Story Summary

Deadly Plane Crash in San Francisco

crash-picTwo people died and 182 were taken to hospitals with injuries on Saturday after a Boeing 777 crashed landed at San Francisco International Airport.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 9 updates

Asiana Airlines announced Wednesday it would not pursue the legal action it had promised against a Bay Area TV station that aired incorrect, racially insensitive names of pilots on the plane that crashed in San Francisco.


Asiana announces change of course in planned lawsuit over fake crew names.

The airline previously said its reputation had been damaged by KTVU-TV’s Friday report,  which wrongly identified the pilots by names including “Captain Sum Ting Wong” and “Wi Tu Lo.”

Asiana said Monday it was planning a defamation lawsuit over the report, which an airline spokesman described as “mocking.”

The National Transportation Safety Board–which is investigating the July 6 crash–said a summer intern mistakenly confirmed the names, though Asiana said the suit would not include the agency because it was the station’s broadcast that led to the harm.

But Wednesday, Asiana announced a change of course.

Click here to read the full story on

Asiana Airlines will sue Bay Area television station KTVU-TV for using fake, racially insensitive names of pilots flying the ill-fated Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the Associated Press reported Monday.

Two teens were killed in the crash on July 5 in San Francisco. A third passenger died of her wounds on Friday.

A spokeswoman for the South Korean airline, Lee Hyomin, said the broadcast seriously damaged Asiana’s reputation and that it will sue the station to “strongly respond to its racially discriminatory report,” according to the Associated Press. The suit will likely be filed in the United States, she said.

The KTVU segment that referred to the pilots by four false names, including “Capt. Sum Ting Wong” and “Wi Tu Lo,” has gone viral and drawn heavy criticism on the Internet.

Two teenage girls from China were killed and more than 180 people were injured when the Boeing 777 clipped a sea wall and slammed into a runway July 6 at San Francisco International Airport. A third passenger, a girl, died of her wounds Friday.

Click here to read the full story at


The evacuation did not begin until 90 seconds after the plane came to a rest, federal investigators said. (NTSB)

SAN FRANCISCO (KTLA) — A third child died Friday as a result of the crash of Asiana Flight 214, officials at San Francisco General Hospital said.

At a news conference Friday afternoon the victim was only identified as a girl.

The girl’s family requested that no details be released about her or the injuries she sustained in the crash, hospital officials said.

She had been one of three patients in critical condition at the hospital.

Two other girls, Ye Meng Yuan and Wang Linjia, both 16, were ejected from the Boeing 777 and died.

SAN FRANCISCO — The pilots flying the Asiana Airlines jetliner that crashed in San Francisco told federal investigators that an automatic throttle — a system akin to a car’s cruise control — had failed to keep the jetliner at the proper speed for landing.

The Asiana pilots said in interviews with the National Transportation Safety Board that they had set the auto-throttles to maintain an air speed of 137 knots. That’s a significantly faster speed than the plane actually achieved as it came in for its landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.


NTSB investigators examine the wreckage of the Asiana Airlines jet that crashed in San Francisco. (NTSB)

As the inquiry entered its fourth day, Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said investigators were still trying to verify whether the throttles were properly activated.

The pilots’ statements do not resolve the central question of why the Boeing 777′s speed and altitude fell so far out of the normal range for landing at SFO before it hit a sea wall and crash-landed. But outside air safety experts said the statements suggest a risky reliance on technology when the flight crew should have been constantly monitoring the airplane’s speed.

Click here to read the full story on


Dramatic video captured passengers escaping the aircraft after the crash.

SAN FRANCISCO — The pilot at the helm of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was training to fly a Boeing 777 and was sitting next to a man in his first trip as an instructor pilot when their plane’s main landing gear hit a seawall around San Francisco’s airport, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

Deborah Hersman, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board, revealed these and other details during a news conference that included information about the pilots and their flying experience, based on the interviews they’ve conducted with investigators.

Having finished classroom and simulator training, the “flying pilot” — as Hersman referred to him — was in the piloting portion of his training to fly a Boeing 777 at the time of Saturday’s crash.

He had flown 10 legs and had about 35 hours of flying time with the 777, which put him about halfway through the training required by Asiana of 20 legs and 60 flight hours, when the plane went down, Hersman said.

Sitting beside him during Saturday’s flight from Seoul to San Francisco was the instructor pilot. The trip across the Pacific was the first time he had been an instructor pilot and the first time he’d traveled with the flying pilot, according to Hersman.

Click here to read the full story on

Asiana Flight Flying Too Slow and Too Low

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTLA) — The Asiana Airlines plane that crashed in San Francisco was flying slower than recommended as it approached the runway, National Transportation Safety Board officials announced Monday.

The recommended speed upon approach to the runway is 137 knots (157 mph), Deborah Hersman of the NTSB said.

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was traveling at approximately 103 knots (118 mph) upon impact, Hersman said.

Investigators said none of the evidence they have found to this point would suggest there was a mechanical failure on the plane.

