The pilots said that after impact, the aircraft “ballooned”, yawed left and went into a 360-degree spin, according to Hersman.
The left-seat pilot was mid-way through the airline’s initial operating experience phase for becoming qualified as a 777 crewmember, a process that requires 20 flights and 60 hr. of flight time with an instructor pilot, according to Hersman. He had completed 10 legs and 35 hr. of flight time.
Hersman says three of the four pilots were on the flight deck at the time of the crash. In addition to the pilot-flying and the instructor pilot, a relief first officer was in the jump seat. The relief captain was in the main cabin. Relief pilots fly the cruise portion of a flight.
This flight was the instructor pilot’s first mission as an instructor pilot, and it was also his first time flying with the left-seat pilot.
Hersman says none of the pilots were given drug or alcohol tests after the accident, a requirement for U.S.-based airline crews but no so for foreign airlines.