777 Autothrottle Design Highlighted In Asiana Crash

By John Croft
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
December 16, 2013

Boeing is vigorously defending an automation design that appears to be at the center of the accident investigation of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER. On July 6, the aircraft crashed on approach to San Francisco International Airport.

The issue relates to the interaction between the 777's auto-flight and auto-thrust modes, in particular the flight-level-change (FLCH) speed mode that typically is used for varying the aircraft's vertical speed between two altitudes. Boeing does not recommend using FLCH during the final phases of an instrument approach, but does not address what modes pilots should use during a visual approach.

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