8 July 2013, 14:23

Two teenage Chinese girls killed in Asiana crash were best friends

Boeing 777 крушение Asiana Airlines самолет крушение самолет Asiana Airlines Boeing-777 боинг

The two teenage Chinese girls killed in a South Korean passenger jet crash in San Francisco were best friends and promising students, reports said Monday, citing grief-stricken classmates and teachers.


Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan studied together at high school in Jiangshan in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the Beijing Morning Post said, citing Ye's relatives, who speculated they may have sat in the same row on the plane.

A picture of Wang was stuck in a hedge outside her high school Monday, surrounded by six white paper lilies and two chrysanthemums, flowers of mourning in China.

In the image Wang wears her school uniform, smiles for the camera and flashes a V-sign.

Wang, 17, was an active and acclaimed student leader, according to her classmates. "I feel very depressed after learning the news this morning," said Lu Hao, a fellow student. "She was very friendly to all the classmates."

Ye, 16, an outstanding student and piano player and a national aerobics champion, was the pride of her family, the report said, citing teachers and her mother."She was learning music from me and was very gifted in singing," the newspaper quoted a teacher surnamed Ai as saying.

The two were among a group of 30 students flying to the United States with their teachers to take part in a summer camp, previous Chinese media reports said.

San Francisco pilot was "in training" for aircraft at time of crash

The pilot at the controls of the Boeing 777 that crash landed in San Francisco at the weekend was still in training for that aircraft, an official said. 

The pilot had completed 43 flight hours on the model and landed nine times, but never at San Francisco International Airport, and "was in transitional training for Boeing 777 flights," a spokeswoman for the South Korean Transport Ministry said in Seoul.

Pilots often undergo additional training on commercial flights, and this one had completed over 10,000 flight hours, operator Asiana Airline said.

Two 16-year-old Chinese girls were killed when the plane hit the ground short of the runway and the tail split from the fuselage.

Initial investigations indicated the plane was approaching too slowly, and an attempt by the crew to accelerate away again for a second approach was unsuccessful.

Of the 307 passengers and crew, 180 were injured in the crash landing, including six who were in critical condition as of late Sunday.

Rescue vehicle may have hit San Francisco plane crash victim

A San Francisco-area coroner whose office received the bodies of two teenage victims of the Asiana plane crash says officials are conducting an autopsy to determine if one of the girls was run over and killed by a rescue vehicle.

San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault says Sunday that senior San Francisco Fire Department officials notified him and his staff at the crash site on Saturday that one of the 16-year-olds may have been struck on the runaway.

Foucrault says an autopsy he expects to be completed by Monday will involve determining whether the girl's death was caused by injuries suffered in the crash or "a secondary incident."

He says he did not get a close enough look at the victims on Saturday to know whether they had external injuries.

Asiana Airlines crash pilot was new to landing Boeing 777

The pilot of the Boeing-777-200 of the South Korean Asiana Airlines that crashed in San Francisco had only logged 43 hours on that type of planes. An Asiana Airlines spokesman has confirmed that the Seoul-San Francisco flight was the first for the pilot on that type of plane.

Asiana Airlines said Monday that the pilot in charge when its Boeing 777 crashed in San Francisco was in training for this type of aircraft.

Pilot Lee Kang-Kuk, 46, had 43 hours of experience in piloting this type of aircraft although he was well skilled with more than 9,000 hours of flight time under his belt, Asiana said.

"It's true that Lee was on transition training for the Boeing 777", an Asiana spokeswoman told AFP.

But he was accompanied by an experienced trainer, who acted as co-pilot.

Asiana said the airliner, purchased in March 2006, had received repairs for oil leaking from an engine early last month.

Asiana CEO Yoon Young-Doo on Sunday ruled out the possibility of mechanical failure as the cause of the crash.

US investigators said the aircraft was travelling much slower than recommended and a pilot asked to abort the landing moments before the plane smashed into the ground at San Francisco International Airport Saturday.

The flight data recorder also showed that the Boeing 777 received a warning that its engines were likely to stall as it approached the runway, where it later burst into flames killing two people and injuring 182 others.

The request to abort the landing was captured on the cockpit voice recorder 1.5 seconds before the plane crashed, said National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Deborah Hersman, who is leading the probe.

Air speed of Asiana Airline plane dropped below target

The air speed of the Asiana Airline plane that crashed in San Francisco dropped below the target air speed, according to information contained on flight and voice data recorders.

The Asiana Airlines jet that crashed at San Francisco Airport was "significantly below" its target speed as it approached the runway and its throttle was applied seconds before it hit the ground, US investigators said Sunday.

National Transportation Safety Board chair Deborah Hersman added that the pilot of the Boeing 777 aircraft requested a "call to go around" and not land just 1.5 seconds before the accident occurred.

