Asiana Airlines Pilot Was Training to Land Boeing 777 at SFO

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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.


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