Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015

Mismanaged approach, complex cockpit cited in Asiana crash

Published on Jun 25, 2014 9:44 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A mismanaged approach for landing in a highly automated cockpit was the probable cause of last July's crash of a South Korean airliner in San Francisco, US investigators said on Tuesday.

Three young Chinese citizens died and 182 people suffered injuries when Asiana Flight 214 from Seoul clipped a sea wall with its landing gear, then crashed and burst into flames, in the first commercial airliner disaster in the United States since 2009.

"In this investigation, we have learned that pilots must understand and command automation, and not become over-reliant on it," said acting chairman Christopher Hart of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). "The pilot must always be the boss," added Hart, a licenced pilot himself, at the end of a day-long NTSB hearing that concluded the federal agency's probe into the July 6, 2013 disaster.

While the Boeing 777 was in the hands of "a seasoned flight crew with a good safety record, they misunderstood the automated systems at their command," Hart said.

An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 is seen on the runway at San Francisco International Airport after crash landing on July 6, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here