07-10-2013, 12:31 AM
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THE flight crew of the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 which crash-landed at San Francisco Airport couldn't see the runway just seconds earlier because the plane was so far out of position, US investigators say.
They also confirmed that the training pilot on board was on his first flight as an instructor.
The crash killed two Chinese students and left more than 180 people injured, but given the heavy impact and extent of the damage experts have said it was fortunate the death toll was not higher.
Three of Asiana Flight 214's four pilots have now been interviewed. National Transportation Safety Board chair Deborah Hersman, who is leading the probe, outlined the flight's frantic final seconds before the crash.
"The pilot that was sitting in the jump seat, the relief first officer, identified that he could not see the runway.
"The nose was pitched up, so he couldn't see the runway."
The instructor pilot then told the control tower that at 500 feet he realised they were too low.
"He went to push the throttles forward, but he stated that the other pilot had already pushed the throttles forward," Hersman said.
The fourth pilot - the relief Captain - was in the cabin and not in the cockpit at the time of the crash.
Investigators previously said that just 1.5 seconds before the plane smashed into the ground, a member of the flight crew asked to abort the landing, though it was too late to take such action.
The aircraft clipped a seawall and went skidding out of control, breaking up and quickly bursting into flames.
The pilot at the controls - named by Asiana as Lee Kang-Kuk - was about halfway through his training for the Boeing 777, but had led 29 flights to San Francisco on Boeing 747s in the past, according to the airline.
"To complete initial operating experience for Asiana, he's required to have 20 flights and 60 flight hours. He had completed 10 legs, and about 35 hours flying the 777," Hersman said.
However, his trainer - who told US investigators he had a total of 13,000 flying hours, 3,000 of which were in the Boeing 777 - had not flown as a trainer pilot before.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news...#ixzz2YbsQkPCe