Yesterday, an Asiana 777 crashed on approach to San Francisco airport:
Two people were killed and 49 seriously hurt when Flight 214 crashed at 11:27 a.m. But the rest of the 307 passengers and crew members escaped either unscathed or with lesser injuries, Doug Yakel, an SFO spokesman, said at an evening news conference.
The plane came to rest on the side of Runway 28L, one of four runways at SFO, said Lynn Lunsford, a spokeswoman with the Federal Aviation Administration. The jetliner appeared to hit short of the runway and then slowly turn as it careened across the ground - losing its tail and leaving a trail of debris.
(Photo: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Initial reports suggest the plane had a higher-than-normal angle of attack on an otherwise normal approach, and its tail struck the seawall at the end of 28L—the runway my Alaska 737 landed on last Saturday. It also seems from the reports that the pilots attempted a go-around immediately before the tail strike, which would explain the higher angle of attack and the reports of the plane "bouncing up" and "putting on the gas" from passengers.
I'll be following this story closely. This is the first-ever fatal accident for the Boeing 777, and the first fatal heavy airplane accident since 12 November 2001.
From getting out of my cab at San Francisco Airport this morning until I finally got through the security line took seven whole minutes, including checking a bag.
Yes. Seven minutes.
I don't understand why more people aren't signing up for the TSA PreCheck program. If you're in the program, you can zip through airport security without removing your shoes, emptying your bag, or waiting behind people who have never seen a magnetometer before.
...include U.S. citizens of frequent flier programs who have been invited by a participating airline. Additionally, U.S. citizens who are members of a CBP Trusted Traveler program, including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS and Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS that are issued a Known Traveler Number qualify to participate. Passengers 12 and younger are allowed through TSA Pre✓™ lanes with eligible passengers.
TSA Pre✓™ is currently available for eligible passengers traveling on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.
Seriously. Seven minutes from the curb to the gate area.
Of course, with the BART strike (possibly ending later today), it took me over an hour to get here, but that's beside the point.
Since I planned to visit San Francisco anyway, I got a ticket to tonight's Cubs—A's game at O.Co Stadium. O.Co is just across the Bay, and it only takes about 30 minutes by BART, so...um...oh, crap:
Almost 2,400 striking BART workers from the Amalgamated Transit Union and Service Employees International Union went on strike at midnight Sunday after negotiations collapsed hours earlier.
Union officials say the major sticking points continue to be pay raises, health care and pension contributions.
BART representatives said the agency had doubled its salary offer - to an 8 percent raise over four years - but that the unions had reduced their proposal for a 23.2 percent raise by one-half percent. They said it was the unions' turn to make a proposal and criticized them for leaving the last-gasp bargaining.
Union negotiators say that BARTs increased salary offer is a ruse rather than a generous offer. Three percent of that increase is contingent on the transit agency achieving ambitious goals including ridership, revenue, sales taxes and reductions in the number of employees taking time off under the federal Family Medical Leave Act.
Driving up from Half Moon Bay didn't take any time at all until I got to 6th St. The next hour of my life seemed longer than usual.
So, no game, and tomorrow I'll have to figure out how to get to SFO. I think Caltrain will get me close...
It turns out, I'm working a lot more than I anticipated this week, in addition to being on, you know, vacation, so not much blogging for the next day or two.
Meanwhile, this is what I got to see on our descent to SFO two days ago:
The quality could be better, but that's because I snapped it with my tablet about 15 seconds before the flight attendants told me to turn it off. But it shows pretty well why I always sit in the window seat.
I just listened to a This American Life segment by Andrew Forsthoefel, a 23-year-old from southeastern Pennsylvania who walked across the U.S. for a year. Fascinating.
He wound up, after walking 6,000 km, in Half Moon Bay, Calif., about 800 m from my family's house. I have to say, if I were to walk across the U.S., I'd want to wind up in Half Moon Bay, too.
What a start to this kid's life. I'm looking forward to hearing more from him.
Yesterday American's scheduling and ticketing systems went offline around 11:00 CDT. By noon CDT, the Dallas Morning News had this:
“American’s reservation and booking tool, Sabre, is offline,” American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said at midday. “We’re working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience.” (American subsequently absolved Sabre of any blame. ”We apologize to Sabre & customers for confusion.”)
She confirmed that the problem is causing some delays of American flights.
Shortly after, American grounded all of its flights for about three hours before getting its networks talking to each other around 3pm CDT.
I found out about this crash while stepping off the BART at SFO. My dad texted, "Are you affected by the AA ground halt?" Talk about a WTF? moment.
I was affected, but I'm happy to report that (a) I got to SFO shortly before American resolved the problem, and (b) American's gate agents had their crap together and got everyone out as quickly as possible. I was only 30 minutes late arriving at O'Hare.
American hasn't explained what happened yet; the Dallas Morning News has a theory...
I had a few hours of free time yesterday, so I went up to the Gloria Ferrer winery in Sonoma. I don't know how people can live like this:
I think I had a better time than the people freezing to death at Wrigley:
The bridge opened for foot traffic on 27 May 1937:
Naturally, the city is having a party.