Asiana Pilot Says Was Blinded by Light before US Crash

By on July 12, 2013

The pilot of the crash-landed Asiana Airlines plane told investigators he was “temporarily blinded” by a bright light shortly before touching the ground, a senior official was quoted as saying by USA Today.

Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board investigating the crash, said the pilot was blinded when 500 feet above the ground. The comment was made during a daily press briefing on the Saturday crash that left two dead and over 160 injured.

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  • Alstor

    Laser pointer? Becoming quite common.

    • frankfan42

      As I understand it, the power output is quite a bit higher than a typical laser pointer.

  • frankfan42

    If true this would not be the first time airline pilots have been targeted with higher powered laser devices, there have been several other reports that I recall, but no accidents. While two people tragically died, it very easily could have been a total disaster, Thank God it was not. My prayer is that investigators will conduct a full, fair and impartial investigation.

  • chatman

    They already admitted that the pilot was flying too low and was in training on that aircraft. Now, suddenly the story changes and he is blinded by a light? Sounds like his lawyers are doing a good job at muddling up what may have been the truth.

  • William Henry Bowen

    There was an incident outside Seattle about a decade ago where a USAF pilot suffered permanent eye damage from being pulsed by a laser while he was flying. Thankfully he was at altitude and the 2nd seat was able to take over flying the plane. The incident Saturday, whether it be a laser hit or maybe something like a weird reflection off the body of the plane that was sitting on the south taxiway waiting for this plane to land, was probably too close to the ground to be overcome. Add this to the fact that the plane was going too low and too slow and that the ILS system on that runway was out of commission and you have all the ingredients for a bad outcome. It is nothing short of a miracle that only 2 people died.

    As a former pilot myself I think that too much is being made of the training aspect and that the pilot flying the plane had low hours in this type of aircraft. I’d like to know how many total hours he has and how much of it was in similar planes (757 & 767 as an example) before I’m willing to grant that the low hours was a real contributing factor.

    EVERY pilot on earth has, at one point at least, had low number of hours in a particular type of aircraft, and that fact has NOT lead to an accident. I can tell you from my own experience that, if anything, low hours in type makes one MORE aware of what is going on, not less. Remember that old phrase “Familiarity breeds contempt”? It is just as valid in flying as in life in general.