There were no known mechanical problems on the 7-year-old Boeing 777 from South Korea, which crashed Saturday at San Francisco International airport, killing two and injuring at least 181, an Asiana Airlines CEO said Sunday.
“We purchased this airplane in March 2006 … currently we understand that there are no engine or mechanical problems,” Yoon Young-Doo, the president and chief executive of the airline, told a press conference at company headquarters.
He said the pilots had about 19,000 hours flying experience between the two of them. He did not comment on pilot error or air traffic control problems as a potential cause of the crash.
"For now, we acknowledge that there were no problems caused by the 777-200 plane or engines," Yoon said. He said when the plane was landing, the crew made usual in flight announcements and no emergency alarm sounded.
The two passengers killed on Asiana Airlines flight 214 were Chinese nationals, two 16-year-old girls. Chinese state media said they were Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia of Jiangshan Middle School in China's eastern Zhejiang province.
"I bow my head and sincerely apologize for causing concern to the passengers, families and our people,” Yoon said.
The flight from Seoul has 291 passengers and 16 crew. Of those on board, 141 were Chinese nationals, 77 were South Korean, 61 Americans, one Japanese, three Indians, three Canadians, one French, one Vietnamese, and 19 others of unidentified nationality.
“Please accept my deepest apology,” Yoon said, bowing to cameras in the press conference.
“We’ll make our utmost efforts to cope with the tragedy.”
Years ago, there was a speedier way to travel, as the Concorde supersonic jet offered flights from New York to Paris in just 3.5 hours.
But that quick jet was retired in 2003, and wasn't as enjoyable as it would seem since it was incredibly noisy.
Now, NASA is working on developing a supersonic airliner that is quiet.
Boeing is also helping, as they have already submitted a few concepts for the airline. One features a design where the engines are on top of the plane, shielding the ground from their loud noise, and a V-shaped tail that funnels the sonic boom backward.
Boeing says by keeping the sonic boom backward, it would stay in the air for longer and away from people on the ground.
NASA is testing these concepts at its Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
"We are testing overall vehicle design and performance options to reduce emissions and noise, and identifying whether the volume of sonic booms can be reduced to a level that leads to a reversal of the current ruling that prohibits commercial supersonic flight over land," they said.
The Concorde traveled at 1,354 mph, or Mach 2.04. That's more than double the cruising speed of jets in use today.