The National Transportation Safety Board has asked everyone to postpone blame for the Asiana airplane accident at the San Francisco International Airport until they have concluded their investigation. Two people were killed and 182 injured in the plane landing accident.
Information released shows pieces of the puzzle that investigators for the NTSB will need to put together to determine what caused the plane crash:
Trainee pilot: The pilot flying the plane at the time of the collision was a trainee on Boeing 777 planes. This would have been his first time landing a 777 and his first landing at the San Francisco International Airport. His trainer, who was in the cockpit with him at the time of the accident, was a first time instructor. South Korea is considering changing its pilot training rules after this accident.
Auto throttle malfunction: According to the pilots in the cockpit, the auto throttle, which automatically controls the plane's speed, malfunctioned. The pilots claim they set the auto throttle at 137 knots (the appropriate speed), but the plane slowed to 103 knots. When a stall warning alerted them to the problem, they tried to abort the landing but were unsuccessful.
Pilot actions: Some question why the pilots did not notice the low speed until it was too late to make adjustments. The pilots have cooperated with investigators since the plane crash and have detailed their actions to the NTSB.
The NTSB has a lot of information on their hands, and it shouldn't be too long before the cause of the plane crash will be clearer to investigators. For now, those injured in the accident and the families of those killed must continue to wait for the answers they need to move forward.
To learn more about accountability in airplane accidents, please visit our website on aviation law.
Source: CNN U.S., "NTSB Urges Caution On Dispensing Blame In Asiana Crash," Tom Watkins, Holly Yan, July 10, 2013