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July 6, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Just a few minutes ago, an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Seoul crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport:

A plane crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport Saturday morning after its tail came off while it was touching down on the runway.

According to a witness, around 11:20 a.m. the plane was just about to land — its landing gear had come down — when the tail of the plane came off.

After wobbling for a minute, the aircraft flipped upside down, coming to a stop on runway on it’s back.
The plane, reportedly a Boeing 777, was coming from South Korea, according to flight tracking information.

(Note: this early article was in error in its claim that the plane flipped upside down. As later photos revealed, the plane ended up on its belly, right-side up.

A tail falling off sounds like mechanical failure. (Note: See updates below.) Number of casualties unknown. Check back for updates as the story unfolds.

UPDATE 1:

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s a video of the burning fuselage:

UPDATE 2:

Epoch Times has a summary:

Twitter erupted on Saturday with reports that a plane crashed at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Photos taken from other planes showed smoke billowing from the purported crash.

“Literally just witnessed a plane crash (SFO) start to finish..cannot stop crying,” said one witness.

“Huge crash on SFO. I hope and pray everyone on that plane and facility is ok,” wrote one user.

Another said that “plane on fire moments ago at SFO airport.”

ABC News tweeted that the “plane on fire at #SFO is a Boeing 777 operated by Asiana Airlines in from Taipei,” the capital of Taiwan.

UPDATE 3:

An important first-person account just just appeared on Path.com:

UPDATE 4:

Lots of photos of the crash and first-person accounts from Twitter are posted on this page.

UPDATE 5:

Local reports are claiming there are now two confirmed deaths.

UPDATE 6:

Aerial photos of the crash site reveal that the plane attempted to land too early, and the back end of the aircraft struck the breakwater at the start of the runway. Planes arriving at SFO descend to just a few feet over the water of San Francisco Bay before arriving at the runway; this plane was too low as it reached start of the runway and the tail section struck the rocks of the breakwater, and then snapped off.

UPDATE 7:

Here are some photos of the fuselage taken from a helicopter a few minutes ago:

UPDATE 8:

KTVU confirms that there are so far at least 2 fatalities and 61 injuries.

UPDATE 9:

Twitchy is keeping on top of all the tweets from eyewitnesses.

UPDATE 10:

The crashed happened on SFO’s runway 28L. This stock image of runway 28L reveals the point of impact, where the tail section struck the breakwater (slightly off-enter from the middle of the runway) which I have circled with a green oval:

UPDATE 11:

Here is a screenshot from a video taken by a helicopter a couple minutes ago showing the exact spot of the first impact on the breakwater at the start of runway 28L:

UPDATE 12:

By now (2:30pm) this story is being covered minute-by-minute by all new networks locally and nationwide, so I’ll let the story unfold in the media and only add updates if there are any major revelations.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (31)
All Comments   (31)
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Raw Video: Fred Hayes Video of Asiana Flight 214 Crash on CNN

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=cf8_1373231556
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How is it possible that a pilot's VERY FIRST training landing on a new airliner is a commercial flight with passengers aboard?

Why is this allowed?!?!?!?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why is there no video of the actual crash? With today's digital technology, it should be easy to film every takeoff and landing at every major airport.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And now class, this is what happens when you get a 777 behind the power curve.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am relieved that so many survived, it could have been far worse. My prayers go out to all who lost family members and to those injured and/or badly shaken by this unfortunate accident.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I did that approach (SFO 28 R & L) a hundred times on my X-Plane flight simulator and never once pranged it. Something must have gone horribly wrong. Pilot error? I'm reminded of Air France 447 where that stupid co-pilot yanked back on the stick and put the plane in a stall.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
From the pictures I've seen it appears the aft flaps may not have been deployed completely. This would require a faster landing speed but it isn't 'by the book' to land without flaps. You would need a very long runway. The 'canoes' that cover the jack screws while retracted look to be fully in place. This may be as a result of the crash but I'm having a hard time figuring out how they could be in the up position after a crash if they were in fact deployed as per landing requirements. The inboard and outboard 'canoe's look to be very undamaged. The leading edge flaps are shown in the deployed position but may have done so as a result of no hydraulic pressure. I'm not sure if the leading edge and trailing edge flaps can be deployed independently.

This should have been much worse than it was if no more than 2 died in this crash. Very fortunate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I wonder how long it will take the Feds to let the passengers have the surviving luggage.

And you thought it took a long time to get *YOUR* luggage after your flight.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I had the tv on in the next room and thought I might have heard that the plane had lost power and was trying to glide in, came in nose-high, and the rest is history.

Is the tail designed to come off in such situations? It might not be the worst idea.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No parts are designed to come off in a crash. Engines are somewhat designed to come off if it blows up in-flight. The plane broke up right behind the pressure bulkhead - an extremely strong part of the plane. You can see it on the back end of the plane with the yellow primer paint on it - its hemispherical in shape to contain the pressure inside the cabin.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That is incorrect. There are a number of places that aircraft are designed to break in order to protect the remaining structure. Of course the force required to cause them to break there is much higher than could ever be experienced in the extremes of the flight envelope.

Engine nacelles are designed to break off on contact with the ground in an effort to keep wing fuel tanks from rupturing.

The leading edge slats are driven by a planetary gearboxes connected with driveshafts. They won't "Droop" without pressure. The flaps appear to be deployed, but are missing from the left side.

There are special fittings at certain places int he hydraulic and fuel lines that are designed to close off in the unlikely event of parts being broken off.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Looks more like it did a ground-loop -- spun on its vertical axis.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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