Lawsuit Alleges Boeing Air Speed Indicators At Fault in Asiana Crash

More than 80 passengers who were onboard an Asiana Airlines plane that crashed on the runway at San Francisco International Airport last summer have filed a lawsuit alleging that the aircraft manufactured by Boeing had an inadequate airspeed warning system and that the pilots were poorly trained.  

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed on July 6, when it failed to clear the sea wall on approach to the runway. Three of the 307 passenger and crew died, and scores were injured after the plane’s tail section broke off and the plane burst into flames.

According to a complaint filed in Illinois state court on January 17, the Boeing 777 did not have an audible low-airspeed warning in the cockpit. The lawsuit, accusing the company of negligence, also claims that the company failed to provide the Asiana Airlines pilots with adequate training.

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The case is the latest in a number of airplane crash lawsuits filed against both Boeing and Asiana Airlines.

In the federal court system, about two dozen complaints filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation. The cases are centralized before U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in the Northern District of California to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and courts.

Unless this latest lawsuit is removed to the federal court system, it will remain separate from the Asiana Airlines MDL.

Footage Sheds New Light On Passenger Run Over by Emergency Vehicle

One of the three deaths involved in the Asiana crash involved 16 year-old Ye Mengyuan, from China, who survived the crash and then was run over by emergency vehicles responding to the scene.

While emergency workers previously claimed they were unaware of her presence and that she was covered in foam, new video footage shows that the girl was not covered in foam and that firefighters were alerted to her presence. The video was taken from the helmets and trucks of first responders on the scene. In one clip, she is shown lying on a patch of grass with no foam on her. In another, a firefighter waves down a truck headed toward her and tells the truck to stop and points out that Ye is right in front of it. Fifteen minutes later, she was run over and killed.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of Ye Mengyuan that includes a claim against the City of San Francisco.

Investigators into the crash itself have suggested that the Asiana Airlines plane was flying too slow and at too low an altitude to clear the sea wall at the end of the runway. The flight crew reportedly tried to abort the landing and circle around again, but the tail of the plane clipped the sea wall and was torn off, sending the plane skidding across the runway.

Reports also indicate that this flight was the pilot’s first time flying a Boeing 777 and the flight crew included an instructor. Investigators have found no signs of mechanical failure, but caution that it is still too early to determine with any certainty what caused the crash.

Some of the previous lawsuits allege that Boeing was partly responsible for the crash, because it failed to upgrade the Boeing 777 following a 2009 crash in Turkey that occurred under similar circumstances with the Boeing 737s. Boeing has also trained Asiana pilots since 2006 specifically in operating their planes.

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