Footage I Had Never Seen Of The Crash Of Asiana 214 At SFO

Filed Under: Asiana, Videos

Most of you probably remember the July 2013 crash landing of Asiana 214 at SFO. The plane was coming in too low on final approach and touched down too early, and after sliding down the runway for a bit the plane flipped. While it’s tragic that three people died, it’s amazing to me that there weren’t more casualties, and really shows how sturdy planes are.

While I had seen a few different videos of the crash in the distance, today I saw a video that was much clearer and longer than anything else I’ve seen. Right at the beginning of the video you’ll see the crash landing, and equally jaw-dropping is watching what transpires over the next several minutes. While it’s a 45+ minute video, you certainly don’t have to watch the whole thing (I only watched the first quarter or so).

If you haven’t yet seen this video, check it out:

  1. Yeah, there are definitely people with rollaboards. I remember that from still photos of the scene. Makes me crazy.

  2. Stipulated: People shouldn’t try to evacuate with carry on bags. It’s undoubtedly dangerous.

    But have any of you been in a catastrophic airplane crash? Since almost none of us have, let’s cut these people, who are literally in the midst of the most deadly and stressful experience of their lives, just a *little bit* of slack that they might not be thinking clearly. Grabbing one’s purse, backpack, or carry-on bag is an almost involuntary, instinctive reflex for most travelers. Overriding that instinct when surrounded by chaos, screaming, and fire is *maybe* not the easiest thing in the world.

    Go ahead and wag your finger in these people’s faces… I’m sure they will absolutely sure to remember the “no bags down the slides” rule *next time* they are in a plane crash.

  3. @Reed

    I disagree. There’s a difference between someone thinking “How can I help others get off as quickly as possible?”, versus “How do I get off as quickly as possible?”, versus “How do I protect all my possessions as effectively as possible?” in an accident.

    I agree that it is easy for those of us who have never been in that situation to judge… but at some point people are deserving of judgement.

  4. Did anyone notice firetruck running over escaping passenger during minute 6 (close to 5:30)?

  5. @Ff_enthusiast I saw that too. I remember someone was killed by a fire truck and the way they plough through the crowd I’m not surprised. You really think they’d train for that and know better than to accelerate through a crowd of passengers.

  6. One of the saddest parts of the event was the teenage girl who was run over and killed by a SFO fire department truck (the woman who did this is still with the SFO FD, amazingly enough).

  7. @Steven – Like I said, go ahead and scold them, if you feel like it. Statistics say that none of them will ever be in a plane crash again in their lives. If you think scolding then will serve as a PSA for future crash survivors, then fine (it likely won’t).

    But let’s not act *shocked* and so firmly clutch our pearls that people aren’t acting rationally in this kind of one-in-a-billion traumatic experience. Flight crews know that people don’t act rationally, which is why they scream simple and easy to follow instructions to people in the moment – and when they reach the emergency exit carrying a bag, time is best not spent turning the person around to place it back in the bin, or tossing it into a pile at the door that blocks exit for others. At that point the sun has already been committed, and the best option is for the bag to go out the door with the passenger.

  8. I’m surprised at how long it took for the slides to open, although I’m sure everyone was in a state of extreme shock.

  9. Okay, that was stunning footage.

    I live a few minutes from SJC to which some planes were diverted that day.

  10. @David The firefighter who kept her job after the truck incident was extremely controversial here in the bay area. There was a long investigation that I believe completely cleared the driver but so many of us think the outcome was odd.

  11. I remember this day very clearly. I was playing golf in Palo Alto with a buddy, and we were headed back north just as the plane crashed. We saw a huge plume of smoke and selfishly thought there was a huge fire or accident on the freeway. As we got closer, we could see it was at the airport and it became evident it was a plane crash. At the time I lived about 1 mile from this runway and could clearly see the accident scene from the driveway of the house I was renting in Millbrae. I stood outside for quite a while, watching all of this unfold. A sad day for sure.

  12. Not to nitpick, but according to the NTSB, the plane did not stall. It simply fell too far below the proper glideslope and then struck the seawall short of the runway.

  13. Looking at the footage, I was thinking FD trucks seem to be late, and when they arrive they seem unorganized. And I was thinking the way they are they could have run over somebody. Little did I know a FD truck indeed run over a girl and killed her (which I realized after I read the comments). It is very sad …

  14. Very interesting. Agree it seems to have taken longer than I would expect for Fire trucks to arrive. Also, seemed longer than I would have expected for the slides to deploy. Which could explain why people, especially in the front, were taking carryons. If you’re standing in the aisle waiting for the dang door to open, I guess its sort of tempting to grab something. But, yes, I realize I have no ability to judge what was going on after that horrendous flip/crash.

