Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

Pilot who crashed at SFO worried about landing

WASHINGTON — The pilots of the Asiana jumbo jet that crashed in San Francisco on July 6 were deeply confused about the plane's automated control systems, and that is a common problem among airline pilots, according to experts who testified Wednesday in a National Transportation Safety Board hearing on the crash.

"We do have an issue in aviation that needs to be dealt with," the chairwoman of the safety board, Deborah A.P. Hersman, told reporters during a break in the hearing.

The captain and the supervising pilot in the Asiana crash — in which a Boeing 777 hit a sea wall short of the runway, killing three passengers — said they thought a system that is used to control the plane's airspeed was running, although it was not. And all three pilots overlooked a prominent display that showed that their airspeed was too low.

According to documents released by the board, for 19 seconds leading up to the crash the pilots had a clear view of guidance lights on the field that indicated that they were flying too low, but they did not follow company procedure to break off the approach.

Government studies as far back as 1996 show a heavy reliance on automation that pilots often do not understand, witnesses said. One common problem is what they call "mode error," in which pilots become confused about what automated cockpit controls will do in a certain situation. The problem is akin to having trouble with the buttons on a remote control unit for a home entertainment system, but with greater consequences.

The plane's captain, Lee Kang Kuk, told investigators — although he was wrong — that he believed the protection system in the Boeing was similar to the one in the Airbus A320, which he had substantially more experience flying.

In the Boeing, the throttle levers — one for each of the two engines and located on a center pedestal between the captain and the first officer — will move as the automatic system manipulates the engines. In the Airbus they will not move even when the auto-throttle adjusts the engines' power.

Boeing's design leaves more discretion to the pilot and does not always ensure that the engines will maintain a minimum speed. Asiana ground school instructors warned the crews that the auto-throttle would be disabled when autopilot was being used by the crew to control the plane's descent to a certain altitude, according to one safety board document, but the lesson evidently did not stick.

Comments
What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

Blame a lack of rail cars in Canada or not enough semi trucks in the United States. Forest fires didn’t help. Tariffs played a big role, too. Even the buoyant economy takes part of the rap for frothy lumber prices, which hit all-time highs las...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Republican response to immigration firestorm; don’t let Yuengling name scare you; free from jail after seven years

The Daystarter: Republican response to immigration firestorm; don’t let Yuengling name scare you; free from jail after seven years

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• There’s no more denying it: summer is here. The forecast calls for highs near 90 degrees for the foreseeable future, coupled with afternoon showers, according to 10Weather WTSP.• As y...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "That’s my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

ST. PETERSBURG — Originally pitched as a nine- or 10-story, 550-bed dorm for the overcrowded University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, USF’s latest residence hall project will likely look much different by the time it’s done.For starters, it...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

Blame a lack of rail cars in Canada or not enough semi trucks in the United States. Forest fires didn’t help. Tariffs played a big role, too.Even the buoyant economy takes part of the rap for frothy lumber prices, which hit all-time highs last month....
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Safety Harbor is no safe haven from cyberbullying

Safety Harbor is no safe haven from cyberbullying

SAFETY HARBOR — Mayor Joe Ayoub put forth a resolution Monday evening asking the City Commission to condemn cyberbullying.The result? The meeting devolved into shouting and whispering from the crowd and people storming out of chambers.The mayor’s res...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Am I missing something in the — pardon the expression — brouhaha over the renaming of the University of South Florida Sun Dome to the Yuengling Center? In trading a college arena’s longtime name for that of a big-name beer brewed ne...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Citizens considers hiking homeowners insurance rates about 8 percent

Citizens considers hiking homeowners insurance rates about 8 percent

For the second year in a row, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is asking state regulators to approve hefty rate hikes because of an abundance of non-weather claims that end up in court. If approved, the average rates for homeowners covered by Citize...
Published: 06/20/18
County blocks proposed sailing center on Dunedin Causeway

County blocks proposed sailing center on Dunedin Causeway

DUNEDIN —When the city’s local planning agency gave initial approval to a proposed sailing center on the Causeway in December, Kim Begay feared the worst. The sandy beach to the west of the vacant lot at the corner of the Causeway and Woodette Drive ...
Published: 06/20/18
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago