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Asiana Airlines Crashes Boeing 777 at SFO
A more than 300-person flight caught fire and crashed at San Francisco airport on Saturday. People escaped by sliding down and away from the flaming plane on inflatable slides. Two people died and another 181 people had minor injuries. Six people are in critical condition in San Francisco General Hospital.
According to the Huffington Post, as the plane approached the runway from the waters of the San Francisco Bay around noon, travelers in the terminals and others eyewitnesses could see that the aircraft was swaying unusually from side to side and at one point the tail seemed to hit the ground.
Many witnesses saw the plane at odd angles. A nearby jogger, Kate Belding, was a few miles away and saw the plane going down. She was out jogging just before 11:30am on a path of water just across from the airport when she noticed the plane approaching the runway in a way that “just didn’t look like it was coming in right. Then all of a sudden I saw what looked like a cloud of dirt puffing up and there was a big bang and it kind of looked like the plane maybe bounced. I couldn’t really tell what happened, but you saw the wings going up in a weird angle, as if the wings were almost swaying from side to side. It just looked really bad,” Belding said. “I’ve seen the pictures of it since then, and it’s amazing anyone walked out of that plane.”
Upon hearing of the crash, I personally thought something must have been wrong with the plane. My initial thought was not to blame the crash on the pilot at all, but on mechanical malfunction. If true, this would jeopardize Boeing and their massive investment in their new planes. Their top competitors and Airbus would definitely be able to use this scenario as evidence against Boeing. However, the eyewitnesses seemed to indicate that the pilot was in error, but the black box and other records still are in the process of being reviewed.
According to aviation expert Bill Waldock, The Asiana 777 “was right at the landing phase and for whatever reason the landing went wrong,” said Waldock, director of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University accident investigation laboratory in Prescott, Ariz. “For whatever reason, they appeared to go low on approach and then the airplane pitched up suddenly to an extreme attitude, which could have been the pilots trying to keep it out of the ground,” he said. The investigation continues and will reveal more information on the exact causes of the crash.
Image Credit: Business InsiderAsiana Airlines Crashes Boeing 777 at SFO by Jaan