tv Caught on Camera MSNBC July 6, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
i was talking to the producer. my apologies. >> that's okay. do we know whether there was another plane in close proximity to this one as it was landing? >> i don't know. it's been about three hours since i used this prop, and maybe this is helpful for people to understand the configuration of the airport at san francisco. this is 28 left here. you're coming in over the water. and here's 28 right right here. this is where he was. he was literally on the runway closest to the terminal. the terminal is right here. so he's coming in, and he hits the embankment, the seawall, right there, 28 left. he doesn't get any distance at all down this runway. he's already impacted the ground before the runway even starts, the truth of the matter is. and then he ends up over here in the field. so this is like, you know, like hitting a concrete wall. if you can imagine, that is a pretty sudden drop, and then the plane just suddenly goes down like that, belly first, and it
slams onto the ground. i think the reason that we had fire, but i'm interested to hear what greg fieth would say, thankfully we're at the end of the 12-hour flight, therefore your engines don't have a lot of fuel left in the fuel tanks. but the point is there isn't a lot of fuel in the engines, and as soon as that plane hit the ground, the engines exploded and caught fire. but provided enough time for people to get out of that plane very quickly. >> captain, by the way, we're waiting on greg fieth to come back, tom. captain bun, i want to bring you back in here. have you ever had to crash land a plane? have you ever had a flight emergency? >> for me, flying has been pretty boring and that's the way we want to keep it. >> 40 years, uneventful? >> yeah. well, the air force was different. >> yeah. >> but once you're flying airliners, it's like driving a bus. >> i'm always very interested. maybe it will be tomorrow, maybe even later before we hear from folks who were inside that cabin, survivors of this crash,
what it was like, and when they realized precisely when they realized that something was amiss. because based on -- tom, based on what greg said earlier, based on your reporting earlier, based on the wire copy that we've been reading, it appears as if whatever happened to this plane happened very, very quickly. >> yeah. i think that's true. and if this initial hypothesisis turns out to be accurate, it would appear that for whatever reason, this caught the flight crew by surprise. suddenly, their tail, which is dragging a bit, to put it in layman's terms, slams into the seawall. and that forces the plane down flat on its belly. you can imagine what a jolt that would have been. now, the good news is that that plane on the final descent would have been traveling at a pretty low rate of speed. so had it been going really fast, that could have been a whole different situation. had it been more of a, you know,
just kind of a glancing blow, you could have seen a situation where the plane would almost cartwheel. but in this particular case, it appears, and this is all preliminary, it appears that by hitting that seawall so hard, it cut off the tail, and then the plane was just forced down very quickly and hard onto the tarmac, onto the runway. so in a terrible situation, this seems to have been about as lucky as they could have been, to be honest with you. >> want to reset it for folks who might just be joining us right now. just after 7:00 on the east coast. we are waiting for a news conference to begin at any moment at the san francisco international airport. at that news conference, we expect to learn a great deal more about precisely how it was that asiana flight 214 went down about 11:15 this morning west coast time, we're told.
bound from -- it was headed from seoul, bound for san francisco. it left around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. seoul, south korea, time. it was expected to land about 11:15 when something happened. apparently, fairly quickly aboard that aircraft. the pilot according to sources, the pilot did not make a distress call. we've heard from our meteorologists over at the weather channel that weather in the san francisco bay area today was for all practical intents and purposes pretty good. no fog. no rain. about 65 degrees. the winds somewhere between five and 10 miles per hour. we have been showing you over the past few hours the line of debris left along runway 28 where this plane went down. we've also spent some time showing you the tail of that plane. the tail closer to the seawall than it is the actual resting plane. that plane now resting left of
the runway in a field. we've also seen roughly 25 or 30 uniformed investigators methodically combing the runway, methodically combing field, looking for any type of cluesa the this point. we heard from chairperson of the national transportation safety board safety board debbie hersman a short time ago. they had a news conference right before they boarded that flight for san francisco. we expect to learn a great deal more when they retrieve those two cockpit recorders. my colleague melissa is standing by with new information. >> we have information from reuters not confirmed by nbc news at this point. we have more information on the people, the nationalities, of the people who were onboard. according to this information, the flight was carrying 141 chinese citizens. 77 south koreans. and 61 u.s. citizens. that is according to the airline's head office in seoul.
