WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — The crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport last July was a result of an over-reliance on automated systems in the plane, National Transportation Safety Board officials said at a hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
The July 6 crash of the Boeing 777 injured more than 180 people and killed two young schoolgirls from China. A third girl was also killed when she was run over by San Francisco fire trucks responding to the scene, according to NTSB officials.
The flight crew’s incomplete understanding of the plane’s autothrottle systems, an over-reliance on automated systems in landing, poor training, miscommunication and fatigue were contributing factors to the problems in the plane’s descent, according to the NTSB’s findings, which were read Tuesday by acting chairman Christopher Hart.
The board made seven recommendations to prevent such a crash from happening again, including better training in automated systems by the Federal Aviation Administration and the airline, a review of the automated systems designed by Boeing for intuitiveness and potential new safety features, and for the airline to encourage pilots to manually land planes for better alertness and reaction time.
NTSB acting chairman Christopher Hart said the Asiana crash was caused by a flight crew that “over-relied on automated systems that they did not fully understand. As a result, they flew the aircraft too low and too slow and collided with the seawall at the end of the runway.”
NTSB operations group chairman Roger Cox said, “Although the pilot flying was experienced, he lacked critical manual flying skills.”