Asiana 214

Just wondering if the recent Asiana landing at SFO has people thinking about their travel plans, white knuckle landings, or mortality? While I've landed many, many times at SFO, and it always seems like we will land on the water, the planes always land safely on the runway. So Monday is my first trip out of SFO since the crash, and I can't help but think about the landing Wednesday on my way home. Not nervous, just makes you think. I wonder if people will pay more attention to the flight attendant's emergency instructions. Perhaps more people will pull out the safety card, especially if in an exit row. Wondering if it's there is more emphasis on leaving luggage and belonging on the plane?
Just curious how the event affects other travelers psyche, thoughts, or choice of airlines?

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

I don't even think about it. There are always more important things on my mind.

Posted by Fred
Vacaville, CA, USA
45 posts

I have commercial pilots that have flown into SFO many times, they say it's one of the easiest landings. The issue with Asiana 214 was the pilots were not paying attention. Feel fortunate to know people that work at SFO and the box revealed it.
Don't panic SFO is very safe.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6724 posts

Michael, you are correct. The ILS at SFO for at least runway 28L was not operational. I believe the visual slope lights were also not working. Sorry for the pilot talk.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6724 posts

SFO was my home airport for a couple of decades. It's an extremely safe airport. I agree with Fred that this was the stupidity of the pilots. On a Boeing 777, the computers on the plane could have landed the plane without assistance from the pilot. The pilots chose not to do this and made several errors.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

It might have been better if they had landed in the water. A Japan Airlines DC-8 did that in 1968 and no one was hurt. It was totally pilot error. I was in college there at the time and remember seeing the plane in the bay. It wasn't left there long. They lifted it with a crane, refurbished it, and put it back into service.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6839 posts

On a Boeing 777, the computers on the plane could have landed the plane without assistance from the pilot. The pilots chose not to do this and made several errors. It's the other way around...the airport's instrument landing system wasn't operating at the time of the accident so they had to land the plane manually. According to press reports pilots who work for Asian airlines typically would have let the computer land the plane, whereas pilots for US/European carrier always land a plane manually to keep their skills at the highest caliber. When the Asiana pilots had to do it themselves, they couldn't handle it.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6724 posts

Lola, I almost posted the same event. As a bread driver in 1968, I was delivering bread to the Foster City Safeway as that plane came over. It was solid fog. In the years I had heard the planes go over that Safeway, I had never heard such a low plane. It was hours later that I learned about the incident. The outer marker instrument for SFO is a short distance from the Safeway and at that point, the pilot should have been at 4,000'. He obviously wasn't. If I recall, he was flying up from San Jose where he had to spend the previous night because of weather. I don't think he reset his altimeter (barometric pressure). The result was he was much lower than his instruments showed. Pilot error all the way.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

The DF's stalled. They teach you not to that the first day of flight school. The next five minutes is spent teaching you to recover if you do. Same thing happened in Buffalo. And again over the South Atlantic. And also ......

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

I'm a bit apprehensive most of the time when flying, and I'm always happy to get off the "flying bus". However the recent SFO incident won't change my degree of apprehension at all, and I'd board a plane tomorrow if I had somewhere to go (and could afford it). I probably shouldn't watch them, but there's a program that airs here daily called Mayday. It's an hour long and the show describes and analyzes various high profile aviation incidents. At the end of the show the cause of the incident is revealed, and "pilot error" is definitely a factor in some of the cases. Some of the incidents that have been covered lately include the 2009 Air France incident, the DFW DC-10 from a few years ago (wind shear as I recall) and also the famous "Gimli Glider" (which had ceremonies commemorating it's 30-year anniversary on 23 July). One interesting bit of trivia. The 767 aircraft involved in the "Gimli Glider" incident was retired by Air Canada in 2008, and it's currently in a storage facility in the Arizona desert. It was recently on the auction block for $3M but bids only came to $400K so no sale. Apparently it's still flyable. One of the Mayday shows described a condition called "subtle incapacitation", that I've never heard of. It was one of the factors in an incident that occurred in Beirut in 2010. I expect the show will be covering the SFO incident in the near future. Happy flying!

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3206 posts

Ken, stop watching that show!.. :) I'm very nervous on a plane and every show I've seen about accidents and every news report plays in my head while in the air. I constantly fight thinking about it. As Ken said, the Asiana crash doesn't increase my fear level. But I love going to Europe so I'd rather fly than not go at all. I agree with Woody Allen when he said "I'm not afraid of dying.. I just don't want to be there when it happens.' Thing is, I just don't want to be thousands of feet up in the air if something terrible goes wrong. That's my big fear.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

@Susan, Watching the show doesn't really bother me, although I try not to watch it just before a trip involving air travel. During flights I constantly remind myself that air travel is one of the safest forms of transportation and the accident rate is extremely low. According to statistics, I'm more likely to be smacked by a Kenworth on the way to the airport. Also, in many of the shows the majority of passengers walk away after the incident, as was the case with the recent SFO incident. Cheers!

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3206 posts

Ken, yep, that's what they say, doesn't give me much comfort though. If I'm in a crash I'd rather be on the ground than in the air. Won't stop me from flying .. but I do wish I could afford to go by ship!

Posted by Janet
Maple Grove, MN
737 posts

Left for Italy 2 days after this happened and didn't even think about it even with a flight delay of 3.5 hrs. out of Mpls-St. Paul Airport due to mechanical issues.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

Zero affect. I think the fact that so many people survived something like this is a testament to how much regulation of interior cabin components has made flying safer - I don't mean the human error of the team of pilots - I mean things like durable seats and fire retardant materials and other design factors that would have made a completely unsurvivable situation actually survivable for many on board. This is similar to cars - each successive improvement is increasing the odds of averting death.