Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Public safety

Tampa resident who flies Asiana shocked by crash

Asiana has a reputation as a safe, reliable airline.

Kimi Springsteen of Tampa said it is even better than that.

"I love Asiana. It's just perfect. It's my favorite airline," she said.

The Tampa woman, a native of Korea, said she has flown Asiana "many, many times" since the Seoul-based airline was founded in 1988.

So Springsteen, who is the Asian-American affairs liaison for Hillsborough County government and a board member of the Korean Association of West Florida, said she was shocked when she turned on her TV Saturday and saw Asiana flight 214 had crash-landed and burned at San Francisco International Airport.

"I saw the crash on CNN and thought, 'What! No!'" said Springsteen, 77, who also founded the Asian-American Coalition of Florida. "It's a sad, sad tragedy."

The Tampa Bay area has a substantial Korean-American community, but as of Saturday night, Springsteen had not heard that any Florida Korean-Americans were aboard the twin-engine Boeing 777.

The plane was carrying 307 passengers and crew on a direct flight from Seoul, South Korea. Witnesses said the plane's tail may have hit the ground just short of the runway. A Boeing 777 crash-landed hard just before reaching the runway at Heathrow Airport in London in 2008.

Asiana is a South Korean airline, second in size to Korean Air, but has not generated the same safety concerns as Korean Air. Asiana has experienced three fatal crashes since it was founded in 1988. None involved the 777.

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