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New York (AirGuide - Inside Air Travel) Mon, Jul 8, 2013

Asiana Airlines had been trying to clean up a tarnished safety record

Asiana Airlines, the South Korean carrier whose Boeing 777 crashed while landing at San Francisco airport on Saturday, had been trying to clean up a tarnished safety record that included two other fatal crashes in its 25-year history. One of the pilots of flight 214, Lee Jeong-min, is a veteran who has spent his career at Asiana. He was among four pilots on the plane who rotated in two-person shifts during the 10 hour-plus flight, a senior Asiana official told Reuters news agency. "The pilot's name is Lee Jeong-min, and (he is) a veteran pilot with long experience," said the official, who requested anonymity. "Our investigation committee is looking into the accident in San Francisco," he said. He declined to give any other details about the flight crew, pending an investigation into the crash. South Korea's Transport Ministry said in a statement the aircraft's fuselage appeared to have hit the ground, sending the plane off the runway and causing massive damage to the body of the jet. Asiana, South Korea's second largest carrier, has 91 international passenger routes, 28 cargo and 14 domestic routes. It operates a fleet of 80 aircraft. Two years ago, one of its 747 cargo jets bound for Shanghai crashed into the sea off Korea's Jeju island after taking off from Incheon airport. Two pilots on board were killed in the crash, which was blamed on mechanical problems. In 1993, an Asiana domestic flight from Seoul crashed in driving wind and extremely poor visibility in a botched landing attempt, killing 66 people and injuring 44. An inquiry found pilot error was the cause of that crash when the plane began a descent while it was still passing over a mountain peak. Asiana has been serving only six US cities and four in Europe, compared with the 21 routes it flies to Japan and more than 30 to China.

Asiana and Korean Air have been vying to increase US routes to cope with rising demand after South Korea was included in the US visa waiver programme in 2008. The two South Korean carriers' fleets were previously flown mainly by former air force pilots, but they have been gradually adding more civilians to their cockpits. According to the Transport Ministry, the ratio is now roughly equal. The following are the Asiana Airlines plane crashes and other significant airliner events, listed with the most recent ones first, three accidents had fatalities, including the one on July 6 San Francisco. Asia / Pacific airlines: Asiana Airlines: On 28 July 2011, Asiana Airlines Cargo Flight 991 bound for Shanghai Pudong Airport from Incheon Airport, operated by a Boeing 747-400F (HL7604), crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Jeju Island, South Korea, after reporting a fire in the cargo compartment. Both pilots were killed in the crash. On 29 April 2009, an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777, flight 271, flying between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Incheon Airport (ICN), with 179 passengers and 16 crew aboard made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff from SEA after fire and smoke was seen coming from the left engine. The plane dumped fuel over Puget Sound before landing safely around 3:30 pm at Seatac. A compressor stall was later deemed to be the cause of the incident as of 4 May 2009. On 19 August 2004, Asiana Airlines flight 204, a Boeing 747 flying into Los Angeles International Airport from Incheon, South Korea, had a near-collision with Southwest Airlines Flight 411, a Boeing 737, as a result of an air-traffic control error. The pilot of the Asiana flight aborted the landing, saving both planes. On 11 November 1998, an Asiana Airlines Boeing 747-400 attempting a U-Turn in the gate area of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport embedded its winglet into an Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-62M tail. No one was injured. Asiana was subsequently sued by Aeroflot. The Il-62M in this incident had to be written off and was parked at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport with the Asiana winglet still embedded in its tail, until it was scrapped in October 1999. On 26 July 1993, Asiana Airlines Flight 733, a Boeing 737[ETH]500 (HL7229) crashed in poor weather about 4 kilometres short of the runway in Mokpo while making its third landing attempt on runway 06 at Mokpo Airport. Two of the 6 crew members and 66 of the 110 passengers on board were killed. Mon, Jul 8, 2013 AirGuideOnline ISSN 1544-3760


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Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Jul 8, 2013
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