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Squawks & HeadlinesWill firefighter be charged after Asiana crash? Case is in prosecutor's hands

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Will firefighter be charged after Asiana crash? Case is in prosecutor's hands

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uthorities have completed an investigation into the death of a 16-year-old girl who survived the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco, only to be run over by a fire truck. The case is now in the hands of the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, which will decide whether the firefighter involved will face charges, CNN affiliate KPIX reported Wednesday. (www.cnn.com) More...

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murrayhill3
Jim Murray 24
Wouldn't it be appropriate for the Korean pilots who caused the crash and indirectly the girl's death to claim responsibility for their ineptitude in the landing at SFO? It was, after all, their fault. The firefighters were doing their job.
NotAPilotJustLikeUrNews
Kat Rose 2
Yeah! But shoot man people have to sue or blame someone...poor rescue responder prob has nightmares.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Why must they? The odds of winning at legal lotto (our tort system) aren't much different that those of Powerball. Unless you have a JD.
NotAPilotJustLikeUrNews
Kat Rose 3
Lol no I think we are thinking the same thing, Im just being unclear and vague, sorry. I heard the family was suing the firefighter responder, which is ridiculous. Stupid humans are sue-happy and for what?! in this case...not bringing their angel back, wont their airline pay out damages to help funeral costs?
preacher1
preacher1 2
Yeah, probably so, but after a bit the human part takes over and we have had it ingrained into our heads that companies and municipalities, insurance companies etc have deep pockets and we are entitled to part of that for PAIN & SUFFERING.
james801
James Farnsworth Staff Writer 1
Yep that’s why out of 7 out of 10 ads on TV are for some lowlife attorney. If you have a real case any local well respected attorney would take your case. But some people make good money faking stuff. I have had FCCI on W/C cases if it is less than 10-12K they just pay it since it cost more to fight it.
preacher1
preacher1 1
That's the sad part and in those cases, the one paying the insurance premium has no choice in the matter, and you just wind up with a black mark on your rating.
bbabis
Bill Babis 8
Hopefully this will get nipped in the bud quickly. With a jury, particularly a California jury, anything can happen when slick lawyers preach to bleeding hearts. The result of having a lawsuit, even if no conviction, will be CYA policies being put into affect by first responders that then put future crash survivors at risk. A slow calculated approach to an accident scene sounds good until a sudden fire flare up snuffs out a hundred lives in a second.
Derg
Roland Dent 10
God be with this fire fighting team.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 8
"Authorities have completed an investigation into the death of a 16-year-old girl who survived the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco..."

"A California coroner ruled that Ye Mengyuan was alive when she was flung from the plane that crash landed at San Francisco International Airport in July..."

Let's not forget that it was a violent plane crash that flung her from the plane, that broke her body, and left her unresponsive on the airfield, with a undetermined amount of life left. It was not a fire fighter that was at the controls of the airliner, that inexcusably crashed a perfectly good airliner in a beautiful clear afternoon with no adverse weather.

Let's not lose sight of the real cause of that hardship that day.

The only thing any of fire fighters did that was questionable was to choose not to interrupt their fire fighting of an active fire on an long-haul aircraft that had just crashed on one of their airport's runways and broken apart and was at the moment actively involved with a growing fire, to stop and check whether the seemingly lifeless body that was left for dead by all other passengers and flight crew, was actually dead.

Keep in mind, that wasn't the fire fighter driving the fire apparatus over her when she was covered in foam. You can't blame a person for not seeing an unresponsive body covered in foam.

Remember also that it is standard procedure to ignore deceased victims in a mass casualty incident. The idea is to focus the limited resources in those individuals that can be saved and can most benefit from immediate attention. Typically those are the most severely injured who are still alive and would likely survive long enough to be treated.

So the only error was an act of omission, seeing the body on the airfield and failing to check whether the girl was actually already dead or merely dying.
priles
Les Price 4
It's so unfortunate that the law states someone HAS to be responsible. This was an unfortunate accident brought on by another unfortunate accident. Key word?...accident.
Leave the firefighters alone.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Law does not mandate so, not in cases of accidents, if they are declared so !
R123154
R123154 3
How sad this is to me,here you have a person who wants nothing more than to save someones life and strives to do so.Because of a flight crew that completly lost awarness of their aircrafts performance and caused a crash and for a person who only cares about saving as many as possible to be charged for the accident unfortunate as it is to possibly be charged,I just don't know folks,I just don't know. I admit I dont have any info about this but as an outsider looking in I say that it is a sad situation.To the family that lost a child it is even worse and what is the answer for all these people.Lord only knows.
tbpera
Tom Pera 3
Hey, Mittal....business slow? do you really have this much time to waste on this issue...?
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -1
Apparently not liking my such frequent contributions . Eh ?
Like any one and every one, I am here to give my views on topics as I see them .
Ans as in other cases, it can be right or wrong.
No one, I repeat no one, has the merit or authority to be judgemental .
Every one speaks on the basis of assumptions and half baked facts ! In the absence of any formal and official reports.
Do you not notice that NTSB has been giving briefings BUT highly guarded type, full of caveats.
The commentators can not be even closer to them .
So comment with caution my friend.
ccthorp
ccthorp -2
Thumbs up to you Mittal!
Daveroo
we "the people" should sue Asiana airlines for allowing their crew to crash that airplane.

imma shutup now
kevinfortney
Kevin Fortney 6
It would be a shame for charges to be brought against a firefighter doing his job.... Saving the majority of the occupants. I am sure he/she will be convicted to themselves without charges. I pray for them and the family of the victim.
joelwiley
joel wiley 3
minor point of information. firefigher was doing her job.
cjoe071855
Firefighters are not supposed to run over survivors of an accident.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
One cannot argue with that truism,
nor with "Truth and Justice should prevail"
but what to either have to do with the thread, or
Asiana's almost to SFO?
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Right you are , my friend joel wiley.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear friend Kevin Fortney, 99.9% chances are 'no charges' against the fire engine truck driver.
Investigation report will clarify details of circumstances under which the girl died. Cause of death is already known. BUT in a situation like this , the cause is less important !
jsulk
Joe Sulkowski 2
I agree with Jim, having been a crash jockey in the USAF, approaching a burning aircraft with debree all over the place makes it virtually impossible to see anyone laying on the ground. The pilots, who can't land the plane have the ultimate responsibility.
preacher1
preacher1 3
Got to agree. We rely on those in the pointy end to know what they are doing. They didn't.
preacher1
preacher1 2
As an added note. Here are multi thousand hour pilots, who, regardless of AC type, overlooked a tenet of basic airmanship, regardless of automation. There appears to have been no problem reading the gauges.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 3
But instead of considering criminal charges against the pilots, they are reviewing criminal charges against the firefighters. It's sickening!
tbpera
Tom Pera 3
it was an accident... stuff happens...nobody wanted it to happen... it's the damn lawyers like Mittal that screw everything up and try to make $$$ off of someone's misfortune... sure, throw the firefighter in jail....see what happens when your house is on fire, Mittal....and you defend against the death penalty? that says it all about you
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 3
This is a tough one. My condolences to the families and friends of those lost in this crash.

