Bay Area

Watch video of SFO plane crash shot by Dodgers fan


CNN posted video of the Asiana crash at San Francisco International Airport provided by a man, Fred Hayes, who was recording the landing from about a mile across the bay. It shows the flight from Korea approaching too low with its nose in the air. The tail of the plane hits the seawall and Hayes realizes it's a crash. The aircraft than careens out of control in a cloud of smoke and and the fuselage appears to pitch almost vertical before plunging violently back to the ground. Hayes is horrified as he watches. CNN doesn't say where he lives, but says Hayes was on a weekend trip to San Francisco. He's wearing a Dodgers hat and sweatshirt, and the Dodgers and Giants played later that afternoon on the waterfront not to far from the airport.

Hayes said a "thunder-like" sound rang across the bay when the more than 200-foot-long jetliner slammed into the ground.


"Every time a section hit, you could hear that boom and that sound," he said. After three or four "really big booms," he said, "It just kind of slid and came to a stop."

He and his wife watched as the emergency slides deployed and passengers began to slide down them away from the wrecked jet. He said he hoped crash investigators could learn from the video he shot.

"The only thing we can say is we're just really happy that a lot of people survived, because it wasn't looking good for them folks on that plane for sure," Hayes said.

The chair of the NTSB said at Sunday's presser that the plane was flying too slow and that the throttles were set to idle until seconds before impact, until someone in the cockpit advised the plane speed up and the throttles were set to accelerate. By then it was too late. It was the pilot's first time landing a Boeing 777 at SFO, though he had landed other jets at San Francisco many times. Also, one piece of the runway's electronic landing system was down for maintenance and had been out for several weeks, but all the planes landing on Saturday were using visual flight rules.

Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan, the 16-year-old girls from the Chinese province of Zhejiang who died in the crash, had been en route to the West Valley Christian Church and School in West Hills. One of them may have been run over by an SFO fire truck after the crash.

Flight214-suntimes.jpgPlus: Incredibly dumb headline in the Chicago Sun-Times, left. The paper says any play on Asian stereotypes was unintentional. "Certainly unfortunate," says the Asian American Journalists Association.


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