the official could not immediately confirm the nationalities of the remaining passengers. there were 291 passengers and 16 crew members onboard this flight that left from seoul. >> 291. >> exactly. >> all right. tom, i want to bring you back in here. you mentioned earlier that the government has already said that there's no reason to suspect that this was anything sinister, correct? >> yeah. and i think it may be useful here to just put the expectations probably in a proper context on a ntsb investigation. and i have covered quite a few of them over the years. they will not, despite many reporters will say what caused this crash immediately. in fact, somebody asked the ntsb chairman that today before they even left washington. they don't know, and they will not speculate. that is something they will not do. the ntsb is extremely methodical. they have developed an international reputation for being very precise and not engaging in hyperbole.
they will spend a good deal of time looking at all the evidence and collecting all the evidence from the human activity inside the plane, including the pilots and the crew, the air traffic control tapes, the flight data recorder, the cockpit voice recorder. they'll look at the air frame, the history of the plane, the engines, the engine maker. this will go on and on and on, and they will not draw any conclusions until they do a final board meeting, as greg mentioned, in 12 to 18 months. that said, this is a very transparent organization. they will generally release what they know when they know it. so if they know for example in about two days or so precisely what the flight data recorder is telling them in terms of the approach angle, if you will, the line of attack, then they may release that. and then you'll get all of us
using that information to try to speculate. we will generally do the speculating or retired ntsb folks will try to bring that into some sort of focus for us. but the ntsb will avoid doing that. so when we talk about what we expect from the ntsb or what we expect from briefings, we won't get much for a while. we will at this point be looking for more information from the airport, the fire rescue services, exactly how many people they transported and traded. what was it like on the ground. but looking for the nuts, if you will, the bolts and screws and nuts of this investigation, that's going to take some time. >> i'll never forget what debbie hersman told me in an interview when i was there with you on the local side. we were talking about investigations like this, and she said, you know, we don't have to be fast. we have to be right. but we don't have to be fast. >> yeah. that's right. >> tom, will they dismantle much of that plane during the course of their investigation? and if so, will they just do that there at a hangar in san
francisco? >> yeah. that's pretty much the standard protocol. they'll gather all of this -- all of the debris and remains of this aircraft, and they'll put it in a local hangar. they'll find one from somebody. and then preferably they'd like to be as close to the airport as they can. just one other point. we often talk about chairman debbie hersman. she prefers to be called chairman. yes, she's a woman, but she prefers to be called chairman of the ntsb. so we fulfill her wishes on that. >> yes. chairman debbie hersman headed to san francisco with a team of investigators. captain bun, you alluded to something earlier and i want you to expound on that if you could. when a pilot is approaching a runway, when a pilot is landing and there's a co-pilot sitting next to him, what is the division of labor? >> well, one person flies the plane. the other person does the radio work. but constantly crosscheck.
anytime you touch a switch, the other person is supposed to watch it or actually operate the switch for them. and so that both people are involved in everything that happens on the plane constantly, checking and crosschecking. >> all right. it looks like this news conference that we have been waiting for in san francisco at the airport there, it looks like this news conference is set to begin here. we see some officials there lining up behind the microphone. again, we heard from san francisco -- we heard from officials there about two hours ago. at that point, they did not have a lot of hard information. they couldn't tell us precisely how many people were aboard the plane nor could they give us a firm number in terms of the dead or the injured. we are hoping that at this particular news conference here that's set to start about 4:15 -- it's about 4:15 on the west coast. we are expecting to get the answers to a number of questions.
but, agains as our tom costello has been reporting throughout the afternoon, as a number of analysts and experts have said, precisely what happened is going to take some time. let's listen in. a tragic day for sfo, for san francisco, for everyone. we will provide as much information as we're able to at this time. the city leaders are here together. the mayor, fire chief, and police department. i'd like to turn it over to the mayor now to say a few words. >> thank you, john. good afternoon. first, let me say that on behalf of the people of san francisco, our thoughts and our prayers are with all of the passengers on the asiana airlines flight 214 from south korea. we're deeply saddened by this incident, and our hearts are with our friends and the families of those that are affected.
