Flying at 103 knots (118 mph) when it should have been traveling at 138 knots, (158 mph) and probably 50 feet too low flight 214 tried to increase speed but a jet engine responds very slow so the end of the flight was the horrible crash.

The end of runway 28L, (L means Left. There’s a parallel runway, 28R) shows pieces of the tail of the 777 on the ground before the displaced threshold, beyond which the aircraft is supposed to touch down. A/c are not supposed to land before the threshold of the runway.  A displaced threshold means the a/c should land further down the runway. It’s a safety thing, a precaution against the sort of bad flying that happened to 214. The displaced threshold markings are very clear, and no pilot tries to land before a displaced threshold. According to reports the plane was too low and too slow. The tail probably hit the sea wall, broke off and the a/c banged down hard onto the runway, slid, caught fire, groundlooped and stopped. It was bad flying on the part of the pilot in command and the co-pilot. Seems there were four pilots on board and the check pilot had over three thousand hours in triple sevens.  The main instrument during the end of the approach and landing is the airspeed indicator. that’s drilled into every pilot from the beginning of the first flying lesson.  The airspeed indicator is used before takeoff and up to the touchdown

On a very clear day the a/c is hand-flown onto the runway. A good pilot knows exactely how far down the runway the a/c will touch the ground. On smaller a/c a good pilot can get the wheels to touch a specific point. The a/c can be safely pulled up while drifting down until the back part of the main landing wheels touch the runway with a very satisfying sort of slight grabbing sound, not the schreech that is often heard. Flight 777 was badly flown on the final approach and there’s no excuse for such bad flying. It’s rather easy to keep the a/c flying at the correct speed. The airspeed indicator is almost right in front of the pilot. Every pilot knows how critical the airspeed is during all phases of a flight and that’s especially true on final. There’s plenty of distance on the dial to fly the plane at the precise recommended speed on final. There’s no problem to fly the a/c precisely at 158 mph, even in high side-wind conditions. Good pilots can keep the airspeed so precise that they may think the needle is stuck so they tap it to make sure it’s working.

“Mind thyne airspeed lest the ground come up and smite thee.”

Bad flying. Hope it doesn’t take long for NTSB to tell us.


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