NTSB: Asiana Crew Put Too Much Faith in Auto-Pilot
They didn't realize that automatic throttle was failing, says report
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2014 1:37 PM CDT
In this July 6, 2013, aerial file photo, the wreckage of Asiana Flight 214 lies on the ground after it crashed at San Francisco International Airport.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(Newser) – A combination of factors led to last year's crash of an Asiana Airlines jet in San Francisco, but the one that tops the list of a new report is a straightforward one: "flight crew mismanagement." Federal investigators say the South Korean pilots should have realized that their automatic throttle was bringing them in too low and too slow and overridden it in time, reports the San Francisco Chronicle and the AP. The big problem is that the crew "over-relied on automated systems that they did not fully understand," says Christopher Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB, therefore, wants Boeing to provide better training for its increasingly complex systems. "In their efforts to compensate for the unreliability of human performance, the designers of automated control systems have unwittingly created opportunities for new error types that can be even more serious than those they were seeking to avoid," says Hart. The report also says the pilots were fatigued at the end of the flight, which didn't help. Three people were killed in the crash, including one young woman who was hit by emergency vehicles. The report generally praised the emergency response but cites problems with training and radio communications.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
Jun 24, 2014 8:33 PM CDT
are they trying to say that on final approach the plane was on auto pilot ?
Jun 24, 2014 4:06 PM CDT
Over worked and under-trained sounds like most pilots flying these days. Without the autopilot a lot of planes would be crashing.
Jun 24, 2014 3:27 PM CDT
When flying on autopilot, you are still responsible for flying the airplane. You are constantly monitoring the autopilot's behavior. If you see the need for a correction before the autopilot makes the correction, there is something wrong and you take over.