I am sure the fire truck driver had no intention to harm anyone that day. They are a special group of people who risk life and limb to help others in dangerous situations. The old principles of shielding the good Sumerian from legal process should apply, however, if the driver were in any way negligent by driving the truck into the foam he should be tried. If I were on the jury I would be hard pressed to vote guilty.

If the driver was negligent, was it because of training, or workplace culture? Who should be in the defendants chair in either of those cases?

What chilling effect would that have on the desire of firemen to respond to an emergency? I say we look the other way on legal liability, but still make the family whole for their loss.
joelwiley
joel wiley 7
Tragedy yes. Negligence no.
I'd never make it thru Voir Dire if this became a case.
CaptainFreedom
CaptainFreedom 4
It's difficult to imagine negligence in this case. At the time of the fire, all these guys are thinking about is minimizing the overall loss of life. If the driver wasn't trained, then the negligence would not be his fault, rather the approach taken to aviation firefighting.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 4
You are are part right, ofcourse !
LordLayton
My opinion of the situation is that any Attorney, especially a prosecutorial, in a situation like this against a public server is a very low endeavor. They are also I believe on the bottom wrung of society's representative value on equality to pond scum suckers. Karma rules.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
In my humble opinion the truck driver may be the cause BUT definitely not responsible for the death of the girl.
The responsibility has to rest on some other people.
The report will clarify and give details with reasons.
So, let us all wait.
LordLayton
So you sit by the sidelines like a Hyena waiting for any more legal morsel for you to feed on is that it?
blueashflyer
blueashflyer 2
Conan the Barbarian was a good Sumerian. I think you meant to say good Samaritan.
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 1
I did, thank you.
LordLayton
This was a horrible ACCIDENT! There is nothing prosecutorial in this tragic situation. If your going to be stupid enough to prosecute the driver then procecute the person who sprayed foam all over her too or better yet Mr Prosecutor, go find something realistic and better to do.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
Before your panties get up there TOO tight, you need to realize that once the ME declared the cause of death as being run over by a fire truck, there HAD to be an investigation. After the investigation has concluded, then it is up to the DA whether or not a crime had been commited and to prosecute or not. More than likely it will be found to be an accident and nothing else will come of it, BUT if there are facts that we are not aware of, found during the investigation, that shows gross negligence on the driver's part, then the driver MUST be prosecuted and put away, as that is NOT acceptable actions of a first responder. I do have not doubt that it will be declared a terrible accident and no charges will be filed, but we do have to wait and see.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
The driver is beyond reproach.
The CDA office may merely be trying to study to disclose/present in detail the TOTAL sequence of events that lead to the tragic death.
Like in any case of similar nature, whether involving death or injury and so on .
Doobs
Dee Lowry 2
Jet...You hit the nail on the head! I feel for the responder. He/She is...no doubt going to live this unfortunate incident for the rest of his/her life! I hope they can let it go. The responders were totally protocal and responded that the way they were trained! Great Job. KSFO!!!
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
It is routine to refer such reports to the DA's office. Happens all the time.
This was another overblown report from the Breathless News Network: Something breaking every minute whether it's news or not.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
The driver cannot be prosecuted for running over a victim who was not visible on the foam.

OTOH The other firefighters in the other fire rig that did not run over the victim, but that did see her body on the ground before it was covered with foam, without reporting the 'body' could be investigated for contributing to the death by neglecting to notify their commanding officer of the body on the ground - you know negligence.

Their defense is that she was so terribly broken that she was left for dead by everyone else, including all passengers, all flight crew, all cabin crew, and first responders who had arrived prior to the fire apparatus and assisted with the evacuation. It may be reasonable to assess that a 'body' left behind by all of these previous persons would be dead or not savable under the conditions (mass cassualty incident), so not negligent.

I don't expect any prosecution of a firefighter doing their job during a mass casualty incident, where the actions would've been reasonable given the circumstances.

Plus there would be mass uproar if the firefighters who were there putting out the fire are prosecuted and/or tried, while the pilots who caused the disaster through gross negligence still walk free.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
* The driver cannot be prosecuted for running over a victim who was not visible UNDER the foam.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
I never said that the driver should be prosecuted or that any other of the first responders should be, I am only saying that this is a process that needs to be gone through because of the official cause of death, period.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
You talked a lot about the potential prosecution of the driver,
"shows gross negligence on the driver's part, then the driver MUST be prosecuted and put away, as that is NOT acceptable."

A driver cannot be prosecuted for what was not visible. If there is any possibility for prosecution, it wouldn't concern the driver that ran over her, but the firefighters who neglected to report the 'body' on the ground. So talking about prosecuting the 'driver', even in the hypothetical is misdirected.

I don't expect those other firefighters to be prosecuted either (not for actions that may be deemed reasonable in the context of a mass casualty incident). But their actions may be reasonably discussed. OTOH The driver gets the feeling of regret, but if victim is not visible, neither deserves prosecution, nor our implication that the worst action was that of the driver.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
Unfortunately you did not quote the entire sentence, here is what you missed:
"BUT if there are facts that we are not aware of, found during the investigation, that shows gross negligence"
And I will now quote my last sentence, in case you missed it:
"I do have no doubt that it will be declared a terrible accident and no charges will be filed, but we do have to wait and see."
And that goes for anyone involved.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 2
As I previously stated, I do not see the driver at fault in this.

I find airport management and emergency services management at fault for not allowing training with foam. Unless you've seen an area covered with foam would would not know what it is like.

I had one training episode with foam in the Navy before going to a carrier. It's very much like the scenes in a movie with feet of suds covering the kitchen and house but much, much thicker. It covers everything and does so very well. Its purpose is to cover a fuel-covered surface separating it from oxygen and hopefully any source of ignition.

If those charged with using it cannot see how it actually works with their own eyes, how can they be prepared for the real thing?
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
I don't agree that a lack of foam training constitutes a 'fault' (which I read as liability) on management's part. I don't see how prior foam training would lead the driver to think "Oh, foam, there is likely to be a live body under there that was missed".

You mentioned earlier that the 'no foam' decision was based on environmental issues. Do you believe that the environmental regulations, upon which those decisions were based, are penultimately at fault?

I agree that foam training for firefighters likely to encounter fuel-fed fires is desirable, and airports are prime locations for such. This is an issue separate and distinct from parceling out fault in the crash.

The use of foam as a causal reason for the death of the passenger makes about as much sense to me as the fact that the seawall was too high for the landing aircraft.

respectfully, we may have to agree to disagree.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Exactly!

There may be some NTSB recommendations about training with foam, or about mass casualty incidents where fire suppression foam is used.

But not prosecutions.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
Well, by that logic then we better suspend all training and recurrent training for Austin firefighters because we're at Stage 2 water restrictions and likely headed into Stage 3.

There can be no reason for not fully training those firefighters in every aspect possible and on every resource and tool at their disposal. Training with foam does not have to be a regular occurrence but annual training is so every member is exposed is reasonable.

We do disagree. My basis goes back to the Forestall fire when it was discovered sailors were pouring water down a hole just because smoke was coming out. The result was hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage from flooding, alone. That changed how firefighting was trained in the Navy from boot camp forward. No one was immune from training and the closer you were to the possibility the more frequent the training. Annual training was probably not good enough. Oddly, we did nuclear weapon practice loading every three months. Which was more likely to be necessary during regular carrier operations?