  15. Where are the buses to take the passengers away from this nightmare?
    This aircraft could have exploded into a huge ball of fire.

  16. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the flight crew’s mismanagement of the airplane’s descent during the visual approach, the pilot flying’s unintended deactivation of automatic airspeed control, the flight crew’s inadequate monitoring of airspeed, and the flight crew’s delayed execution of a go-around after they became aware that the airplane was below acceptable glidepath and airspeed tolerances. Contributing to the accident were; (1) the complexities of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems that were inadequately described in Boeing’s documentation and Asiana’s pilot training, which increased the likelihood of mode error; (2) the flight crew’s nonstandard communication and coordination regarding the use of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems; (3) the pilot flying’s inadequate training on the planning and executing of visual approaches; (4) the pilot monitoring/instructor pilot’s inadequate supervision of the pilot flying; and (5) flight crew fatigue which likely degraded their performance.

    Or dramatized on NatGeo

  17. @Steven – You can disagree all you want, doesn’t make you right. Humans panic in stressful situations and sometimes do things they shouldn’t as they aren’t thinking straight. Period.

    If you think the people taking bags have stopped and asked themselves “sod everyone else, how do I protect my possessions?” then you have such little knowledge of psychology you have no business even commenting on the subject…

  18. Seemed like slow response for fire trucks initially. Also seems like they were struggling with the fire.

  19. @elteetrav

    Too long? The first vehicles arrive about 2 minutes after the crash. I think that is about as good as it gets when it comes to response time in reality.

    Concerning the slides (wikipedia):
    “In the initial moments after the crash, the cockpit crew told flight attendants to delay evacuating the aircraft as they were communicating with the tower. A flight attendant seated at the second door on the left side (door 2L) observed fire outside the aircraft near row 10 and informed the cockpit crew, at which point the evacuation order was given some 90 seconds after the aircraft came to rest. Flight attendants told NTSB investigators that there was no fire inside the cabin when the evacuation began.[10]”

    “Two of the inflatable chutes expanded into the cabin rather than outwards. The first chute, which blocked the forward right exit, nearly suffocated a flight attendant and was deflated by a pilot with a fire axe from the cockpit.[65] The second chute expanded toward the center of the aircraft near the fire. It trapped a second flight attendant until a co-pilot deflated it with a dinner knife.[64]”

  20. Most concerning to me are the individuals running back UP the mid-slide and into the plane at about the 7:45 mark… Yike.

  21. A couple of thoughts:

    Asians like their cameras – so probably the reason for the carryons !

    The firetruck that ran over the young girl didn’t see her because she was covered in foam. There was SO much coverage in the local press in the Bay Area about this and the ensuing investigation thereafter. The other two deaths occurred post accident in the hospital.

    This was an embarrassment for the crew. Both the approach and the evacuation. Trying to “save face”. There were reports from pax onboard that the flight crew insisted NOT to do an evacuation – until it was almost too late.

    There was a 4th cockpit crewmember not listed by LPPD: Bang Ding Ow

  22. The fire response time wasn’t slow. There was no emergency declared, as there was nothing wrong with the aircraft and the weather was perfect. They had no idea until the plane hit the end of the pier that anything bad was happening. That means they had to suit up, start up the trucks and drive the ~2 miles from the station to the crash site. They responded in approximately 4 minutes, which is awfully fast.

    That said, the driving was reckless. I mean, they literally ran over some poor girl that had evacuated safely.

    As for the people grabbing things, I don’t really blame them. While it isn’t as safe, there is a natural instinct to engage in such behavior. I can see it much more with a briefcase that has important documents, money and the like, than I can with a roller bag. I can’t say I would react differently.

  23. The racist jokes about the cockpit crew’s names aren’t new. They weren’t funny in July 2013 and they aren’t funny now.

    Lucky – I know you try to keep the comments as open as possible and I applaud that. But some things are just beyond the pale.

    Every time I see footage of this crash I think what an amazing piece of engineering the 777 is – that people could walk away from something like that.

  24. U Fire the Flt crew and the Fire person and don’t fly anything BUT big name airlines and u will be Fine .

  25. I find the jokes funny. Thanks for the comic relief. Life is not that serious. I hope when I go somebody makes a wisecrack about me.

