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Glide Slope Indicator Operating At SFO For 1st Time Since Crash

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Boeing 777 Crashes At San Francisco Airport
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Pilots flying into San Francisco International Airport will once again be able to land with the help of an important piece of equipment that was out of service when an Asiana Airlines flight crash landed last month.

The glide slope indicator, which helps pilots land at the airport, had been out of operation since June, due to a lengthy runway expansion project.

The indicator was not in place when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at SFO on July 6, killing three people.

Bob Hertan, Associate Professor of Aviation Safety and Human Factors at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, said the glide slope indicator is a nice piece of equipment to have for a pilot coming in to land.

“What it does, it provides you with vertical and horizontal information that tells you your relationship to the center line of the runway and the distance from the runway,” he said.

Hertan added, “But there’s still enough information in the cockpit that even if they have the aircraft improperly configured, there should be other indicators that are telling them the aircraft is not doing what you were hoping it would do.”

There are still questions whether the ground device would have given the pilots of the Boeing 777 additional clues that they were coming in too low and too slow. Hertan said it may have been a contributing factor, but pilot error appeared to be the reason for the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the circumstances of the plane crash.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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