ladies and gentlemen, this is still a fluid and active scene. not everyone has yet to be accounted for. our first responders responded immediately to this incident. and area hospitals, some nine of them, including san francisco general, are treating those with injuries. and we will continue to monitor their conditions. i have just spoken with deborah hersman, who is the chair of the national transportation safety board, and she will be flying out here and they will be investigating this incident. we're also in touch with our fbi agents as well. i have spoken and he is here today, the counsel general from korea, and we have relayed our city's sympathy to the people of the republic of korea. counselor general hahn is here. the passengers and their families are our first priority,
and we'll continue to provide them with the support that they need. but right now, i have with me fire chief john hayes white, police chief greg sur. you heard from director of the airport john martin, and special director of the fbi. and let me turn it over to the public information officer for our airport for more details. >> thank you. to confirm the flight information, again, at approximately 11:27 a.m., asiana airlines flight 214 experienced an incident coming into san francisco airport. this aircraft is a boeing 777 aircraft. for a count of the passengers and the status of those passengers, i'm going to turn it over to san francisco fire chief joanne hayes white. chief? >> good afternoon, everyone. i wanted to let you know and
emphasize again what mayor lee stated. obviously, and john martin as well, the tragedy at san francisco international airport, but i want to assure you that the scene is now secured. it required the cooperation of multiple agencies. at approximately 11:34 a.m. this morning, san francisco fire department, who operates the firefighting down here, we have three stations, we were called to the scene as well as units from san francisco, for what we had been categorized as a hard landing. our crews responded post the landing. and our aircraft riescue and firefighting equipment went to work right away. applied foam and water to the fuselage. when we arrived on scene, the chutes had already been deployed, and we observed multiple numbers of people coming down the chutes and actually walking to safety, which was a good thing. still very active in terms of the coordinating all the numbers and so forth. i'm told that the information we
received from asiana airlines, their manifesto included 291 passengers with 16 additional crew for a total of 307. we had 48 initial transports from the scene to area hospitals. and that was both at san francisco county and san mateo county. it was a pretty even split. i believe 26 to san francisco, 22 to san mateo hospitals, for a total of 48. we accounted for 190 people. and i'm told that these numbers are fluid. out of those 190, there are approximately 82 at this time that have been transported or in the process of being transported. we do have some numbers that -- some passengers that are not accounted for, and that is a work in progress. our crews worked collectively and collaborately with sfpd and
our brothers and sisters in the south bay. they were actually on the plane doing some search and rescue attempts. and at 2:45 p.m. this afternoon, we turned our investigation and our efforts over to the federal bureau of investigation, who will be working and coordinating with the ntsb. my understanding is that the scene is secured with the assistance of the fspd. and again, at this time we are working the numbers to determine exactly who's going where in transports. but there were a number, like i said, 190 of the passengers, pretty much self evacuated or with assistance from emergency responders over here to san francisco. and they were categorized as green, which means minor injuries. and i'm told that if 82 of the 190 were transported to the hospitals, the others, which the math is about 108, would be declared not necessary to go to the hospital. that's all that we have at this time. thank you.
>> ok. command was transferred at approximately 2:45 hours to fbi agent in charge dave johnson. dave, did you wish to make any additional comments? >> thank you. thank you. i'm fbi special agent in charge david johnson. and on behalf of the fbi, i want to convey that our thoughts and prayers are with all the flight's passengers, crew, and their families. at this point in time, there is no indication of terrorism involved. the fbi will be working closely with the ntsb on this investigation to determine the cause of the incident. we currently have all of our resources available to assist in this investigation, and we will do all that we can to find out what occurred. i also want to thank you, to all of the first responders, for their quick response. our local, state, and federal partners for the work that fa they've done so far. thank you.
>> i want to report as well that two of our far runways are back in operation, and we will hold another press update at approximately 5:30. and, again, most of all, our hearts go out to the passengers and family members. thank you. >> yes, there are. and i failed to mention that. at this time, there are two fatalities associated with this incident. >> chief, how many are unaccounted for? >> we're still putting those numbers together at this time. upwards of approximately 60 people at this time. >> upwards of 60? >> at this time. >> 6-0? >> yes. >> reporter: is there a passenger list? [ inaudible ] >> so the plane originated i'm told from shanghai, china, with a stop in seoul, korea, and then the final destination was san
francisco international. undetermined at this time. >> reporter: 291 people were on the plane, and you said [ inaudible ] 22 to san mateo hospitals? >> yes. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] >> right. so, again, this is a work in progress. there was 291 passengers. that was given to us by the airline, with 16 crew, for a total of 307. we had approximately 48 transported. that's the 26 and the 22 to area hospitals. we had 190 that came here to san francisco international. i'm told the number is changing. out of the 190, approximately 82 have been transported, in addition. so that would be 130 transports total. >> transported to the hospital? >> correct.
