Asiana Airlines says pilot error, auto throttle defect caused crash at SF airport

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Seoul, South Korea (4E) – Asiana Airlines on Tuesday admitted that pilot error and navigational equipment malfunction combined to cause its plane to crash in July at the San Francisco Airport.

The pilots of the Asiana Flight 214 failed to make a go-around on time as required by company procedure because the plane’s auto throttle led them to believe the jet was maintaining enough speed to land safely, according to Lee Hyomin, a spokeswoman for the South Korean airline.

Lee added that the auto throttle of the Boeing 777 did not have a warning system to alert the pilots of low airspeed.

Boeing denied on Monday that the equipment malfunctioned and contributed to the crash. The plane manufacturer blamed the pilots for the crash. The airline sued Boeing in January for the defective equipment on the plane.

Asian Flight 214 landed short of the San Francisco International Airport runway hitting a seawall in July. Three Chinese passengers were killed in the crash, including one who was ran over by responding fire trucks.

The pilot, Capt. Lee Kang Kuk, told National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators last year that the lack of a glideslope indicator, which tells if the plane is too high or too low during approach, made landing very difficult.

The NTSB is finalizing its investigation of the accident and will issue its findings before July.

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