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Jet Emergency Could Have Been Avoided

Posted August. 26, 2006 03:22,   


It has been revealed that a flight accident in June was due to a mistake of the captain who controlled that flight. The Asiana Airlines flight heading toward Gimpo Airport from Jeju made an emergency landing due to plane damage caused by hail.

However, Asiana Airlines said it will not withdraw its earlier decision to give the highest reward to the captain, because his calm countermeasures pulled off a safe landing in the middle of a crisis.

On August 25, the Aviation and Railroad accident investigation committee under the Ministry of Construction and Transportation delivered the midpoint result of the investigation about the flight that landed with a ventilation windshield and radome broken after it faced hail in the skies near Iljuk, Anseong, Gyeonggi Province on June 9.

At that incident, two hundred passengers and flight attendants were on board, including a group of 177 elementary school students who were coming from a school excursion.

Yoo Byung-seol, the committee director, said, “There were 19 flights through the incident area from 5:00 to 5:51 p.m. on that day. Every flight except the accident flight took a lengthy detour around the rain clouds. Only that flight passed near rainy clouds and faced ping-pong ball sized hails around 5:45 p.m.”

Other planes headed west in order to evade the rain clouds which were moving from west to east. However, the accident flight could not avoid the rain clouds because it took its direction east at the first time and changed it to west afterwards.

Yoo said, “When you see through the weather radar of the airplane, you need to keep adjusting the radar at right angles, but the captain set the angle fixed and he could not grasp the state of the clouds well.”

The investigation pointed out the fact that the control tower did not warn the airplane of the location of the clouds that was shown on the radar at both control tower and the airport and that the weather station did not provide extra information about the weather state.

The investigation committee advised based on the result of investigation that Asiana Airlines and the control tower take a measure to prevent similar accident from happening again.

Lee Gwang-hee, the head of safety education team under Ministry of Construction and Transportation, said, “This investigation revealed that the real reason of the accident was captain’s mistake, but it seems hard to punish the airline or pilot because an obvious violation of air service regulations has not been found.”

According to this investigation, an official of Asiana Airline said, “We admit it was a mistake that the plane did not take a roundabout way, but the ‘well-done’ award and prize money will be given to the plane captain and vice captain as arranged.”