Asiana Airlines flight 214 accident


At San Francisco International Airport (SFO), on July 6, 2013, Asiana Airlines flight 214 was involved in a mishap (Executive Summary, 2013). In the midst of much confusion, numerous organizations worked together to rescue the passengers, and the National Transportation Safety Board produced a report on the incident. An analysis of a case is developed in this study based on the subsequent events to the accident.<\/p>

Communication Breakdown and Insufficient Firefighting Techniques

Although the rescue effort following the crash of Flight 214 was effective, there were a number of issues that were brought up by the various rescue teams. However, section 1.15.4 of the NTSB reports states that the primary issues during the emergency response were a communication breakdown and insufficient firefighting techniques. For example, the units from the airport could not communicate with supplementary aids from San Francisco city. Also, the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) officer on command did not have ARFF training which was evident in his decisions. For instance, the officer oversaw the improper use of skin-piercing nozzle on the burning side of the airplane fuselage (\u201cAircraft Accident Report,\u201d 2013). The primary problem of tactical challenges by ARFF officials is significant in that errors from untrained officers, and failure to follow protocol can be the determinant between life and death for passengers. Poor communication only accentuates the problem and complicates the rescue mission.<\/p>

Successful Firefighting Efforts

Given the severity of the accident, the ARFF did not err in using the skin-piercing nozzle to fight the fire. The report records a response time of fewer than two minutes after the crash occurred and it is, therefore, possible for different personnel in the airport to respond without consideration of the dangers of using which equipment at what time. Further, the report noted that tactical errors could not have contributed to any more damages to the plane and the passengers (\u201cAircraft Accident Report,\u201d 2013). In fact, this study submits that the success of the mission can in part be attributed to fighting the fire from all angles during the rescue.<\/p>

Possible Solutions

There two possible solutions to ARFF\u2019s tactical challenges and officer resource placement problem. First, the ARFF should have clear guidelines to avoid instances of confusion as experienced during the rescue mission. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not stipulate the required number of personnel in an accident scene (\u201cAircraft Accident Report,\u201d 2013). Therefore, it is likely that accidents of less magnitude may not be accorded the same care as flight 214. Secondly, the FAA should consider manual operations and processes for some aspects of aviation industry like door closure systems for ease of rescue in case of accidents. Most airlines have automated procedures and processes and therefore leave little room for human involvement which is an essential aspect of rescue (Guardian, 2014). If the door systems for flight 214 were manual and accessible from in and outside the airplane, the rescue mission would not have been complicated by the five passengers trapped inside. Also, flexibility to manual systems makes it easier for pilots to adjust when airplanes are on the verge of a crash. The disadvantage is a high possibility of human error.<\/p>


While air transport is the safest mode of transportation, it is undoubtedly the most dangerous when accidents occur. Errors in rescue missions are not permissible, and all groups like the ARFF must follow protocol and put well-trained officials in charge of operations.<\/p>


Aircraft Accident Report. (2013). Descent below Visual Glide path and Impact with Seawall Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Boeing 777-200ER, HL7742 San Francisco, California. National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 11 October 2017, from [/].

Executive Summary. (2013). Descent below Visual Glide path and Impact with Seawall, Asiana Airlines Flight 214. National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 11 October 2017, from []

Guardian. (2014). Asiana airlines crash caused by pilot error and confusion, investigators say. The Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2017, from [ investigation-pilot]

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