asiana 214 on the fateful day and on other days.
Yes, as a routine the training system will be checked and there after the whole of CRM ! All this during investigation, and later in the Court. More thread bare than the proverbial 'birth day suit'.
So thanX for your patience and no more (counter) arguments by me.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Beginning from the end. Quantum of punishment and compensation, an issue for a much later stage and for Judge to decide in consultation with parties involved, victims , Airline, Airport Authorities, and some more, but not the Pilots.
All other points, even as a lay man, I wonder what can be the possible defense, esp. of the pilots?
No doubt, Court will definitely be interested to show its concern towards general air safety and hence safety of passengers. And infact, well before the time the Court proceedings are over, NTSB and others, each one would have made and put into practice some work sheet of procedures related to safety, the kind which should have been there on 6th July, 2013.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
What should've been there on July 6th was the proficiency of the pilots to land their aircraft manually on a beautiful sunny day without incident. All other matters are secondary to pilot proficiency on the flight deck.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
I agree with what you are aiming at. This will be the main focus of every one. How to avoid such 'follies'from being repeated? Even partially.
Is there any mandatory requirement of periodic refresher 'training' through simulators for pilots? And is it recorded in their personal log books? If no, chances are NOW it will be made mandatory. If yes, they will like to know the details of schedule of such training and suggest improvements. For EVERY pilot on earth, of every fly-by-wire aircraft.
Like I had stated else where I distinctly remember that when this innovation of fly-by-wire was introduced, voice of doubt and concern was raised about a situation when system fails to perform properly OR due some circumstances the programme has to be changed/modified. In that context, it emerged that a specified known time lag has to be considered BEFORE changes can be made or take effect.
And secondly, the Pilot can take over the command and operate 'manually'and without time lag.
All this will be reiterated to be put in the new regime of training and 'refresher training'.
This is and should be a common sense method, amongst many others.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
A response to your question about pilot training was added above.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Yes, seen, understood, and commented on too. ThanX

[This poster has been suspended.]

sparkie624
sparkie624 1
LOL, I used to work with a TV Station.. A fly on the wall may not be the best place.... I am sure it is quite explosive, and not to calm down soon.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
It is funny anyway you slice it. No different than redneck jokes by Jeff Foxworthy. PC is ridiculous.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Politically correct... I am only that way when polically correct is funny...Otherwise it is just not worth it.
Alex13
Alejandro S -1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Asiana Airlines Considers Suing NTSB And KTVU Television Station For Naming Pilot As "Sum Ting Wong"

Asiana Airlines has began considering suing the NTSB and the San Francisco television station KTVU over what it calls "offensive", "inaccurate" and "discriminatory" actions in the aftermath of the crash of Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco by naming the pilots on board as "We Tu Lo" and "Sum Ting Wong"...

http://www.thefloridanewsjournal.com/2013/07/14/asiana-airlines-considers-suing-ntsb-and-ktvu-television-station-naming-pilot-we-too-low