While the threats to safety are much less at a large land airport than a carrier, preparation for every possible scenario is still very important. The management failed in this and is still culpable in the results.
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
Probably not criminal prosecution but from what I've seen the door is certainly open for civil prosecution.

The driver may be a defendant in that but hopefully only a witness.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Foam wouldn't create liability for management as much as it provides reasonable doubt in a criminal prosecution. Like you already stated, management had no choice. Their hands were tied by the environmental regs.

The pilots have no similar excuse for their gross negligence. All events of that day ultimately are due to the pilots crashing the plane in otherwise ideal circumstances.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Certainly.
In Stage 2, your 500 Gal fire trucks are limited to 450 gal/fire, and for Stage 3 250 gal/fire. Lawn watering will be limited to every 3rd day in Stage 3. Sound familiar, that is administration running the show. In the gilded state (Calif) during a prior budget drought, Fish and Game Wardens (covering a State 800 mi long X 200 mi wide) were travel restricted to 50 mi/day. So, by logic, the firefighters should train, just don't use water- that's waste.

My brother, a submariner, needed to do 3 things to get his dolphins: 1) dive the boat, 2) surface the boat, 3) fire a torpedo: he was spark- the radioman. Can you say Fundamental Skills? As to USN offshore fundamental skill sets, I can't say (AUS MOS 91B medic).

Your profile lists you as a commercial pilot- had you been a Naval pilot on the Forestall, would you have been trained as a flight-deck fireman?

Regarding nuclear weapons practice, risk is a cross product of the probability of an occurrence happening X the results of the occurrence. How many survivors would there have been from a Forestall nuclear detonation?

Probability theory states that there is no such thing as zero probability. Anything can happen. Any checkbook is finite, personal, corporate, government. Where do you draw the line? Training costs money. As the saying goes, "if you think education is expensive, consider the cost of ignorance.












joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Re: this and your tail wagging comment a few minuted prior
I am not a pilot, have never been a plaintiff. Have been a defendant, witness and juror (criminal and civil).
Persons directly responsible for the boring, uneventful end to a complex but routine process failed.
What happens to those persons, is a matter of culture, and mostly another country. For the rest, it's all about lawyers.
IMNSOHO.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
It may be a case of the tail wagging the dog. The civil case may be putting pressure on the criminal proceedings to either charge and prosecute or clear the participants from criminal jeopardy.

Conviction means more bucks in civil case. Lack of conviction and/or lack of prosecution means less of a civil payout.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I suspect there's much more money in suing an American airport/ city/ fire department than suing a Korean airline. Apparently, the latter is greatly limited by international convention. Most non-Americans, including the Chinese girl or her family would not be able to sue Asiana in the US, but instead in Korea were the payout would be greatly reduced.

The ambulance chasing attorneys will go after whatever target is available within the jurisdiction. What's left in the US is the fire department.

The ME's report on the cause of death was like a gold mine to these money-focused ambulance chasers. The only thing that could improve upon the ME's report would be the criminal conviction of anyone involved in the response effort.

Then the civil attorneys do their money dance to pay for another vacation property for themselves, and also to 'seek justice for their client'. (Don't gag.)

OTOH Taking action against the pilots (even a criminal conviction) doesn't help the Chinese girl's case. Her family's recovery from the airline is limited by Korean law, to which the family are directed by int'l convention (and/or maybe Chinese law, which
wouldn't be much better). A case overseas means nothing (ie. zero dollars) to American lawyers, so they'd look for a local target.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear friend PhotoFinish, believe me Asiana WILL be held responsible as the 'cause' for every happening, directly or vicariously.
That is correct prima facie and will be proved to be so by facts in due course of time.
So we can leave them out considering them as inevitable convicts.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
But against Asiana, there's no money in US courts for foreign passengers who have no standing to bring a case in US courts per int'l airline convention, so there's no money for US lawyers to represent these passengers without standing in US courts against Asiana.

There is no such int'l agreement prohibiting suits against the fire department. The agreements only protect the airline issuing the passenger ticket.

So the Chinese girl that died on the airfield in the immediate aftermath of the crash as the firefighters were putting out the burning airliners on the runway of a major world airport, the fire department is the easier target. It is the only target for any potential sizable payout. The pilots who caused the crash and their airline will only be liable in Korean courts (or alternatively in Chibese courts). So the payout to the family would be much lower, even with the death of the passenger. Even if the death killed her parent's only child and her 4 grandparent's only grandchild.

So US lawyers will want to shake the money tree for this family in US courts, because several of the attorneys will be able to afford new vacation homes from their fees.

So that means the fire department and anyone or any entity that had a role in responding to the emergency - a crashed airliner on fire on the runway at a major airport is on the hook. No matter that culpability for the crash is ultimately determined to lie with Asiana.

The ME's report wasn't helpful, nor would any prosecution be helpful, except to provide plaintiff attorney's with more weapons to get themselves ever larger vacation homes.

It's a shame that all the injured passengers couldn't expect a sizable payout from Asiana and it's insurance company. That is where responsibility for the crash and all subsequent injuries truly lies.

The inevitable shakedown of the firefighters because the airliner's incompetent pilots happened to crash the aircraft on their runway is disgusting. That criminal charges against the firefighters is being considered us sickening..
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
My only issue was with the word 'driver' irrespective of how many words you use to construct your hypothesis.

The facts show that it would be extremely difficult if not impossible for the driver to see victim under the foam.

The facts also show that if any firefighter(s) on that scene didn't follow protocol, it wasn't the driver, but the others who failed to notify the scene commander of the 'body' on the ground.

So, any hypothetical shouldn't single out the driver.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
OMG! Do you know how to read? I said if there are facts that WE ARE NOT AWARE OF. You are basing it off the facts that YOU know. Now shush child, I'm done with you.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
The facts were presented very transparently at the time of the incident. There was even video footage of the scene recorded live, that was made available, including from the scene commander's hat cam.

Facts aren't at issue. But culpability. Legal culpability.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
Unless you are on the investigating team, you have no clue how transparent it was. We ONLY know what was released, no more, no less. And once AGAIN, I will say that based on what I know of, there most likely will not be any charges filed, unless you are unfortunately correct about the first truck that rolled through prior to foam presence, but even then, I still doubt any charges will come about.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I agree with you that most likely criminal charges won't be filed. But those facts are true. They were shared at the time. The driver did not see her. One or two other firefighters in another apparatus did. Not reporting the 'body' to their scene commander was against their protocol. That too was made clear However, leaving a 'body' on the ground while the fire fighters fought the fire would've likely been consistent with mass casualty incident protocol. That wasn't clarified, but is my educated guess based on MCI principles. The medical responders would've been busy with the hundreds of living victims, so there wouldn't be any spare units to accompany the fire units at the fire.

Unfortunately, it was a difficult situation where people tried to make the least bad decisions.

If any action is taken, it would be against the firefighter(s) who failed to report the 'body'.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
" If any action is taken, it would be against the firefighter(s) who failed to report the 'body'. "

The golden words.
And that may be what exactly the DA's office is working on !
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
The body may not have and likely was not visible until it was a recovery effort when all risk was abated and long after passengers are gone. An unanswered question is how long was she there until seen? There is no timeline in all this nor any details released regarding more specifics.

