Back to Squawk list
  • 6

Some Updates on Asiana

Pictures taken by a camera mounted on a SF firefighter's helmet. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

PhotoFinish 2
No one, Korean or otherwise, should have a fatal crash on US soil, and not expect these guys to give them a hard time.

Note how the Southwest 345 nose gear collapse was relatively insignificant in injuries, and with repairable damage and with US pilots. The commenters here did not let up on those pilots either, and there were some weather conditions to complicate the already technically more challenging approach at LGA. (Note that at SFO, they had a long straight approach in beautiful clear weather.)

Nationality aside, there are many more reasons to be concerned about the Asiana 214 crash:
1) loss of life
2) severe life-long disabilities
3) loss of aircraft
4) uncomplicated visual approach
5) beautiful clear, calm weather with light winds

Southwest 345
1) no loss of life
2) minor injuries (prob more from evacuation than crash)
3) repairable aircraft
4) approach somewhat complicated by crowded airspace and nowhere near as straight
5) some thunderstorms and other weather conditions and weather-related operational delays and complications.

Still, those US pilots have not gotten a free pass. There is also substantial interest in determining the cause of the SW crash.

The difference in treatment of the pilots' nationality is not as racist as you may perceive. I'm not saying some are not racist. Some are.

But the difference in treatment of the two groups has more to do with endemic characteristics of each group of pilots.

It will be difficult to find a pilot at a major US carrier that would find a visual approach intimidating. At Korean carriers, it is a common for pilots to not be as comfortable with visual approaches and with instrument landings.

The deficiencies of pilots at Korean carriers is a well known phenomenon, that led to numerous fatal crashes. Concern over these crashes led to much additional flight training and oversight by outside contractors to correct underlying pilot dificiencies uncovered by those fatal crashes.

After nearly a decade of more intensive training and oversight, many thought the problem had been rectified.

The crash is significant in that it highlights the possibility that Korean commerical passenger aviation is not as safe as assumed.

Many outside contractors reported resistance at the Korean carriers to procedures and standards that would be normal at US carriers. In light of this recent fatal crash, those reports take on increased significance.

In Korea, there was resistance to failing a senior pilot's check ride. In the US, pilots have to repeat their check ride for relatively minor infractions.

Korean pilots would show up at training having memorized the training manuals, sometimes knowing the manuals better than their outside instructors. OTOH these Korean pilots would often have trouble with, and resist the demonstration of skills that would be accepted by US pilots without protest.

So it is not the race of each group that is at issue but the difference in competency and proficiency of pilot skills that is the concern.

Korean pilots are likely not the worst in the world. They havd had a decade of intensive pilot training to help step up their game. There will likely be a need to push even harder to increase their skills to a higher standard.

I could understand that there may be some from emerging markets where airline growth leads to hiring lots of relatively inexperienced pilots, may have issue with holding all pilots from around the world to the same tough standards as in the US. Maybe their own backyard will be discovered to be worse than the Korean's.

No race is inherently bad at piloting. What you need is systematic safety. You need both a good regulator with high standards and a carrier that is committed to safety in its' policies, pilot training, aircraft maintenance, etc.

Any shortcuts in the commitment to safety lead to the crashes and fatalities, not the pilot's ethnicity nor their cultural norms that they use as justifications to shortchange their commitment to safety.

Don't get lost in the cultural/ethnic considerations. Pay closer attention to the policies and practices in the training and daily operation of passenger aircraft.
I take it that American pilots do not cause accidents, at least not the serious kind ? So FAA and NTSB can and should modify laws and systems in favour of American pilots and the flying community. And all related laws should be withdrawn as being futile and waste of tax payers' money.
PhotoFinish 1
I don't understand your confused comment. My comment was long, but clearly written.

The strict oversight in US, combined with cultures commited to safety at airlines result in safety. The daily routines and processes create safety. I wouldn't change what's already working (part 121).

I might invite all part 129 carriers to step up to part 121 oversight. Many would have to make many systemic changes that would lead to greater levels of safety that will just happen automatically.
My simple response and let me close this dialogue/argument , at least from my side.
You are the one who helped me reach the relevant laws. ThanX for that.
The CFR Part 14 interalia, empowers FAA and the Feds of Civil Aviation in DC to allow or disallow any person/s to operate in USA. They are also empowered to ensure that those permitted to operate HAVE to comply with the laws of USA Aviation. Or go ! Banish them .
A simple law enforcement exercise. And no body can object or keep a grudge!
All very elementary. I guess.
PhotoFinish 1
Unfortunately, as has been mentioned before, enforcement of part 129 is very binary. Either an entire airline or an entire country's airlines are given permission to fly within the sovereign airspace or not.

