On July 6th, Asiana Flight 214, a Boeing 777 traveling from Seoul to San Francisco crashed when landing in San Francisco. On July 10th I boarded a Boeing 777 from San Francisco to Honolulu, on my way to the Marshall Islands. From the window where I was seating, I could see the crashed plane. Not what one wants to see when embarking on a flight.
While our plane slowly taxied to the beginning of the runway, passengers on the right side of the plane had a chance to see the entire crash site and debris. From the point the plane hit the runway, at the retaining wall.
Leaving a trail of debris along the runway.
With parts of the tail, components of the landing gear.
And curving to the left of the runway.
All the way to the point where the plane came to a stop. Boeing, FAA and NTSB officials were still collecting data on the crash, that’s why the crashed plane was still there a few days after the crash.
Then my plane turned toward the runway, we were ready for take off. Time for passengers on the left side of the plane to have a viewing.
I don’t know what my fellow passengers were thinking about as we stared at this crash site. I was reminding myself that flying is safer than riding a motorcycle. Which solved the immediate impact of seeing a crashed plane just before my flight starts. But certainly does not go very well with me, no matter how I rationalize about it, because I love riding.
This plane crashed because it was going too slow, but almost everyone survived because it was going too slow. My thoughts go to all passengers who were injured in this flight and especially for the family of the two people who died.
I was still thinking about this a couple of days later, as I was walking in the Honolulu airport toward my flight to the Marshall Islands when I ran into Alain, a riding buddy of mine who has been in Australia for more than a year. We were both very surprised by the encounter, but did not have a chance to catch up. I hear he is planning a ride around the world on a Tenere 660. Good for him!