>> reporter: it originated in shanghai. >> that's my understanding that came from someone from asiana airlines, that originally the plane started at shanghai, china, to seoul, korea, to sfo. that was provided by the airline. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] >> no, i do not. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] >> not at this time. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] >> yes. planes are landing and taking off. the 119 runways are in operation. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] >> so i know mr. martin from the airport talked about a 5:30 press conference. and i know this is obviously of interest and concern to everyone. and i would just ask while we're doing our work trying to account for everyone, this is something that's obviously an extraordinary and tragic day, that you give us a little bit of time and patience so we can put the numbers together for you so we can give you the most accurate and up-to-date information we can give you.
i don't know how many critical at this time. >> reporter: what do we know at this point about malfunction or anything at all that might have gone wrong? >> no. i think they are all excellent questions that you are asking, but you have to remember that we got the call here at 11:34. so it's just a few hours after. ntsb will be coming in and working with the fbi. so those will all be answered. but it's unrealistic at this time to be able to give you the answer to that. >> reporter: what can you tell us about the [ inaudible ] at the time the plane descended? >> just to comment on the status of the airport, weather conditions were as we continue to have them at this time, weather conditions were clear at san francisco airport. so all aircraft were arriving using visual flight rules, which means they were physically sighting the runway coming in for a landing. we're going to wrap up this press conference. our next briefing will be in this location. we have reopened two runways for the airport at this point in time, so we're beginning to resume normal operations.
at this time, we're going to conclude this briefing. we'll have a follow-up briefing in the same location at 5:30. thank you. >> all right. news conference wrapping up there at the airport in san francisco. word is we'll get another news conference from san francisco in about an hour. highlights here. the biggest highlight, perhaps, at this point according to officials there in san fran, not everyone has been accounted for. they're still apparently trying to account for everyone who was aboard that flight 214 there. fire chief in san francisco also confirming that two people died in the plane crash. 82 -- 130 were taken to hospitals in total. there was some confusion about precisely where and when. but all told, 130 people taken to hospitals. two people dead. aboard the flight, 307 people.
291 passengers, 16 crew members. 60 unaccounted for at this point. 60. that's the number that came from the fire chief. they're still looking for 60 people there. we also found out that the flight itself seems to have originated in shanghai, with a stopover in seoul. and it was ultimately bound for san francisco. again, asiana flight 214 is the flight we're talking about. again, you are continuing to look at what's left of that plane. it's about 4:30 there on the west coast. again, we're going to get another news conference in about an hour. two runways are open there at sfo. planes are landing and taking off there. as well, we also found out from the fire chief that according to her, when those firefighters arrived on the scene, the chutes had already been deployed. and folks were walking and according to some eyewitnesses we had earlier, some of them running to safety. the scene itself according to
officials in san francisco, the scene itself is secure. tom costello is standing by for us in the bureau down in washington, d.c. captain tom bun, 40 years a pilot, here in the studio with us. tom, let me start with you. 60 people still unaccounted for at this point. >> boy, that is certainly very distressing. let's hope that this is just an accounting problem with people milling about the terminal. but that is a very -- that's very concerning, if that's the case. this would go down as a horrific, horrific accident in american history, if that's -- if those people are perished in that plane. let's hope that they didn't and they are still just trying to get everybody together and count noses. but that's very serious indeed. you know, as we said, that's probably as much as we expect from those local incident commanders who have had their hands full this afternoon. but in terms of the nuts and
bolts of this investigation, that's going to take some time. and yet this leading theory that this plane came in with essentially in layman's terms with its tail dragging, if you will, and suddenly pitching up with its nose in a dramatic fashion, and hit that seawall and slammed down on the ground. you know, the big issue as you and i have discussed throughout the day is how quickly can you get people out of a plane. and these planes, boeings and airbus planes today, are built to give people extra time. that doesn't mean it always happens. you know, they are built to hopefully allow more time with fire resistant, if you will, materials inside. and hopefully the materials of the seats themselves allow for a little bit of give so that hopefully people don't immediately break their backs or hips in an accident. and they have been remarkably successful at building planes that do just that. and yet if this is true, if 60 people are unaccounted for, boy, this certainly is very
concerning. >> and we went and pulled the language. the specific language from the fire chief there. upwards of approximately 60 unaccounted for. that's what we heard. that's what we wrote down here. and, again, 307 people onboard. 291 of them passengers. 16 crew members. at this point, two confirmed fatalities. but we also know at this point that there are at least 10 critically injured. scores injured in total. but at least 10 of them have been injured critically. the news conference there, edwin lee started off by saying it's a tragic day for sfo, a tragic day for everyone. and he also said that this is still a fluid and active scene. tom, what does that mean? it's still a fluid and active scene? because we heard from the fire chief short thrly thereafter, s said that the scene was secured. >> they are going to secure the
scene until the ntsb gets there, on the ground, if you will. you've got three ntsb investigators from the west coast who will be there in short order. but your full go team with many, many people involved in that team, they will arrive late tonight or early in the morning. and they will then methodically begin going through this plane crash and looking for any and all evidence to help them piece together what happened. and they will divide into teams. they will have teams that will only be looking at the air frame of the aircraft. they will have teams that look only at the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder and the interior of the plane and how did it -- how did it handle a crash. they'll talk to the crew members. you know, they'll go through every possible piece and minuta of this crash and all the details of the flight to determine what happened. and they will go back not just in the minutes before this crash, but they will go back to the beginning of this flight in shanghai, and then again in seoul. and they'll look at the history of this plane. this will be a very thorough
investigation involving many, many people here. >> of the 48 people who were initially transported to the hospital, by the way, folks, 26 of them were taken to san francisco hospitals. 22 were taken to san mateo hospitals. 190 folks apparently went into the airport. they got off the plane, went into the airport. 82 of those 190 were also later taken to a local hospital. so 130 total. 130 have been taken to hospitals. and, again, upwards of -- language is important here, so i want to make sure we get this right. upwards of approximately 60 unaccounted for. captain bun, i want to bring you back in here. tom costello will stand by for us in washington. tom bun, 40 years a pilot. as you told me when you sat down, you never flew the boeing 777 because they came out after you got out of the business. but you did fly the boeing 747 and the boeing 767.
