Asiana Pilot Called For Go-Around
A pilot aboard Asiana Flight 214 called for a go-around 1.5 seconds before the tail of the aircraft struck a seawall off the end of Runway 28L and San Francisco International Airport Saturday morning. At a news conference Sunday, NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said the cockpit voice recorder also recorded a crew member calling for more speed seven seconds before the aircraft struck the seawall, tearing off the tail and resulting in the deaths of two passengers. She also said preliminary flight data recorder information showed the aircraft was hanging on the stall before it smacked the concrete and rotated laterally almost 180 degrees before coming to rest on the grass beside the runway. Also, CNN has obtained amateur video of the crash sequence. Meanwhile, airport officials have confirmed the glideslope of the ILS system for Runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport wasn't working at the time of the crash. That means the Boeing 777's autoland system would not have been available to the crew and they would have had only localizer guidance to the runway. Visibility was unlimited and winds were light when the 777 touched down about 1,000 feet before the normal landing point, leaving its horizontal and vertical stabilizers on the threshold before careening off the runway. Two 16-year-old Chinese girls were killed and more than 180 others were hurt, about 50 of them seriously.
A NOTAM issued in June advises the glideslope will be unavailable until Aug. 23. A pilot familiar with SFO (whose name we agreed not to publish) said the inoperative equipment has challenged many pilots who have grown accustomed to the electronics flying the approach, regardless of the weather. "It can be exciting for an airline crew to have to fly a LOC approach with step downs and everything, after not having done anything but ILSes for the last gazillion approaches," he said.