Even the best trained people are going to deal with unknowns. Throw in the fact they had not trained on use of foam and its effect on the scene.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
A few points of clarification. She was seen by at least one or two firefighters on one of the other fire rigs (apparently presumed to be dead) before the foam was sprayed. She was seen again in the tracks of a fire rig in the foam. The fire apparatus were circling the plane spraying the fire trying to put out the fire.

This all happened in minutes. Maybe about 5 minutes beire being seen in the fire rig tracks, she was buckled in the rear of a 777 over the San Francisco Bay on final approach to the runway and the most exciting 6 weeks of her entire 16-year life.

Remember there was a 90 second delay before evacuation was begun. Evacuation lasted about another 90 seconds. From about minutes 2-4, there were about 300 passengers exiting the plane and running away from the burning carcass or being carried away. At the same time the firefighters were putting on their fire gear and racing across the airfield to the fallen plane at the edge of the property near the bay. At the same time, the control tower was sending all the planes that had been cleared to land and or were on an approach path to other airports. The controller was also communicating with the many fire apparatus that were requesting permission to cross each of 4 runways per strict airport protocol. The controller had just in these minutes closed the airport and redirected all planes. He was emphatically trying to convey the message that all aircraft operations had ceased and fire an rescue responders had free reign over the entire airfield as necessary to complete their rescue and fire suppression operations.

As the fire apparatus were racing across the airfield, they could see the passengers running away and being carried away from the aircraft in all directions.

The plane's crew and police officers were the last people off the plane. So as the fire apparatus are reaching the plane, the radio communication from the police is informing that the evacuation is complete and everyone is out of the plane. So the fire response moves immediately from a rescue operation to fire suppression mode.

The 'body' is assumed to be discarded by the evacuation teams. So the firefighters get on with their job of supressing the fire and trying to prevent any remaining fuel from exploding and killing firefighters and causing more damage to the runway.

An we're still less than 10 minutes from an unstabilized approach over the bay, though no one may have been aware, maybe including both pilots at the controls.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
The above detailed scene description may show that besides the pilots crashing the plane the most significant factor leading to the abandoning of the girl during evacuation was the delay in evacuating a burning plane, allowing the fire to advance. The late and disorganized evacuation created panic as people ran for their lives from an actively burning plane.

We can't judge the split second decisions of the rescue/fire teams in 3-month hindsight. You to judge the reasonableness of their actions in the context of the situation in which the across occurred.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
* must judge the reasonableness of the actions of the rescuers in the context of the situation in which the actions/decisions occurred.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Well said, PhotoFinish.
And that will go a long way in the entire process of fixing culpability of all actions.
bbabis
Bill Babis 0
Don't go giving them ideas Leighton! Politicians and government workers get paid for waisting our and their time. I know it isn't fair to lump them all together, but majority rules.
LordLayton
It really matters not because the ambulance chasers will make money on someone to blame.
tbpera
Tom Pera 1
Hey Mittal...just having fun... Tom
bartsolari
Bart Solari 1
well, the good thing is that it is not in the hands of S.F.'s DA. The DA's office in S.F. is about as prepared as the SFFD/SFO station putting out a barbecue.
JENNYJET
Lawyers do what they are employed to do under the laws they are deploying and the professional codes they are bound to but they are unable to use their common sense or decency due to the constraints imposed upon them.

I read law at University but do not practice because I much rather use my in built decency and look at the wider picture and balance the wider good. I consider theory better.

In this particular scenario, the aircraft failed to land correctly and discharge the passengers safely. However, all but two survived and that could be deemed miraculous. The pilots were not directly involved in the evacuation of the passengers so perhaps could be excused for any subsequent incidents outside of the aircraft for after all, it is the aircraft only they are responsible for together with the task of delivering the passengers/cargo to the destination as safely as is possible. The cabin crew were in charge of evacuation so were they responsible for the safety of the departing passengers?

The airfield emergency service personnel were dispatched to attend the incident so are they responsible for any subsequent injuries, fatal or otherwise, to those passengers on the airfield outside of the aircraft and not at the terminal buildings?

My concern is why should the fire truck personnel be charged with a homicide when by all measures they perhaps actually helped prevent the deaths of hundreds on scene? Should those killed accidentally be more aware of their own situation and helped themselves by being aware of where they were ( i.e on an active airfield )?

These are many of the hundreds of possible reasons why someone somewhere may wish initiate a legal action and perhaps for selfish monetary and wealth gaining reasons but I really cannot see why they should in this instance so is this a particularly US trait to prosecute for prosecutions sake rather than show balance and compassion to those caught up in a horrendous situation?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
It's not a US trait. It is a characteristic of greedy ambulance chasing lawyers, who get paid if then can find or invent a source of payout for their clients.

As far as the pilots not helping with the evacuation, that is false. It is the only decent thing they did that day. They helped free the 2 trapped flight attendants that were trapped by the expanding emergency slides and with the cabin crew were among the last off the plane, making sure everyone got out.

Their participation (or not) in the evacuation, should have no bearing on the pilot's ultimate responsibility for the crash and all losses and damages that are derivative of that initial action of gross negligence.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
ThanX dear friend JENNIFER JORDAN, for speaking for Law and Lawyers.
I distinctly remember that PhoroFinish stated in one of the comments that IF some that can be put under scanner, it can only be the guys who noticed the girl on ground and ASSUMED her for dead. And no one else.
And that seems to be the correct approach. Further, this attention on the truck driver seems totally misdirected and the DA's office seems to be aware of this. Perhaps, that is why the case is under their scrutiny. Chances are that they are NOT evaluating the role of the truck driver, BUT that of other personnel at the scene ! The objective being whether to charge some one OR to absolve every one and consider the death as an accident.
Simple, as I see it !
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Jennifer- I don't know how other countries train their Flight Attendants but in the U.S....with United... we have the "Green Light" to evacuate. Obviously, the Asiana Cabin Crew must wait for the cockpit crew to give them the order to "Bail"! Really an unfortunate situation as 60 to 90 seconds were lost in a major incident. Once they got the "green light", the Cabin Crew did a remarkable job and I comend them! In addition, during the mishap...waiting for the idiots up front to tell them to evac...they were putting out fires which saved many souls onboard. The whole accident chaps my ass because the so called pilots can't fly an airplane...hands on..VFR. What the hell were they doing when the aircraft was to low? "Gee..what button do I push now"! It all comes down to training and "hands on"! Don't wait until the unthinkable happens. Training...Training...Training! The Flight Attendants are the heroes!
JENNYJET
Am I correct to believe that the door to the flight deck is sealed? How then is it possible for the flight crew to direct procedings in an emergency? Is that not the job of the cabin crew? These situations occur in seconds of time, often as survivors tell us it occurs in slow motion but also so quickly that no one can fully understand what happened during debriefing.

As I have indicated in another thread, the pilot is in command of the ship and is also responsible for the management of the systems installed to aid him/her to do a job of work. If those systems fail to aid the pilot is he/she responsible if the ship founders?