  26. @Reed – Agree with you. Don’t be too judgmental.
    @Rich – I don’t know why they ran back up. Maybe to check to make sure everyone was out?
    @Jeanluc – I know the official story was covered in foam / on the ground, but we all saw it from far away. Yes it was an accident. But, not the person should not have kept her job. She killed someone and saved no one.
    @ J De – lighten up. This was tragic, but comic relief is sometimes inappropriate and needed. I laughed my ass off watching those names on TV with the oh so serious news anchor!
    We Tu Low, Sum Ting Wong, Ho Li Fuk. Bang Ding Ow…. Funny stuff!

    Inappropriately funny!

  27. @Tom MOve Funny if you’re a 7th grader, maybe. Perhaps you can ask a few Koreans what they think or maybe some relatives of the people killed, they could probably still do with a laugh!

  28. @steven’s view on wearing seatbelts in cars. Don’t do it. People have died before because after an accident they were unable to get it off and their car caught on fire. Had they not had their seatbelt on they would have been able to get out in time and survived.

  29. Lighten up folks – Lucky can’t moderate everything! The jokes came from an NTSB Intern that sent the names to the local Fox affiliate who wet ahead and ran them on their news broadcast on live TV. (just YouTube “Asiana Flight 214 Pilot Names Prank” or similar and you will see tons of live footage from that day) Was that Lucky’s fault too? Some readers are a bit to quick to cast down their judgement!!

  30. The teen run over was ejected during the crash. Wasn’t wearing the belt, according to reports at the time. NTSB said she and another would probably both have survived if the belts had been worn.

    People who refuse to wear the belt ‘because you mightn’t be able to escape’ are usually the first to hit the ceiling when unexpected turbulence strikes. Or go through the windscreen or decapitate another passenger in a car crash.

  31. @Aaron

    I can undestand Lucky can’t moderate everything

    but when I tried to post several other comments against LPPD, pranking Asiana and Korean

    they were never released out, please explain the reason other than picking sides

  32. @Aaron This is Lucky’s blog & that’s something he or Tiffany can moderate. Where the ‘jokes’ originated is immaterial, they’re insensitive at best & should be removed from OMAAT

    Let’s post a few rape jokes next time a female passenger is assaulted or dragged off a plane & then tell anyone who complains to ‘lighten up’ because ‘Lucky can’t moderate everything’. I’d call BS on that response, too

  33. The original video posted to YouTube is still up:

    If a moderator reads this, you may want to update the embedded video in the post.

    Also, it’s sad that people get their news about aviation accidents from blog post comments. Read the NTSB’s final report. The whole thing. No one was killed by a fire truck. The girl who was run over was one of the only people not wearing a seat belt and – unfortunately and accordingly – she was the only passenger ejected from the plane. That’s how she ended up on the ground in front of the wing. After that, she – already dead – was struck (twice, actually) by fire trucks who didn’t see her because she was covered in foam. The trucks were trying to put out a fire on a burning plane while firefighters were actively rescuing trapped passengers (just because you see many people running off the plane doesn’t mean that everyone is off, and the number of serious injuries was tremendous). It was difficult to extinguish the fire (a) because planes on fire are hard to put out, and (b) because firefighters had to be very careful using their master streams. Why? Because there were firefighters making active rescues of trapped passengers in the rear of the plane. People were trapped. The girl had actually been noticed by firefighters – who didn’t move her because they were trained not to move dead bodies, to leave them untouched for investigators – but she wasn’t noticed by the drivers of the fire trucks because she was covered in a heavy, thick, layer of foam. Why so much foam right there? Because she was ejected from the plane and landed adjacent to a gushing fuel leak, the stream of which was likened by a SFPD police officer to a fire hose’s water stream. The foam was to keep that from igniting and to keep the left wing from exploding.

    Firefighters also received erroneous reports a number of times during the rescue of missing passengers and missing flight crew. Each report necessitated cessation of the use of high power master streams, and repeated, dangerous interior searches of the plane.

    The firefighters were well-trained and they put that training to good use during this incident. There were also some serious deficiencies in SFFD’s preparedness. That’s always the case with mass casualty incidents. Those kinds of incidents are always going to uncover something that you can’t really train for or predict. There were many lessons learned and those lessons have been put into practice – but none of them are things like “don’t run people over and kill them.”

    In fact, as hard as this may be to believe, there are only a handful of things which should be done differently if this incident were to happen again tomorrow. What the media did to those firefighters is sickening. (The girl’s family dropped their lawsuit against the city. Although their attorney – blatantly lying to the media – claimed a “confidential settlement,” there was no such thing. (The settlement was “we are dropping the case and you pay us no money.”) How can we know that there was no confidential settlement? Because the City of San Fransisco is legally forbidden from entering into confidential litigation settlements. It’s hard to believe that attorney is still permitted to practice law.

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