South Korea toughens rules on pilots after US plane crash

South Korea toughens rules on pilots after US plane crash

SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
South Korea toughens rules on pilots after US plane crash

An Asiana Airlines flight enroute to South Korea takes off by the wreckage of Asiana Airlines flight 214 as it sits on runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport on July 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California. AFP Photo

South Korea is considering tightening regulations for pilots seeking certification to convert to flying new aircraft after the fatal crash of an Asiana Boeing 777 plane in San Francisco, a government source said on July 9.

Asiana Airlines’ chief executive also said the carrier plans to beef up simulated “non-precision airport approach” training as the role of its pilots on the crash comes under increasing scrutiny.

The Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 was flying 25 percent slower than normal for a descent in the run-up to the crash. Lee Kang-kuk, the pilot at the controls of Asiana’s 214 flight to San Francisco, was training on Boeing 777s, and was making his first attempt to land the jet at San Francisco airport. His supervisor was making his first flight as a trainer.

“This accident made us rethink our regulations policy,” the government official dealing with aviation regulations told Reuters. “We are already reviewing various measures and gathering information to tighten regulations (on issuing type certification to pilots converting to a new aircraft),” the source said.
Seoul has tightened aviation regulations since a plane belonging to flagship carrier Korean Air crashed in Guam in 1997, killing 228 people and later prompting a downgrade of South Korea’s aviation rating by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to category 2.

The crash killed two teenage Chinese passengers and injured more than 180 other people.