Modern aircraft are no more than computer systems and pilots are mere managers and if I dare to say it, Microsoft Flight Simulators and it's clones offer an insight into modern flight scenario's. Set it up correctly and you get a good outcome. Try to fly it traditionally using aeronautical principles going back to the pioneers of flight and using mechanical systems that are proven then you have a good chance of surviving a rough landing.
JENNYJET
My issue in all of this situation re: Asiana - SFO is pilot competance with ultra modern computer driven aircraft. Try if you can to think back to the Boeing 707 flight decks and how similar it may have been to all of the WW2 flight decks of the Dakota's and Boeings post war aircraft and with even current Cessna private general aviation set ups. They were and are very simple and intuative to trainee's and commercial pilots in the non airline sectors.

Also indulge yourselves and think back to the movie 'Airport' and Mr. Patroni guiding down the aircraft from the tower etc. because he and other knew what the flight deck looked like and the instruments the crew were looking at. Just this last week, a passenger was able to land a light aircraft when his pilot fell ill and the tower talked him down at Humberside Airport. UK. A simple flight deck.

Now consider the same incident in that movie but on the Asiana B777. Is it possible that Mr. Patroni could see what the FMC is showing? That device is capable of infinate screen information detail and could never help the pilot in the tower guide the aircraft to a relatively safe landing. This my argument, were the crew of the Asiana flight fully competant with the FMC regardless of whether they were familiar of SFO? The FMC and the other in built systems should have guided the aircraft onto the active runway, similar to any current Airbus when correctly set up by the pilots during pre-flight checks. I know from experience that an A340 can land itself blind if correctly set up. Is it so difficult now to use traditional cables, pulleys, hydraulics to land an aircraft so designed to be unstable in order to save weight and to allow computers to dictate what is safe even if the pilot thought differently?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Actually I have been quite clear that the pilots through their gross negligence are the first and only ones who should be responsible for all damage and deaths resulting from the crash and any efforts to rescue the passengers from the crash, and/or fighting the fire that resulted from the crash.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear friend PhotoFinish, I will not be surprised if some information surfaces that even the SFO airport authorities are looking for legal provisions for claiming for the losses/damages that this chaos(air crash) caused to them(the airport) and all the related services.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
To recap: was the flight crew competent?
A more focused question, the answer to which I don't think is in doubt, "did the flight crew demonstrate competency?".
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
The evacuation was severely delayed. Only after the second request to evacuate from the cabin crew (after reports of active fire on the aircraft) did the captain acquiesce to the request for evacuation.

But after evacuation was ordered the flight crew joined the crew in the cabin and were able to provide assistance in the evacuation. Besides freeing 2 flight attendants trapped by expanding emergency slides, the flight crew assisted passengers in evacuating including sims severely injured passengers. Acting heroically for a few moments does not erase the culpability for creating the emergency in the first instance, without any reasonable mitigating excuse, for crashing a perfectly functioning airplane in perfect weather on the runway of a major international airport.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
That part is easy. SFO will send Asiana or their insurance company bill, and it gets paid. Simple as that.
JENNYJET
Joel, are any current airline pilots competent to fly a computer with wings if the batteries fail? My issue is with how these aircraft are designed whether or not if they are fuel efficient and the ultimate seat cost per flight is factored in, would you or I willingly walk into the cabin if we knew that if the flight crew fell asleep or became otherwise incapacitated, no one was able to penetrate the sealed door to the flight deck and perhaps be able to guide the aircraft to a runway with the aid of someone in a control tower?

I think the Asiana incident at SFO is not simply a pilot error situation but a modern aircraft architecture situation that will rear it's head again somewhere and we cannot prevent it because we do not know what may come next.....I love flying but I may just go by boat!
JENNYJET
Did they? Are we now in a position to apportion the blame for the failure to deliver the aircraft to it's terminal to those on the flight deck? May I dare to remind readers that due to current protocols, the flight deck is a sealed domain.

Have you and others have access to the data recorded within the flight data recorder? Is it not possible that given the clear visual conditions that the onboard systems failed to connect to the runway ILS if it was operable? Were the pilots able to control this aircraft using those traditional systems that may well have been absent on this aircraft? A perfectly functioning aircraft does not crash land with trained pilots does it?

Using my legal educationally trained brain I would be asking these simple but technical questions before apportioning any blame and constructing a case to bring before any court of law or justice in this matter.

As to the evacuation, it is obvious to those familiar with such airfields that they are vast areas and that it takes time for even the most efficient services to reach an unplanned landing, and if somehow a surviving individual finds him/herself on a taxiway and gets mown down by a truck attending the incident then I consider that a tragedy and a simple accident and not a case of deliberate homicide.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
In disagreeing with you on the issue of pilot error, I do agree you have a separate point.
With fly-by-wire (FBW), what happens if the 'wire' goes away? If all power fails, there are no cables to the control surfaces. Something akin to an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) will reduce electronics to scrap plastic. Should that happen, you essentially have a large aerodynamic rock.

Don't forget your magnetic compass, mechanical clock and sextant on the boat.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
"Surviving individual finds herself on a taxiway"

Actually the young girl was found in the immediate vicinity of the crashed shell of the plane. Exactly where the fire apparatus set up for fighting an active fire on an aircraft shell sitting on a runway that 5 minutes earlier was actively receiving planes to one of the busiest international airports in the world. She was seen in the tire marks in the foam. She had been seen earlier by another fire crew, but was unresponsive and presumed to be deceased.

She may have been able to get out of her seat and slide down off the plane, but then fell unconscious soon after getting out because her body was too broken. Alternatively she may have been too injured to get herself out but was helped by others to the slide. But then as those who got her to the ground ran away from the burning plane, left her limp unresponsive body on the ground to save themselves and others who needed help but werevin better shape.

The ME examiner made the determination that her heart was still pumping blood when she was run over. But that was just minutes after impact. It is very possible that she would've bled out soon after that and wouldn't have been alive if run over minutes later.

We'll get more information in the future about the specifics of her case. But no matter the specifics, the obe who failed her the most that day were the pilots who failed to demonstrate competent command of their aircraft. Those who left her behind as they ran from a burning plane or who were concerned with fighting the fire could never be more responsible for death than the pilots.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
I have also wondered about her other injuries and whether they were long-term survivable. I doubt that Post report will be made public.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
If it gets litigated we'll get it all in great detail. If there's a civil settlement (which is likely) then we won't get nearly as much info.

If there's a criminal prosecution, we'll also get all that detail as part of the defense. (I don't expect criminal charges will even be filed or survive a grand jury inquiry, let alone be litigated.)
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
I think you're probably correct on that outcome and hope you are.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Your thinking seems reasonable, but seem not to have availed yourself of much information that was made available after the accident, much if it briefed by the NTSB.

The plane was perfect. NTSB listened to recorders and looked at flight data and confirmed.
The ILS for that runway was out for airport construction. NOATAMs and NTSB.

The pilots were forced to fly and land manually. At least without having the ILS bring the plane to the runway. They had the option to shoot a glide slope themselves with their onboard equipment to elp guide them in.

There may have been a last minute runway change (or actually last half hour change). The pilots might not have expected to have been able to land manually until late, despite the high possibility of that likelihood, since ILS was out on some runways and the weather was perfect, so the tower wouldn't think twice to use a runway without ILS in perfect weather.

