News Stories

Asiana Pilot: 'I Was Blinded by a Bright Light'

FAA investigators said Wednesday that the pilot flying Asiana Airlines flight 214 told them that he was blinded by a bright light when 500 feet above the ground. It was at that altitude that the pilots began attempting to make control adjustments in order to increase the plane's speed and avoid a crash. The blinding of the chief pilot, who was at the controls, might have caused him to lose the crucial few seconds needed to set up the plane to do a go-around and make another approach.

Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said it wasn't clear what could have caused the problem. Asked specifically whether it could have been a laser pointed from the ground, Hersman said she couldn't say what caused it. "We need to understand exactly what that is," Hersman said.

The blinding of pilots by the use of laser pointers has been a serious problem for the air travel industry. In July of 2012, a Jet Blue plane nearly crashed when the pilot was blinded by a laser pointer. in 2011, there were 141 incidents of pilots being disturbed by laser pointers as they were landing their planes in the New York area alone.

Could this incident have involved a UFO? In this case it seems more likely that it was a laser being pointed at the cockpit by a vandal, but there have been numerous incidents, especially in recent years, of pilots reporting strange objects passing close by their planes or even striking them, and near-miss reports are filed 10 to 12 times a year.

This will become a big story over the next few days, but one thing will be missing--the UFO angle. But not here. At Unknowncountry.com, we're not afraid to report on the unknown--in fact, it's our main brief! Keep our unique brand of news coming, subscribe today!


This development really intrigues me. Wld an EMP weapon (pointed at the plane from the ground) cause a bright flash or be modified in such a way as elicit both? Perhaps they have evolved these weapons so well that instead of just bringing a plane down (ie -- shutting the engines down) -- they can temporarily disable the place, freeze the controls, and then start them up again. Before I knew what an emp weapon was, I postulated that it was such a weapon disabling too many a plane which then crash landed with many fatalities and casulties. Looking at the plane and listening to the sequence of events -- it is amazing so many people survived. I think there are those that test drive these weapons using us like guinea pigs. What a strange airport circumstance anyway? Budget cuts again? An accident (or not) waiting to happen if you ask me.

Having lived in San Francisco for over 35 years, I've flown in and out of SFO numerous times. When coming in for a landing over the Bay just like the Asiana Flight 214, I've often felt that "we're pretty low over the water" and sighed with relief upon finally seeing the end of the runway. So far, indicators point to pilot (and co-pilot) error especially with the formula of a less experienced pilot landing a 777 at SFO for the first time and a more experienced co-pilot in the role of a training instructor for the first time. That sounds like a recipe for disaster right there. Rather than a laser blinding the pilot, from what I understand, automated lights on the approach DID flash a warning to the pilots that they were coming in too low which they did not realize themselves. Or, perhaps the flash of light was an angelic "wake-up call" to make a correction at that critical point. They then tried to throttle up for a "go-around" which may have lifted the front of the plane enough so that it did not crash into the end of the runway. It's most unfortunate that the landing gear just caught the rocks, but it was still a miracle that so many of the 307 souls onboard survived unscathed.

In a TV news update last night, it was reported that the Asiana Flight 214 pilot said that the "bright light" he saw did NOT blind him. I personally believe the light flash was more of a celestrial warning.

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