Asiana plane crash

Landing protocols changed after fatal Asiana crash

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 1:52am

US aviation officials are no longer allowing foreign jets to land alongside another plane at San Francisco International Airport after the deadly Asiana Airlines crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it implemented the change "to minimise distractions during a critical phase of flight". In the past, two planes could approach the main parallel runways at the same time in clear weather. Domestic carriers can still do that, but air traffic controllers are now staggering the arrivals of foreign carriers.

The shift away from side-by-side landing came as the FAA started advising foreign airlines to use a GPS system instead of visual reckonings when landing at San Francisco. The agency said it had noticed an increase in aborted landings by some foreign carriers flying visual approaches.

Pilots on Asiana Airlines flight 214 had been cleared to make a visual approach when it crash-landed on July 6. Three Chinese teenagers died, and 180 were injured among the 307 aboard.

The plane from China and South Korea came in too low and too slow, slamming its landing gear into a seawall well before the actual runway. Seconds before the accident, the pilots called for a go-around, meaning they wanted to abort the landing and circle for another approach. The FAA said such manoeuvres were "routine, standardised procedures that can occur once a day or more at busy airports for various reasons".

Two weeks after the crash, another Asiana flight aborted its landing, airport officials said.