Pilot in Asiana plane crash was training for 777
SAN FRANCISCO -- Asiana Airlines says the pilot in control of the jet had little experience flying the Boeing 777, and it was his first time landing one at San Francisco International Airport.
A spokeswoman for the airline says pilot Lee Gang Guk, was trying to get used to the aircraft during the flight. He had nearly 10,000 hours flying other types of planes, but only 43 hours on the Boeing 777.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the jet was moving too slowly as it approached the airport. The investigation in San Francisco now turns to interviewing the flight crew. Federal investigators want to know why the crew called to abort the landing just 1.5 seconds before crashing.
Investigators spent Sunday on runway 28l. They cleared the hazardous materials so crews can go through each and every piece of the wreckage.
Photos tweeted by the National Transportation Safety Board showed You broken seats and oxygen masks hang from above the Boeing 777. Dozens of federal investigators worked at the crash site Sunday. They documented everything from the broken off airplane tail to what they found in the debris field.
The National Transportation Safety Board says Asiana Flight 214 was approaching San Francisco International Airport at dangerously slow speeds. Crash survivors say there was no warning, but they knew something was dangerously wrong.
"I just knew that we're having a crash," said Eugene Rah a crash survivor. " I thought I was going to die, and then when it hit the runway so hard, yeah. It's so obvious."
The National Transportation Safety Board says based on what it has found so far on the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, the pilot tried to accelerate 7 seconds before impact. Then tried to cancel the landing just a 1.5 seconds before hitting the seawall.
" Handling appeared routine until the controller noticed that the aircraft hit the seawall," said National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman. "The controlled declared an emergency," she said. " No prior distress calls or requests for special support were noted in the control tapes."
Two 16-year-old Chinese girls died in the crash. Nineteen People are in the hospital still, six of them with critical injuries. Doctors say two survivors are paralyzed, others have broken bones and head injuries.
Sunday afternoon Asiana flights began to take off from San Francisco. Three of the four runways are back open. But the last will remain closed, as crews continue their work.
Crews are going to evaluate the geography of the site, document the cockpit, the instruments, cockpit seats, and windshields. They are going to be looking at flight plans. Witnesses are left dealing with the emotional pain after what they saw on the runway.
"It's kinda surreal. My wife, Gina, she took it pretty hard. We did, we all did. It was a tragedy," said Fred Hayes, a man who recorded the plane crash.
Federal investigators are also calling on eyewitnesses to help in their efforts. They want any pictures or video that people may have taken while they watched that plane burn on the runway. That includes many of those passengers from the Valley.
The San Mateo coroner revealed Sunday he is investigating whether one of the two teens who died actually survived the crash, but was run over by a rescue vehicle rushing to help the victims.
Officials say 16-year-olds Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan were headed to West Valley Christian Church in Los Angeles. They were supposed to take part in a summer study-abroad program that is based around learning English. The pastor spoke about the two girls during services this morning
"I knew that there was some connection to the airplane but I didn't realize that two of the deaths had been from the children that we were hosting," said member of West Valley Christian Church in Los Angeles, Bobbie Candler Buyalos. "I have three children and it struck me as a mom to think about sending my children off on what was supposed to be a pleasurable trip and to have something like that happen."
At least 70 Chinese students and teachers were on the plane, heading to various summer camps. It is not clear yet how many will stay here in the U.S. and how many now plan to return home.
san francisco, plane crash, state, rick montanez
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