The pilots failed to stick and rudder the plane to the runway. First, the pilots were reported to have mistakenly believed that the autothritrles would've maintained airspeed. Since the NTSB reports that the plane operated exactly ad commanded, then it is clear that the pilots screwed and pushed the wrong buttons. Further the NTSB reporters that many changes to the flight modes had been commanded in the moments before the crash.

But that's not all. The pilots could've set the wrong flight mode, resulting in neither plane nor pilots maintaining airspeed. Buy if the pilots (either pilot) were to monitor airspeed or altitude would've caught that the plane had gotten too slow and then too low. After having been hundreds of feet too high at the marker 2 minutes before crash.

When the plane descended below the glide slope for that runway, the pilots adjusted their vertical speed to stay on course. However the reduced rate of descent required more thrust to maintain airspeed. Neither the pilots nor the plane added more thrust. The engines were at idle for this entire descent through the marker till just before impact. The pilots didn't look for the increased engine thrust that would've been necessary with the decreased vertical speed, nor did the pilots manually push the throttles to increase the airspeed, which would've been the norm when the auto throttles aren't armed.

Further the pilots could've just caught that the airspeed was decaying slowly since the vertical sped adjustment and either added the necessary thrust or called for a go around sooner than 7 seconds before impact. Everyone would've lived. No bodies would've been flailed around wildly after the violent tail impact with the seawall followed by violent rockin from a series of violent impacts with the runway.

So conclusion:
1. Pilots set the wrong flight mode with no thrust control by plane.
2. Nor did the pilots add the trust manually.
3. Nor did the pilots scan for airspeed and altitude on final approach.

Getting any of the 3 right and no one would've died or gotten severely injured. Any competent pilot would be expected to get all 3 correct always. Just one would've avoided a catastrophy.

I can't blame anyone else other than the pilots for the deaths or injuries of the passengers and crew on this flight from the crash of this aircraft (including during the rescue).

KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
The firefighters should not be held accountable. The airport admitted they do not train with foam because of environmental issues. If you do not train with foam, how can you possibly know how it affects the area surrounding the fire?

If anyone is to blame outside of the original actions of an incompetent flight crew, it is airport management and emergency services management.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
Two all-to-frequent questions when determining accountability in similar issues are
a) how deep is the entity's pockets
b) how effective the entity's legal team?
.
Government entities usually score high (a) and relatively low on (b)
that's why they get sued.
michaelleon59
michaelleon59 -1
Why the hell did this firefighter drive so close to the plane?
bartsolari
Bart Solari 1
that is where the "fire" was!
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -5
This case is no different from an every day road accident in as much as in every case 'accident' element is considered weighing ALL circumstances and related pros and cons.
Compare with a simple example of killing in firing by local police against by military action !
The article is abs clear about the thought process underway at the CDA's office. They have to be clear and convincing in their approach while filing the case in the Court of Law lest they become the laughing stock.
LordLayton
Prosecute the pilots if anyone.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 4
Mr. Mittlal...Why are you on this forum? And we don't know you and yet you call us "Friend". It's obvious that you have no Aviation Experience and yet you try to think that you do. Are you an "Ambulance Chaser"? And NO, the "First Reponders" at SFO couldn't get close to that aircraft due to the fire and heat! Protocol is to stand back and "FOAM"! I praise the FireFighters in respose to this accident that should not have happened. The young girl was covered with "Foam"! They couldn't see her! Try taking that to court! Those men and women in the response team saved many lives! It was an unfortunate situation that a life was lost fighting a big battle.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well said Dee
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
They will be.
And severely.
Irrespective of place(country included) of trial !
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Thanx Preacher!
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
I would be equally harsh with a road accident with professional driver(s) of a 300 person bus, who lost control on the last off ramp leading to the bus depot due to carelessness and negligence in their control if the bus (or rather lack of control of the speed of the bus) leading to multiple deaths and many severe injuries of passengers, and complete loss of the multi-million dollar bus, because the drivers had forgotten their cruise control settings and were nervous because they were hand driving the new modern automated self-driving bus the last 10 minutes into the bus terminal parking lot.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -2
Easy my friend PhotoFinish. Easy !
Context here is of the fire engine truck driver.
And nothing else and nobody else.
:)
preacher1
preacher1 4
I believe the public opinion is going to side with the firefighter, and right wrong or indifferent, the prosecutor is a public official and will listen to them and not bring any charges. If he really wanted to take the heat off himself, he should put it to a grand jury. I personally think that this is something that firefighter will have to live with the rest of his life and that will be more than enough punishment, BUT, this is all just my personal opinion.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 4
Your wrong. The driver may Carey the burden of having run over the girl. But you can't fault a driver who can't see the girl on the ground under all the foam and runs over her. It's an accident, much like the train engineer, except the fire apparatus driver won't know about it until later.

The only ommission is from the firefighter(s) on the previous apparatus that saw the "body" on the ground before the foam was applied, and didn't tell their scene commander. They didn't run over her, but failed to pass information up the chain of command.

The driver is 100% blameless. One or two others who may habe seen her, may have some fault, but weren't the ones who drove the apparatus over the girl. So for me, the context of blame has nothing to do with the driver of the fire apparatus.

And I won't bother to repeat the role of the plane's pilots in the direct creation of thus entire mess.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -4
Dear friend PhotoFinish, I am NOT wrong because my stand is simple and clear. Firstly investigations will decide whether it was accident or not and avoidable or not ? This will take care of the driver.
About others too , investigation will declare the details.
It is the guilt feeling of the fire engine truck driver that this squawk is about. If it is declared as accident, the driver will have no remorse or regret. And it will pass off as occupational hazard as I have mentioned in another comment below. And in case no, that is he found guilty , he may or may not feel bad, depending upon how much faith he puts in the findings of investigators ! And he goes on to challenge in the court/s of law/appeal and so on .
And this will hold valid for most people who will be found guilty in some form or the other.
This is how most humans behave. All over the world.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 4
"If it is declared as accident, the driver will have no remorse or regret."

I usually find more humor than anything else in a statement this absurd. Usually.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 3
You are mist certainly wrong. They can't lynch a firefighter driving a fire apparatus for running over a body under the foam thatch can't see. They won't get anyone to want to drive the apparatus anymore.

Toy might be able to inquire as to the culpability of the firefighter(s) who failed to report the "body" on the ground. But they're no more culpable of the death, then the pilots who crashed the plane in ideal conditions, due to negligence and lack of proficiency.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -1
Were you an eyewitness all that happened ? And do you have the authority and qualifications to judge ? I doubt !
And that's basically what I keep saying again and again . To wait for the investigation reports and wait for the judgement process develop !
I know it in all probability truck driver is in clear and those who presumed her dead are at fault. But why not wait for the whole report ? To eliminate assumptions and probability factors. That's what process of analysis through science, management and law are all about.
And thus I am NOT wrong. And I know it.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Glad you finally gave up the lynching the driver idea.

The facts of the matter came out at the time. In the weeks following the crash, the details of the incident response were made public in a very transparent manner.

But you're still wrong. I've responded to emergencies at a major airport, though not a mass casualty, and I've responded to mass casualty incidents, though not at an airport. I feel comfortable that I can put both pieces together sufficiently well to help everyone here properly understand the situation to make their own judgement.