Chinese mourn Asiana jet crash deaths

China Sunday mourned two teenage girls killed after a South Korean passenger jet crashed at San Francisco airport as survivors recounted harrowing details of their flight.

Chinese nationals made up 141 of the 291 passengers aboard the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 which burst into flames after it landed short of the runway, injuring 182.

The two girls were middle school students from east China's Zhejiang province according to a preliminary report, state news agency Xinhua said.

Earlier, state broadcaster CCTV said they were born in 1996 and 1997.The report quoted Asiana Airlines as saying the information was based on their boarding passes but their identities have not yet been confirmed by DNA testing.

It added the two were among a group of 30 students who were flying to the United States along with their teachers to take part in a summer camp.

US plane crash was not caused by engine problems - Asiana airlines CEO

Asiana Airlines does not believe that the fatal crash of one of its Boeing 777 planes in San Francisco on Saturday was caused by mechanical failure, although it refused to be drawn on whether the fault lay with pilot error.

"For now, we acknowledge that there were no problems caused by the 777-200 plane or (its) engines," Yoon Young-doo, the president and CEO of the airline, told a media conference on Sunday at the company headquarters.

Navigation system off at SF airport when plane crash-landed

A navigation system that helps pilots make safe descents was turned off at San Francisco airport on Saturday when a South Korean airliner crashed and burned after undershooting the runway, officials said.

The system, called Glide Path, is meant to help planes land in bad weather. It was clear and sunny, with light winds, when Asiana Flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea crashed just before noon, killing two passengers and injuring more than 100.

Aircraft safety experts said Glide Path was far from essential for routine landings, and it was not unusual for airports to take such landing systems off line for maintenance or other reasons.

But pilots have grown to rely on the decades-old technology, which is designed specifically to prevent runway misses, so investigators are likely to look closely at the issue.

"The pilots would have had to rely solely on visual cues to fly the proper glide path to the runway, and not have had available to them the electronic information that they typically have even in good weather at most major airports," said Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the former US Airways pilot who gained fame with a successful crash landing on the Hudson River in 2009.

"What that means is that then the automatic warnings that would occur in the cockpit when you deviate below the desired electronic path wouldn't have been available either. So we don't know yet if that's a factor in this particular situation, but that's certainly something they'll be looking at," he told the local CBS News affiliate.

Glide Path is a computerized system based at an airport that calculates a plane's path of descent and sends it to pilots in real time.

San Francisco International has turned off the system for nearly the entire summer on the runway where the Asiana flight crashed, according to a notice from the airport on the Federal Aviation Administration's Web site. It showed the system out of service June 1-August 22 on runway 28 Left.

All passengers, crew on plane that crashed in San Francisco accounted for; 2 dead

All the 307 people on board an Asiana flight that crashed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday have been accounted for, including two passengers who died, the city's mayor told reporters.

"Everyone has been accounted for," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee told reporters at a news conference.

There were a total of 307 people on board the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 flight that crashed, and two of those people died in the crash, Lee said.

The two killed in SF plane crash were Chinese passport holders - South Korean transport ministry.

1 person unaccounted for after San Francisco plane crash; 181 transported to hospitals, 123 not injured

An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed and burned upon arrival at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing two people and hospitalizing 181 others. The deadly crash happened around 11:30 a.m. Saturday on runway 28 behind Terminal 2 – the international terminal, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Based on numbers provided by the San Francisco Fire Dept. and regional hospital officials, two people died and at least 181 others were taken to hospitals – including 49 who were seriously injured, ten of them critically including two small children. Victims’ injuries included burns, broken bones and internal injuries.

The wounded were transported to nine hospitals across San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties; some suffering more minor injuries were treated at the airport. Officials also said a few passengers remained unaccounted for, but cautioned that did not necessarily mean they were dead or injured.

The plane that crashed was Flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea, initially said to be a cargo plane – but later was identified as a passenger jet.

The airline said 291 passengers were on board, including a group of vacationing Korean school children, along with a crew of 16. Most of those on-board were Chinese, Korean or U.S. citizens.

The crash happened as the jet was landing following a roughly 10 1/2 hour flight. Two passengers on the plane relayed to a San Carlos relative by cell phone that the pilot appeared to land short of the runway. Other observers reported the plane had problems on approach and clipped a wing on a rock retaining wall.

Witnesses said they heard a loud noise, saw the tail came apart from the plane, and then watched as a fireball and cloud of black smoke shot into the sky, visible for miles.

Voice of Russia, Reuters, RT, CBS, DPA, KTVU.com, ABC7, ABC News, RIA, CNN, AFP, dpa

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