as we continue to watch the aftermath here, the cleanup, the investigation, you heard that news conference. what do you make of that? >> the news conference is really just kind of boilerplate, where they are going to say -- they're going to know pretty quickly a lot of things. and within a few hours, i believe, they are going to know what caused the accident. but they aren't going to disclose that to the public except for specific details that they have as far as sort of scientific data. 18 months, two years from now, they'll have the official cause. >> yeah. >> but what we can speculate about is the plane -- if you look at where the plane is, it stopped about the same point where it should have landed. so it slowed down extremely quickly once it got on the ground or it was flying very slow. now, there's no reason once you get the plane into a sliding along the ground that it's going to decelerate normally. so this once again shows the
plane was flying extremely slow when it hit the seawall. >> i also want to correct something that we sort of said earlier about precisely when this time -- when this plane took off and because of the time zone changes there was some confusion. but this plane actually took off or i should say left seoul 4:15 this afternoon, and again, because of the time zone change, left 4:15 and was scheduled to arrive in san francisco 11:15 this morning. again, on the left side of your screen there, you are watching the investigation start. and we've seen if you look closely at the bottom of the right-hand box, the big box, you can see the investigators who have over the course of the afternoon been methodically pouring over that field, pouring over the runway as well, looking for any piece of evidence that might be able to explain
precisely how it was that this boeing 777 went down as it landed. we got some information, some new information a short time ago. we're also told at the end of that news conference that we can expect another news conference from san francisco in roughly an hour. we are going to bring that news conference to you live as well. but, again, according to mayor edwin lee, mayor of san francisco, this is still, quote, a fluid and active scene because not everyone has been accounted for. again, upwards of approximately 60 people, 60 people at this point, are not accounted for. as my colleague tom costello in d.c. noted a short time ago there, is a chance, and in fact at this point it's our hope and prayer, that some of this could just be an accounting mishap. there might be some people reunited with their families or milling about the airport terminal. there might be some people who
managed to get out of that place and get to their hotels that they haven't been able to track down. but at this point, they haven't tracked down five dozen people. we also heard from the fire chief a few moments ago as we look at, again, that is captain -- captain, i think we have established based on empirical evidence, what we're looking at right now, that's -- >> that's the tail. >> that is the tail? >> and there's the arrow. that arrow says don't land here. you're supposed to be further up the runway when you touch it. and there's the tail right there where the arrow says go further. so the tail came off and slowed down very quickly. it's very close to the seawall. and the plane itself is at the point where the plane would even start to touch the runway to land. so the plane must have been going very, very slowly. the other things you can see in the pictures is you can look at the leading edge and trailing
edge flaps. so the plane is in remarkably good shape, if you look at some of those pictures. >> tom, let me bring you back in here. you have covered more than anybody else in this company perhaps now more crashes. you've covered the airlines for us. and you've seen a number of situations like this unfortunately. when was the last time you saw a tail detach from a plane like that in the aftermath of a crash? >> i'm not sure i could remember that off the top of my head. i didn't cover the 777 that went down in london heathrow. i didn't go because thankfully nobody died. and everybody got out ok. and it was an investigation that was handled very quickly and in short order. and they determined that in fact it was ice crystals in the fuel lines of that 777 that caused the fuel to block. it couldn't get to the engines, and the plane came down short of the runway. that was addressed very aggressively by boeing and by the faa and by the europe an authorities as well.
