OZ 214

plane, airplaneNo longer do I turn to the media for information when it comes to a situation, for example the OZ 214 (Asiana Airlines)  flight that “landed hard” on Saturday while arriving KSFO. At the time of the crash I was work in the control center and a train operator called to inquire about black smoke seen at the airport, from Millbrae BART station. We literally missed the crash by 3 minutes, as we panned and focused to see dust and billowing black smoke coming from the Boeing 777-200ER.

What’s even more impressive was I had the flight number, details and registration number within minutes. Most news outlets didn’t break this story for close to 30 minutes, while social media outlet, Twitter received a tweet from Samsung executive, David Eun reading,

I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok. Surreal… (at @flySFO) [pic] — https://path.com/p/1lwrZb

Pretty amazing to see footage moments after this crash from a passenger onboard. That wasn’t my first outlet for information, as I quickly brought up Airliners.net, which is primarily a photo repository for aviation, but their discussion board already had an OZ 777 Crash At SFO Part 1 started. I am sure there was much speculation there regarding what happened, but it was amazing to see the amount of information and reports that rolled in. Unlike local media, the stooges they are, continued to report the same damn information for hours. Nothing new, no footage, no new images and individuals claiming to be “experts” offering their opinions. Why didn’t anyone call me, hell I could have at least played the part of an aviation expert on the newscasts!

I am surprised however we have not see any live footage (yet) of the actually hard landing. Speculation continues to fly (no pun intended) as to what when wrong with OZ 214 prior to the threshold. Without information from the flight recorders (yet) and upon watching the aerial footage it seemed the aircraft was too low, didn’t have enough power and landed short, which meant hitting the approach lights or the sea wall prior to runway 28L. Pilots are taught early on in their flight training that seeing red over red on the VASI (visual approach slope indicator) means “you’re dead.” I would much rather be too high in an attempt to land, potentially executing a miss approached rather than too low with not enough power immediately to pull out of a deadly sink rate.

Unfortunately jet engines, like those Pratt & Whitney PW4090’s don’t spool up quickly, so needing lots of power quickly isn’t going to happen as you approach the threshold of the runway. The more a pilot pulls back on the yoke in an attempt to gain altitude the more you force a plane, yes even something as large as a 777 into more of a stalled condition, which bleeds off speed and increases your sink rate. I am sure all the details will come out in the NTSB investigation, but the bottom line, pilot error.

Security Concerns

I read many of the comments before jumping in an reading the entire story from the UK Sun regarding the lack of security surrounding London’s Olympic Park. The story, which is quickly turning into a scandal has images and video footage of a construction working transporting a fake bomb through security checkpoints and inside Olympic Park. This security seems no better than what I experienced when I worked at the airlines.

I have written about security concerns at airports the past, how easy it was to bypass security checkpoints in LAX and SFO, when it was “mandatory” (yet not enforced) as an airline employee to go through a security checkpoint, adhering to the SAME rules and regulations as an air traveler. Now the Olympics are 82 days away and with the amount of money spent (£1billion) for security and precautions in place we see this major breach, including an 11-mile long electrified fence that cost £80million.

Fingers will most likely be pointed at the individuals in place providing security at checkpoints. Much like TSA agents, these people aren’t trained well enough to provide real security, especially to an event such as the Olympics, which will be a high profile event.

An already-vetted worker could bring in materials for a deadly suicide bomb mission. The loophole exposed by us shows just how easily that could happen” (source). This same loophole existed at the airlines, even being gone for nearly 6 years I don’t believe it has been improved. Here is just one story I wrote in 2006 while it centers more around the vulnerability of air freight facilities and accepting material from “known shippers” I did elude to the fact I could enter the AOA (ramp) dressed in everyday clothes with a badge and not past through a security checkpoint.

The UK story says, “terror cells may use “clean skins” — people with no criminal or extremist links” when it comes to people operating knowingly or unknowingly when it comes to an operation. Never in 2 years at SFO and 9 years at LAX was I ever questioned while walking on the ramp. Who’s to say I didn’t have a device, much like the construction worker touring Olympic Park, just to prove a point that it can be done and concerns exist.

Sheeple Still Don’t Get It

The TSA or “Thousands Standing Around” do not make air travel more safer. Maybe you have heard that before. Better yet, maybe you have heard since 9-11 there has not been another event of this type in the US. Guess that means the formation of the DHS and TSA have improved airport security. For many sheeple, this is the case. They are fed by the mainstream media and believe these “enhanced techniques” are for THEIR own good and will help prevent another 9-11.

We continue to see stories of passengers and pilots coming forth to expose lapses or their stories. Two recent stories, one from Texas where a woman was arrested after not giving up her Constitutional rights to be “raped” by the TSA for security purposes. Comments from others, “I understand her side of it, and their side as well, but it is for our protection so I have no problems with it” and “It’s unfortunate that that happened and she didn’t get to fly home, but it makes me feel a little safer.” Wow! The other story out of California told of a pilot who recorded the “farce” that is airlines security and is now being hassled by local police and the government.

It’s interesting, some of the comments he makes, that I made years ago, right here on T6F. “I wanted to give you an idea of what type of security the ground crews go through, their screening is sliding a card and going through a door. Not screened at all,” the story says. That’s right folks! In my 11 years at LAX and SFO I never used the security checkpoints. In fact I made it a point to skirt those checkpoints until it was MANDATORY for all airline employees to use.

My guess is, if I would have recorded my “Adventures in Security” at LAX and SFO, I probably would have been fired, at the least reprimanded to some degree. Why? Because I was exposing something the DHS, TSA and U.S. Government doesn’t think is a problem. There were countless times I walked on the ramp without my badge in plain site, above my waist and never questioned.

Nor was I ever questioned (but once) when I used my airport/company ID badge when accessing a secured door. At LAX instead of changing the policy they changed the rules as it related to a secured door. No longer could it be used to access the ramp, but it could be used to enter the terminal (behind ticketing). As for the one incident, I was escorting my sister, at the time fellow employee of United Airlines, who was in full uniform with two ID badges. I was stopped by a gung-ho supervisor who told me I could not do this. After arguing with him, we decided to use a different door to access the ramp. Needless to say, I was reprimanded for this incident.

Unfortunately this “grassroots” effort is not organized. Pilots and air travelers alike end up being persecuted, reprimanded and made an example of by the DHS. The more words and images of aviation (in)security get out, maybe the government will be a bit more worried about the work program they have going, known as the TSA.