You OTOH seem not qualified to bring insight to the question at hand. I can categorically state that every statement of yours on this topic was completely without foundation in fact, and reached erroneous conclusions.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
Seems my error in communications.
I NEVER put the driver under scanner. I always kept him for formal investigators.
My target has always been the guy/s who saw her 'alive' but assumed other wise.
The truck driver could IN NO WAY see the motionless body on ground and assume her to be alive. Chances are that from the exact location of his cabin seat and the proximity of the location of the girl lying still, it would have been impossible for the driver to assume her to be alive. ESPECIALLY when some ground guys 'had checked' her before hand and chose to move on.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
It was just a sad case of the girl falling through the cracks. She was left behind by all the departing passengers (including her group), the flight crew and the first responders (most airport police) who boarded a buttoning plane to help get all the passengers out.

Since the evacuation was complete, the arriving firefighters went into fire suppression mode, as the evacuation was completed as they raced across the airfield with their fire apparatus.

The responders assumed that any 'body' that was left behind was left for dead. Maybe they should've checked her, when she was first spotted by fire. Maybe the police who risked their own lives to board the plane, and helped carry away severely injured should've help left her behind. Maybe some of the 300 passengers should've helped her get away from the airplane. Maybe the departing flight crew, that left after everyone had been evacuated shouldn't have left her behind on the ground near the airplane.

But mostly, the pilots shouldn't have crashed the plane, a perfectly good plane, in perfect weather.
preacher1
preacher1 5
Your last line sums it all up. Lots of shoulda, coulda, woulda, and maybe, but if they had made a good landing, none of these conversations would be necessary. Flying 101 and they didn't pass
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -5
Chances are the driver will have no regret or remorse.
And he and all around him will declare it as a part of occupational hazard and an accident.
And he will keep smiling as ever !
Look what happened in Florida, murder of Trevon Martin by local guard ,(am I naming correctly?). All in open Court. That guard is happily convinced of no wrong doing.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 5
You're not qualified to tell us how the driver will feel about the incident for the rest of his life.

1. You don't know him. You can't speak for him.

2. Your comparison between lawyers and firefighters rings hollow.

3. Your statements only reinforce the stereotype that lawyers are uncaring individuals and worthless human beings.

4. Firefighters run into burning buildings and into burning planes everyday all around the world. They risk their lives to save others, maybe even you.

5. It would be reasonable for a person so dedicated to saving lives to take a death hard, particularly if the death occurred in part directly or indirectly through their actions.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -3
I guess,going by your remarks none of the commentators on this forum is qualified even to comment on the happenings to which they are or were not part of. And must refrain from commenting ! Yet we all are happily commenting , based on our understanding of profession, of the situation. On the basis of what we have learnt in life, professionally and socially.
Every one speaks/writes on the basis of assumptions reinforced by respective personal experiences..
More over, keep in mind that every profession serves society. That is how and why they emerge and evolve.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
You can express your opinion. Likewise others can express theirs - that you're wrong.

You can't however speak for the firefighter. Not only do you not seem to understand firefighters, you don't know the individual firefighter and his thought sns emotions at all. You seem like the worst possible person to be guessing at his feelings.

You did however give some insight into your own.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -1
In fact , I am not qualified/competent to speak for any one.
And this holds valid for every one here. No exception.
Because those in authority will NEVER risk to speak here ! They have their own space/platform to speak from.
preacher1
preacher1 4
Thee may be no public display of regret/remorse but it is something that he will carry endlessly within, just as these RR engineers I spoke of below. They go on driving trains but cringe at every crossing they come to.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
For one minute I thought you were talking about Rolls Royce engineers. That A388 that threw out a main rotor wheel at Changi. 467 lives saved by good fortune and a good crew of Qantas. Don't know about you Wayne but the older I get the more emotional I get. When I started my career we knew statistically how many men we would loose when a job started. Back then I neve gave it another thought. But as I got older and you get family the tradgedy sinks in. Thank God these days training and equipment is so much better. There are times tho when I ask God for help. It's the evil and greed in this world we gotta fight.
joelwiley
joel wiley 3
My friend, perhaps there is a cultural difference here. I have known a number of health care and first responder professionals who have been involved in fatal mishaps in which the were blameless. It may just be part of their (American) psyche, but *all* had regret and remorse. The single RR engineer I knew, the remorse shortened his life.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -2
Right you are. Different people have different EQ !
preacher1
preacher1 2
I guess it will depend on the individual and however the legal ramifications turn out but we can never know the internal feelings of an individual. I am friends with many Railroad Engineers and most of them have been in at least 1 grade crossing accident with a vehicle in which life has been lost. It is a helpless feeling to watch life snuffed out before your eyes and not be able to do a thing about it.
CaptainFreedom
CaptainFreedom 4
It's hard to imagine that a firefighter would be so indifferent about loss of life. It is the nature of their occupation to want to preserve life,. It is at the core of what they do, and they risk their lives to do it.
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
Believe it or not, it DOES happen. I have had personal experience with friends that have gone "numb" to it. I have also had friends get TOO overwhelmed by it. Every person is different and he is not wrong about indifference, but wrong in assuming it happens to everyone in that occupation.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -4
Dear friend Jonathan Fischbach, indifference comes natural with professions. Take the case of doctors and judges and lawyers(me included). Life/death or win/lose, all are part of profession. On a couple of occasions, I failed to get death sentence commuted(converted) to life sentence. I lost the case but not sleep. And let me tell you, it was at the Supreme Court level. The last court ! And what about Judges ? At all levels. One case acquittal and next case hanging/incarceration ! Or deciding "for' in one and "against" in another.
Doctors or lawyers or judges neither rejoice nor regret ! Unless there was a radical or basic mistake committed. And then all 'try' to correct, as far as possible.
CaptainFreedom
CaptainFreedom 4
Indifference comes with not being true to yourself. Everyday you need to ask yourself whether you are passionate about what you are doing, whether you really 'care'. If the answer is 'No' then a career change is required. White collar professions can (and sadly do as I see this in my fellow Accountants every day) and do get by without passion, a firefighter cannot dohis/her job effectively without it. His coworkers will not allow him to put them at risk in that manner.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -4
Matter of words, professionalism and commitment , I hope passion gets inbuilt in that. Right ?
And that's what I meant while using the word 'indifference' .
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -4
Rail road accidents are way different due inherent dynamics related limitations. So they need not have any regrets. Ofcourse, unless it was 'human error' on part of the engineers like failing to observe a signal or caution and so on !
preacher1
preacher1 4
I disagree on any difference, at least personal wise. If you are in the pointy end of an aircraft, normally the last 4-5 seconds, you are along for the ride and have done all that you can do for a safe landing. If you are on the head end of a 100 car freight, watch somebody jump the crossing, you dump the air, knowing you don't have a prayer of stopping, and have done all that you can do other than watch them die.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
I thought you were into trucking..or does that include container cars on the rail freight stuff? Are you ignoring me Wayne?
preacher1
preacher1 2
Besides the flying, and owning part of that truckline, I have an interest in any form of transport as they all share common interests. I am building a nice model RR in the house, primarily for grandsons but I like it too. LOL
Derg
Roland Dent 2
HaHa yeah I love it. Thos loooong USA freight trains fascinate me. First thing I would do if I ever got to Cali would be to visit Truckee up on the top of the Rockies. I just love freight trains.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
That is the Sierras at Truckee. If you do go, watch from just East of Donner Summit on old US 40.
Always a sight to see them traverse snowshed wall
preacher1
preacher1 3
I kinda like down South at Tehachapi, the loop and all
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -6
Dear friend preacher1, in railroad accidents you feel helpless, you feel sorry. But definitely no guilty. And hence you do not lose sleep and so on ! In some other cases, one may have to live with the horror of watching some one die, if there is convincing proof that it was his/her mistake that took the life.
But not until then , I am afraid !
preacher1
preacher1 5
I'll just disagree with you on the guilt. Admittedly, some handle it better than others but it is there.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -2
Right you are, all are not created or built alike.
james801
James Farnsworth Staff Writer 8
I can see I have been out of a PC for too long.
Er.A.K. Mittal: First off I don’t think any of us are you “friend” as you like to refer to us as. In fact I would say most of us can’t stand you or your mouth… Please go to a attorney forum you may get a better response. But to sum up all of your unintelligent post below. As in the last post about this accident you have shown you are a attorney that can’t stand to think you may be wrong about anything and in this case you are. The US is the capital of “One Call That’s All” attorneys to file actions that over 80% never see a court room and 30% are just thrown out BUT I don’t think you can get a conviction in this case, if so come to the US pass the BAR if you can and try it. You show no respect for any profession but your own and if you act like you do in life as you do on FA I can’t see you getting any good back. Go put your life on the line day after day to help others and you may have a different outlook. Quit acting like an a**hole.
I am asking you on behalf of a bunch of us on FA to stop committing on our post if you want to do it in the way you do.
Any FA members that disagree with me feel free to vote down on this post or vote up if you agree
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -2
Seems I have been trained differently for using language. That is, to address people with respect and to refrain from using foul language. And you are not !
This is public forum and is about Aviation, and NOT about Pilots exclusively.
Even about flying events , how many of you are competent in terms of knowledge of facts to enable them to comment. Answer is ' zero' . Yet every one is happily commenting on assumptions. Simple exhibitionism.
Personally its ok with me. BUT in context of you unintelligent observations , I will like to stand by my comments.
Regarding who should be tried in court or not, is this based on popularity vote ?
And how many of you commentators are qualified in the area of related laws ? Very few !
So again, use caution while commenting adversely about others.
How many of you offer comments AFTER the report of competent authority appears ? Hardly any. You lose all your voice and perhaps flying skills too !
james801
James Farnsworth Staff Writer 5
Sounds like you need to lesion to some of what you are telling me. I stand by the fact you are an ass. I also don’t make comments that are not fact based. Being a long haul airline Capt I have had a lot of layover time in the hotel room to read. So I got in to reading all the NTSB, FAA, and AAIB and so on. I read every aircraft report from the NTSB each month and I don’t take CNN or FOX to be true on anything. SO when I post it is facts or my conclusion from the facts. I was also a firefighter EMT for about 8 years on a volunteer dept so I do have experience in that field also but would in no way call myself a pro but I do know how it feels to go in a house that’s full of fire.
I don’t know of any attorney/pilot on FA but I am sure there is a few. But I do know in the US you get tried by 12 not 1 in court. And you can stand by your comments although it seems you are about on your own you are a fact based man so just look at the votes.
And as to offering comments after any final reports since most are 12-18 months down the road unless you are like me and check the report websites all the time most I would guess don’t know it is even out. But I would be happy to compare any comments I make now to the reports and if I was wrong I have no problem saying I was on FA or any other place.
You have not helped your case nor made yourself look any smarter so please just give up.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
How can you consider the aerodynamic related limitations of a plane in motion in the air any less compelling then the dynamic limitations of a train in motion.