so, you know, my guess is that that probably would not be a factor in this particular crash, that boeing and the faa and everybody dealt with that. the last time that this country, the united states, had a fatal commercial plane crash was in 2009, when of course we lost that flight in buffalo and 50 people onboard the plane died, and one person on the ground died. and that was attributed finally in the ntsb investigation to pilot error. that was a regional plane, you may recall. the last -- this is the most recent, of course, major crash involving a major airline and a major, you know, boeing or an airbus. the last time we had one of those go down in the united states in which somebody died, you have to go all the way back, thankfully, to november of 2001, when that american airlines airbus went down in queens, new york. and ultimately, they determined that that was probably also crew error in that particular crash. that's been debated back and forth.
you know, you talk to different people, and they have different opinions. but that was the ntsb's final ruling that it was crew error. so we have had a remarkably good record of aviation safety in this country. there was also one more regional plane crash that occurred in lexington, kentucky. but, you know, for the most part, this country has had a great record of aviation safety. >> tom, that remarkable run that we have, and, again, when you think about the sheer number of planes that take off and land on a daily basis, the run is quite remarkable. is it a function of advanced engineering with regards to the making of planes? is it a function of technology aboard the planes? is it a function of skilled pilots? or is it a function of all thee of the aforementioned? >> it's all of the above. and i've had extensive conversations with people at boeing, at airbus, at the faa, at the ntsb about this very issue. why have we had such a good record over the last 11, 12
years or so. and it comes down to these planes that are generally made very, very well. incredibly redundant systems built into the plane so that it, you know, if you make a mistake here, hopefully the computers catch another mistake and another mistake. so there's a lot of help for pilots in the cockpit so that if a mistake happens, you know, that the computers catch it. the planes are built better than ever before. pilots are trained better than ever before. this culture of safety completely permeates aviation today. i would be interested to hear what your pilot sitting next to you has to say about this. but i have talked to many pilots, veterans, who say, listen, the good old boys of 30, 40 years ago when a lot of these airline pilots came straight out of the military and it was sort of fighter jock mentality, that's long gone. there's an extreme focus on safety and attention to detail, and all of that has come back to create this great safety record. but keep in mind in this
particular case, yes, we're talking about a boeing 77 7 aircraft. but we're talking about a crew from another country. so clearly that crew's culture, the training that they go through, the procedures in the flight deck, all of that is going to come into play here. >> captain, let's take that question to you, the one that tom just posed. can you talk to me a little bit about the evolution of that culture of safety that now exists in flying versus 40 years ago when you started? >> well, someone talked about this before, that the asian culture where the captain is gone, and you don't question him. we were like that also in this country. but we went through some training in the '80s that said, look, you've got two or three people in the cockpit. everybody's got to be willing to speak up if something's not going right. and that actually came to being because of a crash in san francisco that was the united
airlines crash. a plane had some problem. it wasn't a major problem. but the pilot spent too much time preparing for the landing, and just ran out of fuel. and there were two people, the flight engineer and the co-pilot, who certainly saw this developing but they didn't intervene. so that's why they came in with what's called cockpit resource management. crm. and that was done in the '80s in this country. and other countries then picked it up following what we did. >> again, folks who might just be tuning in here, we continue to follow the breaking news in san francisco. you are looking at in the other box on your screen, you are looking at all that is left of asiana flight 214. left shanghai, stopped in seoul, bound for san francisco. as it approached the runway, something happened. and whatever happened happened very quickly according to reports on the ground and also according to some of the officials that we've heard from throughout the course of the
afternoon and evening. it happened fast. there was a crash landing. the chutes deployed almost instantly. we saw pictures of people use those chutes, get off the plane, walk to safety, run to safety. moments later, there was some sort of fire that broke out. aboard that plane. we've seen pictures. a number of pictures over the course of the afternoon and evening. smoke billowing from the plane. at this point, we know according to officials on the ground there, we found out about 40 minutes ago or about 30 minutes ago rather two are dead. at least 130 were taken to area hospitals. and perhaps at this point, most notably some 60 people, 60 people, upwards of approximately 60 people, are still unaccounted for. not to alarm, because again that could mean a number of different thin things in situations like this where there's a tragedy that
happens quickly like this. you've got folks running. there could be some folks obviously in the terminals, folks that were reunited with family quickly. folks that just managed to slip off the grid. but officials in san francisco right now undoubtedly have the manifest, and they are trying to match names with folks that are either in a hospital or folks that they have heard from who have managed to get to their destination safely. noel walker is standing by for us right now. i understand, noel, you are across the bay from the crash site. is that right? >> we are. in fact, i can tell you right behind me, if you push in there, you can see where the plane came to rest on the runway there. and then if we go -- pan off to the right, all the way down toward the right at the end of that runway, you can see where the tail hit. it appears to have hit a seawall and then broke off. so this plane is literally in