There are little nuanced in-between. There is no oversight with any enforcement teeth. No surprise inspection of the airlines' headquarters. No regulatory influence over pilot training or pilot manuals, apart from regulatory oversight of the airplane manufacturer itself.

In some cases, airlines are barred from operation to the US or Europe.

Such drastic action comes with ramifications both political and economic. Doing so, would affect not only each airline, but the airline's alliance partners all over the world, even domestic partners in the jurisdiction in question.

Would help if there were regulatory frameworks for helping foreign carriers improve their operation, short of barring them, in such a stark binary In-Out Yes-No manner.

Putting foreign carriers under US regulation is not as easy as it sounds. There is the potential for accusations of interference of foreign carriers business, or of acting against the economic interests of a foreign state (potentially an ally). There is the possibility of retaliation against US carriers or other US interests. There would be the reciprocal desire to have have foreign regulator oversight over US carriers. This could be problematic if internal politics in that country cast actions by US regulators in the name of safety as actions against the people and interests of that country.

I don't see where any of this is easy.
I will not respond like a lawyer that I am.
Simply put as a layman, either play for the galleries (for personal and political gains) and compromise safety of people, OR take unpopular decisions for a safe working!
Laws every where are always powerful. What is lacking is to will to invoke and use that power !
PhotoFinish 1
Part 129 laws are not powerful. They defer to the foreign regulator to provide oversight.

Note how the Asiana crew didn't have to pee in the bottle, nor taken to the hospital for "observation" and "voluntary blood serum toxicology studies" like the crew for Southwest 345 (involved in a much more minor crash).
joel wiley 1
No way to spell it but T R A G E D Y. Thanks for posting.
Dear Friends, Joel Wiley and Donna Peterson,
I have deliberately written to make my bias so obvious. Why?
The kind of bias exhibited by so many of members of this forum about Asiana 214 accident is the cause of it. My comments are merely the 'effect'. Fault of TWO pilots, and entire Korean nation, her culture, plus cultures of Asia and the entire Orient have been clubbed to be at fault. Why? Why??
Two over runs, one by american pilots in USA and another by Koreans in Japan. Reactions mostly by Americans are different in both cases. Why?
That is bias. That's being racist.
I have been educated and trained in three professions, and have learned never never to be biased. Always to be neutral, equitable.
I had to do this to put some sense in some bloggers on this forum. They claim to be wise, but are far from being it.
I am 68yo and the three professions I mentioned, in case you must know, are Electrical Engineering, Management and Law. And currently I am a practising lawyer in New Delhi, India. The level of my court where I belong to is not relevant for this forum!
So I know what I write and why! I know the level of wisdom expected out of me.
But this time I had to stoop so low, as much low as the guys I had to compete with.
joel wiley 1
If I understand, you were using satire to make a point about some of the comments on recent posts. If it were to be a parody of the comments you see as biased, I did not catch it. You have difficulty with stooping sufficiently low as to match the competition. Most reasonable and rational people (myself included) have difficulty matching the irrationality of the lunatic fringe.