The train engineer can't stop the train after the car crosses into its' path. The same way that a pilot can't stop the plane from crashing violently after failing to control the aircraft speed the plane exits its' flight envelope, and stalls.

The only difference is that the train's engineer is not responsible for the car driver's actions that leaf to the deaths of passengers in car and/or train. But the plane's pilot is entirely responsible fir his own failure to monitor aircraft speed on final approach. The pilot's actions directly lead to the crash and the loss of life, and dismemberment and severe injuries tat result to the passengers on his plane.

So it's not the inevitability of the physical result that shields blame, but which actor's actions caused the inevitable crash which claimed the lives in question.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -2
So my friend it proves that Railroad driver is in no way privy to the accident, it is the car driver who is. That's what my point is.
Asiana pilot/s were privy not the airport people !
Similarly, investigations will decide the who were privy to that girl's death. Simple.
May I close at this ?
:)
preacher1
preacher1 2
If you feel that way but at the time of the happening everybody is privy to it, in that there has been a fatal happening, regardless of the fault. And I will close with that myself to tend to other matters here at hand.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
You seem to be completely uninformed in that other case. (I would use te word ignorant, which also seems appropriate, buy the message may be lost, so I'll go with uninformed.) It was not the case of a guard, but that of an unpaid community watch volunteer, trying to help protect his neighbors who had suffered several recent robberies in their own homes. When you're in that situation and you see a person that fits the description of the assailants, and follow him so that the police can question him, but have him jump out at you after hiding behind a bush and knock you to the ground with a sucker punch, then repeatedly beat your head against the concrete sidewalk. Then, after experiencing that, can you pass judgement on him for defending himself from a brutal attack, that could easily result in his death.

But that had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the pilots of Asiana, and the firefighters responding to a crashed airliner involved with an active, growing fire.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -1
In that guard case I speak on the basis of what the media projects . No more no less. Including what the the Hon President of USA has said at different times.
Pilots , yes guilty prima facie. Extent of punishment, after report and court verdict.
About truck driver, as a first step report findings . As I see it, he is likely to be held NOT responsible.
BUT, report has to detail out the circumstances leading to the death. And spell out and hold some persons and circumstances responsible for the happening.
As simple as that. And all to be followed in courts to run the natural course.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 3
"if I had a son, he would look like him." is political speak and cultural speak. It does not speak to the actions of the deceased assailant. It does not speak to the recent robberies of neighbors in their own homes. It does not speak to similarity in appearance between the deceased assailant and the home robbery suspects.

The President could've easily have said, "If I had a son, he would look exactly like the robbery suspects that were active in that gated community. If I had a son, I would try to raise him not to rob others in their home, not anywhere else. If I had a son, I would teach him to act respectfully with police and community watch volunteers. If i had a son I would teach him that violence is no way to resolve a deep seated frustration at being stopped and questioned. If I had a son, I would teach him that to repeatedly beat a community watch volunteer's head into the ground is wrong. If I had a son, I would teach him that the community watch was only helping other neighbor like his own mother and his own sisters.

"If I had a so..." was an opportunity to bring bring understanding to a racial divide. But the opportunity was squandered. By pandering to racial special interests at the expense of a teachable moment, and by ignoring the deceased assailants culpability, the President's words only served to deepen the divide that existed, and only served to incite those who already felt disenfranchised, at what was almost certainly to be an acquittal on the facts.

The President's words could've been healing.

The President's words...

The President...
Doobs
Dee Lowry 2
Amen, Photo!