Pilot in SF Crash Was Still Training

It was his first attempt to land 777 at SFO

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 8, 2013 4:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – The pilot in Saturday's plane crash in San Francisco was a veteran with almost 10,000 hours of flying experience—but just 43 of them were in a Boeing 777 and the disaster that killed two people and injured 182 others was his first attempt to land that type of aircraft at the site. Asiana Airlines pilot Lee Kang-kook was still in training for the jet and was being assisted by a co-pilot with more than 3,000 hours of flight experience with the 777, Reuters reports.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators haven't settled on pilot error as the cause of the crash but the investigation is focusing on why the plane came in to land at "significantly below" the right speed and why the crew didn't try to abort the landing until 1.5 seconds before the crash, the Wall Street Journal reports. The airline's chief executive says he does not believe the crash—the first fatal one involving a 777—was caused by mechanical failure.

This image released by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the interior of the Boeing 777 Asiana Airlines Flight 214 aircraft.
This image released by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the interior of the Boeing 777 Asiana Airlines Flight 214 aircraft.   (AP Photo/NTSB)
This image released by the National Transportation Safety Boardshows an NTSB agent photographing the tail of the Boeing 777 Asiana Airlines Flight 214 aircraft.
This image released by the National Transportation Safety Boardshows an NTSB agent photographing the tail of the Boeing 777 Asiana Airlines Flight 214 aircraft.   (AP Photo/NTSB)
An investigator looks at the tail of Asiana Flight 214 yesterday after the passenger jet crashed at the San Francisco International Airport.
An investigator looks at the tail of Asiana Flight 214 yesterday after the passenger jet crashed at the San Francisco International Airport.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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