Amateur video of the Asiana plane crash in San Francisco

This appears to be the only video of the actual plane crash of Asiana flight 214, that happened this past weekend at San Franicsco’s airport, at least that I can find.

Asiana 214

With 291 passengers on board Asiana 214, only 2 people died, which is pretty remarkable. In the video below, the airplane appears to cartwheel.  Though it also looks like the pilot tries to keep the nose up, they hit with the tail first, the tail breaks off, then one of the wings hits the ground, digs in, and the plane pivots with the back of the plane swinging all the way to the front.

Truly amazing that only two people died.

And here are the apparently Air Traffic Control conversations with the airplane during the emergency landing. Somewhere around a minute and a half into the audio, the plane presumably crashes. It’s amazing how measured the conversations are. These guys are seriously professional.

Here’s another look at the same video, with an interview with the man who filmed it:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Tanner Fausnacht

    Watch the part where he says “oh my god”.

  • One of the CA 36,000

    SFO is NOT any more difficult for landings than any other U.S. airport. Sorry. That’s a bit of a myth perpetuated by jittery fliers who get freaked out by the long approach over water. You line up, you configure for landing, you maintain airspeed– pretty straightforward.

    The current evidence points to a simple explanation: This crew allowed the plane to approach too low, slow down and stall; they noticed far too late to do anything effective. The tail struck the sea wall, then the plane crashed. Experience or not, they had at least three people in that cockpit, and SOMEONE should have been looking at airspeed and altitude. And there is a bit of chatter that that “inexperienced” pilot actually WASN’T flying at that point– someone else was landing. But that’s just chatter as far as I’ve heard. It doesn’t matter; this sounds like crew inattention.

  • Butch1

    Like everything, they are keeping it from the public’s eyes. ;-) I guess the “government” will have to release it after they have given them permission to do so. ;-)

    Homeland security uh, ya know. . . . or something like that.

  • Paul Greiner

    Fundamental error-trying to stretch the glide.

  • beltman713

    Oh my god!

  • quax

    Spiegel reports that two automated systems that are supposed to help pilots find the correct approach vector are currently not operational at SFO. (the PAPI – Precision Approach Path Indicator being one of them).

    (German article http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/gesellschaft/piloten-monieren-maengel-bei-sicherheitssystemen-in-san-francisco-a-909907.html)

  • Ninong

    The pilot had lots of experience on other aircraft but he was still training on the 777, which he had never landed at SFO before. The plane was coming in below stall speed and it appears that they tried to abort the landing too late.

    Maybe they should have waited until he had more experience flying this particular aircraft before having him attempt a landing at an airport as difficult as SFO.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I believe they do, some articles have referred to them reviewing those tapes and saying they have some good footage of what happened

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    NTSB investigations can take months, as they sift through every bit of video footage, every piece of debris, and all the flight recorders. Even if we get some preliminary information in the next few days, it will still be basically speculation until that official report.

  • Indigo

    Scary stuff!

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    It doesn’t look to me like the
    plane cartwheeled, it looks like the nose of the plane reared up, which
    would be consistent with what I’ve read about the pilot’s actions when
    he realized he was too low. It’s clear from the still pics that the
    plane didn’t cartwheel. If it had its wings would have been missing or
    at least severely damaged.

  • tonyt

    Watch for about 1/2 hour on CNN yesterday. Realized they had nothing. Checked back a few hours later. I know nothing about this stuff but here is what I surmised from the images after the crash.
    1.) The debris field started at the beginning of the runway where the runway fell into the bay.
    2.) The tail fell off so it probably whacked the retaining wall as the pilot tried to pull up
    3.) I kept thinking there is no way that plane cart wheeled. If you look at the first shot from the passenger twitter the plane is pretty intact.
    4.) I’m guessing they were either letting a new pilot try to land it or the main pilot is inexperienced.

    I don’t mean to sound flippant because I don’t intend to be. Now the pro’s are on it and they will let us know. Soon I’m sure.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah… Just doesn’t seem to occur to far too many that vertically-shot phone-cam videos waste easily half of the frame with irrelevant pixels.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    They probably do — but that’s not the sort of thing that’d be available to the public right away.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    And that woman who held up the evacuation to get her roll-on….what idiot.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    No we don’t want your F’ing website.

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  • SkippyFlipjack

    Friends don’t let friends take vertical videos.

  • jm2

    why do they not have video cameras on all runways? for this sort of thing & security? seems like a no-brainier. they have cameras every pace else….

  • tomtallis

    It doesn’t look to me like the plane cartwheeled, it looks like the nose of the plane reared up, which would be consistent with what I’ve read about the pilot’s actions when he realized he was too low. It’s clear from the still pics that the plane didn’t cartwheel. If it had its wings would have been missing or at least severely damaged.

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