The pilot was training to fly the Boeing 777, and was making his first descent at San Francisco International Airport with the jet, according to the airline.

However, it was not his first time flying into SFO, nor was it his first time piloting that model of aircraft.

Lee Kang-kuk had flown from Seoul to San Francisco several times between 1999 and 2004, Asiana officials said.

Including the flight on Saturday, he had piloted a Boeing 777 nine times, clocking a total of 43 hours, according to the airline.

He had piloted a total of about 10,000 hours, according to Asiana.

Lee was one of four pilots on board on Saturday who were working in shifts.

All four have been interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board and South Korean investigators.

The Boeing 777 is capable of landing automatically, but it remained unclear if the plane’s computer or the pilot was handling the attempt.

NTSB officials discouraged speculation about whether the crew bore responsibility, saying the investigation would take months to complete.

The crash happened on Saturday afternoon as the plane, with 307 people aboard, was preparing to land in San Francisco.

Two 16-year-old girls from China were killed, and 182 people were hospitalized. Another 123 people walked away without injuries.

Amateur cell phone video obtained by CNN appears to show the plane’s tail coming in too low, and being clipped off when it hits the sea wall.

The plane then goes out of control, briefly tilting up, before coming to a stop.

Most of the passengers were able to escape before the aircraft erupted into smoke and flames, authorities said.

Flight attendants reported that two evacuation slides on the doors inflated inside the cabin instead of outside, according to the Associated Press.

They reportedly had to use an ax to cut the slides away before exiting the plane.

Meantime, the NTSB on Sunday released some details about the final moments before the crash, based on information from cockpit and flight data recorders.

“No prior distress calls or requests for special support or problems were noted in the air traffic control tapes between the controller and the Asiana crew,” Hersman said.

The recorders showed that the plane was coming in too slow and too low, and that the pilots sped up seven seconds before impact.

At the time, the plane was traveling “significantly below” the target speed of 137 knots, Hersman said.

Four seconds before impact, a stall warning sounded, indicating that plane was about to lose its ability to stay in the air.

The voice recorder apparently showed the pilots tried to abort the landing, calling for a “go-around” just 1.5 seconds before the crash, Hersman said.

The NTSB has ruled out weather as a possible factor in the crash, saying conditions were right for a “visual landing.”

However, investigators were looking into the possibility that airport construction may have played a role.

The construction had temporarily shut off the glide-slope system, which is one of several options that pilots have to help them land safely, officials said.

SAN FRANCISCO (KTLA) — Dozens of people who were injured in the Asiana Airlines jetliner crash at San Francisco International Airport were recovering at area hospitals on Sunday.

Doctors at San Francisco General Hospital received 53 patients on Saturday immediately following the crash, according to hospital officials.

Of those emergency cases, 26 were children.

“I have to say whoever triaged these patients at the airport did a fabulous job because they got to us the sickest patients in the shortest period of time,” said Dr. Margaret Knudsen, Chief of Surgery.


182 people were taken to area hospitals after Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed on the tarmac.

Patients endured severe abdominal injuries, including road rash, which may suggest they were dragged, Knudsen added.

At least two people were paralyzed in the plane crash.

55 people were taken to Stanford Medical Center on Saturday.

Two of those patients were in critical condition, according to hospital officials.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

SAN FRANCISCO (KTLA) — The pilot of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 had never landed a Boeing 777 at San Francisco International Airport before Saturday’s deadly plane crash, officials with the air carrier said Sunday.

The company released a statement saying the pilot, Lee Kang-Kook, was in training to land the Boeing 777 model at the airport.

“He is a veteran pilot with almost 10,000 hours on other aircrafts like the 747,” Asiana Airlines spokeswoman Lee Hyo-min said. “He was in the process of getting a license for the new 777.”

Lee flew with an experienced Boeing 777 pilot mentor, in accordance with world standard, Hyo-min added.

Amateur cell phone video showing the crash-landing on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport was released by CNN on Sunday.

The video showed the Boeing 777 jetliner coming in on approach, then hitting a seawall just before the start of the runway and slamming onto the ground.


Cell phone video showed the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport. (Fred Hayes)

The plane skidded on its belly before rotating counterclockwise and coming to a stop in cloud of dust.

The video was taken about a mile from the crash site, according to Fred Hayes, who shot the video.

Meantime, the National Traffic Safety Board released a preliminary review of the crash on Sunday.

There were no distress calls from the Asiana flight crew to air traffic controllers, according to NTSB investigators.

At about seven seconds out from the crash, the Boeing 777 was well below the approach speed of 137 knots and the crew asked to increase the jetliner’s air speed, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said.

About four seconds out, there were indications that the plane could stall due to a low rate of speed.

The crew called to abort the landing about a second and a half before the crash, Hersman added.

An air traffic controller declared an emergency and alerted the Asiana pilots that rescue crews had been deployed.

Two people were killed in the crash and 182 were injured.