Extrapolating American attitudes from the comments of, at most, a hundred bloggers is statistically questionable.
AWAAlum 1
Because others are ignorant is no reason to follow suit. This is a forum made up of varying ethnicities, educations and morals. You're biting off more than is possible to chew thinking that you can turn it into an institute of higher learning. We're all just plain folk giving our views, be they right or wrong, whether you agree or not. Diversity is what makes the world go 'round. How dull life would be if we were all to have the exact same views and thoughts on all issues.
You are right my friend. If I follow your logic of freedom of speech and diversity then my comments also fall in the same category. No?
Diversity should not be devoid of rationality! Secondly, condemning a whole class of people! Is that part of diversity? And that has not been done by a small number of contributors! A huge one. No soul blamed just two pilots. It was always Korean pilots in general, even those who have been landing B777 on previous days, when ILS was not working and nothing happened. Some replied to my Q as those pilots being plain lucky! Otherwise the training and mind set of ALL Korean pilots are alike. Those comments exist on various squawks of this forum.
So please do find fault with my comments, but think before you cast the first stone on me!
Roland Dent 1
I have attended three universities in higher education Mr Mittal and the only thing I have learned in them is that those that lecture do not practice what they teach. Many them are lost outside the protected walls of their institution All of them were in England and all of them were avoided when it came to my son's education. In the case of Asiana it was clear they had little command of the English language. Now it would be wrong of me to classify all of academia as incompetent but it is vital that I am aware that many of them cannot apply themselves to aid anything other than their own careers. On the other hand I know many who are higly skilled at doing what they should be doing helping society to be safer and more efficient. One sick rabbit does not mean all the rabbits are sick.
Dear friends Donna Peterson and Roland Dent, you may be right in your wisdom. I acknowledge it. But is this sermonising and chastising for me, an Indian, a non American only?
If you are so righteous which believe you are, do same to so many bloggers on this forum, including this thread itself. Please do not be selective.
If it helps you, I can make a compilation of racist remarks and high light them for your benefit. I know, very soon you will start hating me, for being right in my accusations!
Please give it a thought, a serious thought. The general mind set of members here.
AWAAlum 1
If you take my comment as "sermonising" then I'm not communicating very well. I've been responding to what you've written, not who has written it. And for you to assume that what I've said to you is because you're an Indian, well, all I can say is I think you're being way defensive and over sensitive. I'm likely one of the last persons contributing to the comments to do so based on ethnicity. And that's the last I intend to say about it.
Please do not be offended. Instead of responding separately, I combined it. I am trained to be unbiased, least of all class/creed bias ! For me every one here and every where is a person. Be it face to face interaction or on a forum of faceless people like this FA . Take all on face value. Period!
I will reiterate , just as an example, please peruse comments on this very thread and you are sure to feel/read the tone of members here. Loud and clear.
I expect people to comment on the basis of intellect and professional level. No more no less. Yes, it is always possible that every one CANNOT display same level of abilities. and that is what makes life interesting in an honest way. Variety - the spice of life. . .
Any picture of running over the injured girl?
I doubt.
Even if there are any, no American will disclose/display them! For obvious reasons.
AWAAlum 4
Now it's you who's sounding biased. I hadn't expected that. The fact the actual event in progress isn't caught on camera is probably because the firefighter was looking elsewhere. Remember, those pictures were caught by a cam on the helmet. THAT is one event that's easily understood and shouldn't be viewed as a "cover-up".
"Last month, San Francisco Chief Joanne Hayes-White called Ye's death "a tragic accident."
Because a Chines died. And Americans were responsible for it. That is why it was an accident.
joel wiley 3
From your comment, it seems to me that your view is that an American perspective is somewhat racist in that what happened to the victim, being Chinese, is somehow a lesser tragedy than if she was American. That perhaps shows some bias on your part. In some ways, I am reminded of the Japanese movie Roshomon, with different perspectives of various observers.
Er.A.K. Mittal -1
For every American, running over a Chinese girl was an accident. No fault of the Americans, namely Fire Lt. Christine Emmons and at least one other firefighter, who looked at the girl and concluded she was dead. And left her to be killed by the truck!
AWAAlum 2
There are accidents that are avoidable and those that are unavoidable. And your generalizations such as "every American" are offensive. If you could view the incidents, removing ethnicity from the equation, you may arrive at fairer conclusions.
And why was the girl laying on the ground at an airport in the first place?? So who really killed her??
PhotoFinish 2
It was a chaotic scene. But if she was well enough to walk off like everyone else, she would have.

Has they moved her to medical care, she may have been one if the critically injured.

This was a mass casualty incident with 300 or so trauma and/or burn victims. It may seem calous, but it stsndard procedure to ignore the dead victims and concentrate on those you can help.

That said, the 2 firefighters who saw her, should've communicated her existence to their scene commander as soon as she was seen the first time.

Someone should've checked her for vital signs, and acted appropriately. That is, send her for treatment if she's alive, or put her body aside, onto one of the trucks if not.

But it was a chaotic scene. If there is someone who is respinsible for her death, it is the pilot(s) who were unable to land this massive airliner with 300 souls, in perfect, clear weather and a long straight approach with no obstacles.

The pilots were the one's who broke her body. The firefighters (who were the ones running toward the burning plane) just finished her off, not knowing she was still alive. Some early arriving first responders, boarded the plane and assisted some injured passengers to exit, who would've burned up in the plane otherwise.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
This website uses cookies. By using and further navigating this website, you accept this.
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.