The pilot in charge of the Asiana Airlines jet that crashed on landing at San Francisco International Airport had just 43 hours on the Boeing 777, though he had significant flight time on other jets, airline officials said today.
Pilot Lee Kang-kook had flown a Boeing 777 nine previous times to other airports, but was flying the jet to SFO for the first time, Asiana Airlines spokeswoman Lee Hyo-min said.
"He is a veteran pilot with almost 10,000 hours on other aircrafts like the 747," she said. "He was in the process of getting a license for the new 777."
Lee flew with an experienced Boeing 777 pilot mentor, in accordance with world standard, the spokeswoman said.
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was carrying more than 300 people when it crashed Saturday at San Francisco International Airport. The tail was torn off as it crashed, and it burst into flames.
The crash of the Boeing 777 killed two and injured 181 people. The injured were being cared for at several hospitals and at least 22 were in critical condition, according top hospital officials.
Data on the black boxes recovered from the jet showed that the pilots learned the plane was about to stall and tried to abort the landing just seconds before it crashed on the runway, the National Transportation Safety Board chair said today.