An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash-landed at San Francisco Airport Saturday, killing at least two. This is the first fatal crash involving a 777.
Investigators will certainly look at whether fuel line icing may be a factor, which was traced to be the cause of the only other 777 accident, British Airways at London several years ago, also a crash-landing situation. Early news reports seem to reflect a similarity in the flight profile between the two flights. As readers know, we’re traveling and we don’t have access to our files to determine if Asiana uses Rolls-Royce engines, which are those used on BA and which were susceptible to icing.
GE engines on the 777-300ER have more recently come under some scrutiny for issues, and we’d expect investigators to consider whether there is any connection if Asiana uses GE on its 777-200s. This would be a natural course of considering all possible factors.
Other factors that will be looked at: human error, mechanical problems and controlled flight into terrain (CFIT).
Update, 5pm GMT: With the knowledge now that the engines are PW, fuel icing as a cause seems pretty unlikely, but CVR and FDR readouts will indicate engine performance parameters. Although weather doesn’t appear to be a factor, it will be evaluated for the prospect of any clear air windshear or other conditions that could be a contributing cause.
Statements by the airline officials at this point that there wasn’t any pilot error or mechanical issues are entirely premature, given when the statements were made the data recorders hadn’t been recovered much less read.
Closely looking at a photo seems to indicate the aft pressure bulkhead in place, meaning the tail severed aft it it.