pieces right now on the runway behind me. the tail at one section and the plane that skidded considerably further forward at the other section of the runway right now. an unbelievable sight really to look at it. >> noelle, have you had the opportunity to talk to any folks who saw this happen or maybe even heard it happen? we had some folks on earlier who heard it happen. >> reporter: yeah. i have heard some people who have seen it or heard it happen. there are some differing descriptions of what happened. and quite frankly, that's going to probably depend on what your vantage point was. for instance, many people reported seeing this plane come in very, very low, and wondering to themselves why is that plane so low, and that is the tail was dipped down low, which would explain why it appears to have hit the seawall over there. of course, we don't know what caused that to happen. but even to someone who's not a pilot, it seemed an odd thing,
from the weitnesses i have hear who saw the plane coming in for a landing. also, i have heard some people describe the plane kind of turning or twisting as it separated and landed behind me. so there are some differing accounts as to what happened, and again that will depend on what your vantage point was. for instance, planes within the last half-hour have just started landing here at sfo. the airport has been completely shut down. as one plane was coming in, a lufthansa flight, it looked like it was about to land in the water. what you don't see is it was landing on a runway. you just can't see that from this vantage point right now. so that explains why some people will be seeing some very different things. >> noelle, stand by for 30 seconds or so for me. i want to ask you about that number of folks that are unaccounted for. i do want to read quickly this statement from the white house. president obama has been updated on the plane crash in san francisco. and i'll read it to you in part here. soon after the plane crashed in
san francisco, california, the president was made aware of the incident by assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. the president will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. the president expressed his gratitude for the first responders and directed his team to stay in constant contact with the federal, state, and local partners as they investigate and respond to this event. his thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost a loved one and all of those affected by the crash. again, that's from the white house office of the press secretary. i want to bring noelle walker back into the conversation again across the bay from the plane crash. noelle, that news conference that we just heard a short time ago, there in san francisco, 60 people -- up to 60 people, upwards of approximately 60 people, unaccounted for according to the fire chief. are you getting any indication on the ground about whether they
think these folks may have just in the frantic run from the plane, maybe they just decided not to check in with local law enforcement? or are they scouring the waters there? any idea about these missing 60? >> reporter: i have not seen anyone scouring the waters behind me at any time recently. it certainly is possible that many of these people who survived in the mass confusion simply left with the people who were here to pick them up. nobody teaches you what the protocol is to do after a plane crash. i'm sure many of those people probably just wanted to be you know, home with their family or whoever they were here to visit. so if they weren't herded into a particular area, they may well have left. but, again, we have not seen at least from this vantage point anything that looks like an active search. we know that that plane had 307
people onboard. 291 passengers, 16 crew. the boeing 777 can carry anywhere between 300 and 400 passengers, depending on how it's configured. this one must have been a plane that considarried 300 passenger because earlier reports were that this plane was full. >> noelle, as you were giving your report there, we are showing our viewers at home one of the first flights to land at sfo since the plane crash. we know that two runways are open there. that british airways flight that just touched down there. one of the first to land at sfo. a number of planes were diverted when all of this went down. officials at the airport told folks who might be waiting for a loved one to call their local airlines to find out precisely where were they.
but again, two runways open. we're going to take a quick break and come back and continue to follow this breaking news in san francisco. the crash of flight 214. s! s! the good ol'days when we could eat as we wanted. yes, but we are not 18 anymore. sometimes if i eat as i used to my digestive system gets out of whack. it's not easy keeping it working as it should. it's easy if you enjoy an activia everyday. mmmm... delicious! with the exclusive probiotic bifidus regularis, activia helps regulate your digestive system. put a smile back in your day! ♪ activia ♪ dannon
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we are back as we continue to follow the breaking news in san francisco. asiana flight 214. you are looking at all that is left of that plane. it crashed sometime around 11:27. 11:27 local time in san francisco, according to officials at a news conference that wrapped up a short time ago. tom costello is standing by for us in washington, d.c. tom, what are other pilots who might have been in the area on that runway or approach -- are you hearing anything from them at this point? >> i think there's a lot of speculation. and let's be up front about this and say it is only speculation,
