July 6, 2013 – Boeing has recorded the first casualties for the 777 since it went active 18 years ago. The Boeing 777 has a remarkable safety record, with only two “hull loss” situations in which the plane suffered damage, with no casualties resulting from either incident. The identities of the two 16 year old girls killed in the crash have not been released and one may have in fact been run over by an ambulance after surviving the crash.
Saturday, the Asiana Airlines flight crash landed at the San Francisco National Airport. More than 300 crewmembers and passengers were onboard. Eyewitnesses and passenger reports agree with one another on the events of the crash: The angle of approach was too steep and the aircraft’s speed was lower than tolerable for landing. Eyewitnesses claim the plane swayed uneasily from side to side. The tail end of the aircraft struck first, sending ‘cartwheeling flames’ up from the rear end of the plane. Upon impact, the emergency ramps were deployed and passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft, with the pilot staying and communicating with the tower during evacuation. The flames that erupted from the 777 ate through a large portion of the fuselage. Initial surveys of the wreckage show a shattered and scorched fuselage, damaged engines – with one being torn away – and the tail end missing.
181 of the passengers have been taken to hospitals – five are in critical condition at the San Francisco General Hospital.
Officials are investigating both pilot error and the shutdown of a landing guidance system as possibles causes for the failure. Once credible theory is that the plane descended at a lower altitude than was safely possible, the pilot increased throttle just before impact – realizing that he was too low for the landing – and that the landing gear at this point caught the lip of the seawall and slammed the plane down onto the runway. This is however speculation and theory, the NTSB is continuing their investigations.