A news briefing is underway on Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the jetliner that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport this past weekend. National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman updates the media and the public on the investigation into the crash that killed two passengers and injured dozens.
Here are details from today’s briefing:
The flying pilot had the day off before the flight began. He says he got 8 hours of sleep. He was in the cockpit about 30 minutes before the flight began.
The instructor pilot also says he had 8 hours of sleep, and spent some time relaxing with his family. He came to the airport at 2:20 p.m. They worked about 4 hours and 15 minutes… and then the relief crew took over for the middle of the flight. The original two pilots came back for the final hour and a half of the flight.
On the Boeing 777’s automatic systems, Hersman says “They can be simple, or they can be sophisticated.”
In this case, they’re sophisticated, she says. But she adds that pilots can take off, fly, and land without any automation if they choose.
On the other hand, “You can have limited visibility — you can not be able to approach the airport in visible conditions — and the airplane can land itself.”
She says that automation “can help maintain a level of safety and efficiency in the cockpit.”