because the ntsb will not be coming out with any sort of conclusive decision on what caused this crash for some time. but we know that the tail struck runway 28 left. and then the plane literally just crashed down on to runway 28 left. so the question becomes why did the plane essentially come in too low. why it was dragging its tail? why did it hit the sea barrier wall? this is a concern at airports when you do come in over the water and the runway literally stretches right out into the water. there was a crash in la guardia airport in new york back in 1996, i believe, a delta flight that struck the barrier right out there on the pier and it ripped off its undercarriage. thankfully nobody was injured or killed in the particular accident. when you come in if you as a pilot come in too short generally at most airports you have an overrun section. a little bit of grass or a little bit of extra cement and
runway and tarmac if you come in early and a little bit, you know, short of the runway it doesn't matter and chances are are nobody would even know unless they went back out there and checked your skid marks. in this case there is no overrun barrier or rather there is no extra room. if you come in too light and you hit that barrier call, you know, that is it, you're done. and that is a concern to people. the pilots i talked to said we don't know why this happened but pretty obviously this plane, you know, the tail hit the sea barrier wall and then just came down like that on the runway. what is very concerning as you and i have discussed at first we thought it looked like most people escaped this particular accident and let's hope that still is the case. i'm concerned about the reports of so many people unaccounted for when you see that kind of a fire in the shelf that plane. >> the fire and then the
subsequent just the plumes of smoke that we saw you from close and far. captain button, i want to bring you back to the conversation because there are a number of runways around the country that resemble the runway we are looking at there in san francisco. >> yes, but this runway does have an overrun. >> okay. >> that is one of the really striking points here. there is that extra margin of safety but they didn't even get up to that point. >> we have a survivor speaking on kntv is that right, control room? let's listen in. >> maybe water then rocks. i can't tell, of course, i was in the plane. but i can tell you everything was fine, everybody was like getting ready to get out of the plane and we arrived and weather there was and sunny and nice and no visible issues. it was fine. >> you are listening to benjamin lindsey on the flight
from seoul korea. an interview done shortly after the plane did what was known as a hard landing. >> that was local affiliate there kntv. that was an interview from the local affiliate there. we are going to actually try and get that for you and play it back but it sounded like they had spoken to a guy named ben levy who was one of the lucky survivors of this crash. so again we will try and re-rack that if we can and play that back for you because it would be the first interview with a survivor of this crash. captain, i interrupted you before we went to that. what were you saying? >> i was just saying that tom costello was saying the runway didn't have the margin of safety but it did. it had considerable overrun but the plane hit even short of the safety area which is really remarkable. the other thing is he mentioned also that the plane in its normal landing attitude is a
bit nose high but when you have the plane flying quite slow the tail goes even farther down below where the gear is and that is what has to have happened in the case. that the plane was flying far too slow. >> why do you say that is what definitely happened there or -- >> that is what has to have happened. you see, when a plane lands the gear is going to touch the runway before the tail does. >> okay. >> if the plane is landing at a normal speed. only if the plane is landing or trying to land at an extremely slow speed does the tail get brought down below so that the tail would hit first. the landing gear didn't hit that overrun. the tail did. so the tail was way down which means the plane was flying very slow. >> when the plane crash landed what is the impact going to be like for people on the plane? >> that varied. the normal rate of descent and
i think the ntsb guy was talking about it, was the sink rate. normally 700 feet per minute which is not really very rapid. but even so -- >> and again for viewers at home the sink rate in lay men's terms. >> the plane is coming down at a-degree angle and if you are going 160 miles an hour forward then going down at about 700 feet per minute. >> okay. >> so if the plane were to actually touch the runway at that rate it would be a hard landing but wouldn't do any damage. >> no damage? >> not if it hit the runway. >> okay. >> but in this case the plane hit the seawall the tail was taken off and the impact could have been significant. >> we should note some of this is speculation, none of this is confirmed. we are basing this on eyewitness testimony if you will. we are basing it on some of the reports we read as well and so some of it is speculation but
you we would like to think that we have amassed a group of folks here who have ex-peer tease. again, you have flown planes for 40er yaos. we will teak a break. we will check in with melissa and spend time as well with the captain and again, folks, we are waiting on another news conference in san francisco where we expect to get an update hopefully an update on the number 60. again, that right now is the number of folks who are missing. so in about 30 or 40 minutes we expect another news conference hopefully at that point we get good news and the number of missing has gone down. crashed wasat credit card was carrying some 307 people. we know that two are dead. scores of others injured. 10 of them critically. we'll be right back.
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recap our breaking news for you right now. top of the hour. asiana airlines flight 214, you are looking at what is left of that aircraft. that is a boeing 777 left from shanghai. stopped in seoul, south korea, left seoul, south korea sometime around we are told 4:30 today. 4:30 local time in seoul. was set to land in san francisco around 11:15 or so. something happened. something happened very quickly, best we can gather according to eyewitness accounts and according to reports on the ground and reports from officials. 11:27 that plan crash landed. it did not land on runway 28. it landed best we can gather to the left of it. the tail at some point became detached from the plane. there have been eyewitness accounts that the tail itself dragged