WBEZ | San Francisco http://www.wbez.org/tags/san-francisco Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Slow landing speed of San Francisco jet probed http://www.wbez.org/news/slow-landing-speed-san-francisco-jet-probed-107962 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/flight 214.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Investigators have determined that Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was traveling &quot;significantly below&quot; the target speed during its approach and that the crew tried to abort the landing just before it smashed onto the runway. What they don&#39;t yet know is whether the pilot&#39;s inexperience with the type of aircraft and at San Francisco&#39;s airport played a role.</p><p>A day after the jetliner crash landed in San Francisco, killing two people and sending more than 180 to hospitals, officials said Sunday that the probe was also focusing on whether the airport or plane&#39;s equipment also could have malfunctioned.</p><p>The South Korea government announced Monday that officials will inspect engines and landing equipment on all Boeing 777 planes owned by Asiana and Korean Air, the national carrier.</p><p>Also Sunday, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said he was investigating whether one of the two teenage passengers killed actually survived the crash but was run over by a rescue vehicle rushing to aid victims fleeing the burning aircraft. Remarkably, 305 of 307 passengers and crew survived the crash and more than a third didn&#39;t even require hospitalization. Only a small number were critically injured.</p><p>Investigators said that the weather was unusually fair for foggy San Francisco. The winds were mild, too. During the descent, with their throttles set to idle, the pilots never discussed having any problems with the plane or its positioning until it was too late.</p><p>Seven seconds before the Boeing 777 struck down, a member of the flight crew made a call to increase the jet&#39;s lagging speed, National Transportation Safety Board chief Deborah Hersman said at a briefing based on the plane&#39;s cockpit and flight data recorders. Three seconds later came a warning that the plane was about to stall.</p><p>Two-and-a-half seconds later, the crew attempted to abort the landing and go back up for another try. The air traffic controller guiding the plane heard the crash that followed almost instantly, Hersman said.</p><p>While investigators from both the U.S. and South Korea are in the early stages of an investigation that will include a weekslong examination of the wreckage and alcohol tests for the crew, the news confirmed what survivors and other witnesses had reported: a slow-moving airliner flying low to the ground.</p><p>&quot;We are not talking about a few knots&quot; difference between the aircraft&#39;s target landing speed of 137 knots, or 157 mph (250 kph), and how fast it was going as it came in for a landing, Hersman said.</p><p>Pilots normally try to land at the target speed, in this case 137 knots, plus an additional 5 more knots, said Bob Coffman, an American Airlines captain who has flown 777s. He said the briefing raises an important question: &quot;Why was the plane going so slow?&quot;</p><p>The airline said Monday in Seoul that the pilot at the controls had little experience flying that type of plane and was landing one for the first time at that airport.</p><p>Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin said that Lee Gang-guk, who was at the controls, had nearly 10,000 hours flying other planes but only 43 in the 777, a plane she said he still was getting used to flying. Another pilot on the flight, Lee Jeong-min, had about 12,390 hours of flying experience, including 3,220 hours on the 777, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in South Korea. Lee was the deputy pilot, tasked with helping Lee Gang-guk get accustomed to the 777, according to Asiana Airlines.</p><p>Two other pilots were aboard, with teams of rotating at the controls.</p><p>The plane&#39;s Pratt &amp; Whitney engines were on idle and the pilots were flying under visual flight rules, Hersman said. Under visual flight procedures in the Boeing 777, a wide-body jet, the autopilot would typically have been turned off while the automatic throttle, which regulates speed, would been on until the plane had descended to 500 feet (150 meters) in altitude, Coffman said. At that point, pilots would normally check their airspeed before switching off the autothrottle to continue a &quot;hand fly&quot; approach, he said.</p><p>There was no indication in the discussions between the pilots and the air traffic controllers that there were problems with the aircraft.</p><p>Survivors and rescuers said it was nothing less than astonishing that nearly everyone survived after a frightful scene of fire burning inside the fuselage, pieces of the aircraft scattered across the runway and people fleeing for their lives.</p><p>In the first comments on the crash by a crew member, cabin manager Lee Yoon-hye said that seconds before impact she felt that something was wrong.</p><p>&quot;Right before touchdown, I felt like the plane was trying to take off. I was thinking &#39;what&#39;s happening?&#39; and then I felt a bang,&quot; Lee told reporters Sunday night in San Francisco. &quot;That bang felt harder than a normal landing. It was a very big shock. Afterward, there was another shock and the plane swayed to the right and to the left.&quot;</p><p>She said that during the evacuation, two inflatable slides that were supposed to inflate toward the outside instead inflated toward the inside of the plane, hurting two Asiana flight attendants. Pilots came to rescue the flight attendants but even after getting injured, she said that the crew did not leave the plane until after the passengers evacuated. She said she was the last one to go.</p><p>South Korea&#39;s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said the 291 passengers included 141 Chinese, 77 South Koreans, 64 Americans, three Canadians, three Indians, one Japanese, one Vietnamese and one person from France.</p><p>The two dead passengers have been identified as students from China &mdash;16 and 17 years old &mdash; who were scheduled to attend summer camp in California with dozens of classmates. Hospital officials said Sunday that two of the people who remained hospitalized in critical condition were paralyzed with spinal injuries, while another two showed &quot;road rash&quot; injuries consistent with being dragged.</p><p>Foucrault, the coroner, said one of the bodies was found on the tarmac near where the plane&#39;s tail broke off when it slammed into the runway. The other was found on the left side of the plane about 30 feet (10 meters) away from where the jetliner came to rest after it skidded down the runway. Foucrault said an autopsy he expects to be completed by Monday will involve determining whether the second girl&#39;s death was caused by injuries suffered in the crash or &quot;a secondary incident.&quot;</p><p>He said he did not get a close enough look at the victims on Saturday to know whether they had external injuries.</p><p>The flight originated in Shanghai, China, and stopped over in Seoul, South Korea, before making the nearly 11-hour trip to San Francisco.</p><p>On audio recordings from the air traffic tower, controllers told all pilots in other planes to stay put after the crash. &quot;All runways are closed. Airport is closed. San Francisco tower,&quot; said one controller.</p><p>At one point, the pilot of a United Airlines plane radioed.</p><p>&quot;We see people ... that need immediate attention,&quot; the pilot said. &quot;They are alive and walking around.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Think you said people are just walking outside the airplane right now?&quot; the controller replied.</p><p>&quot;Yes,&quot; answered the pilot of United Flight 885. &quot;Some people, it looks like, are struggling.&quot;</p><p>When the plane hit the ground, oxygen masks dropped down, said Xu Da, a product manager at an Internet company in Hangzhou, China, who was sitting with his wife and teenage son near the back of the plane. He stood up and saw sparking &mdash; perhaps from exposed electrical wires &mdash; and a gaping hole through the back of the plane where its galley was torn away along with the tail.</p><p>Xu and his family escaped through the opening. Once on the tarmac, they watched the plane catch fire, and firefighters hose it down.</p><p>In the chaotic moments after the landing, when baggage was tumbling from the overhead bins onto passengers and people all around her were screaming, Wen Zhang grabbed her 4-year-old son, who hit the seat in front of him and broke his leg.</p><p>Spotting a hole at the back of the jumbo jet where the bathroom had been, she carried her boy to safety.</p><p>&quot;I had no time to be scared,&quot; she said.</p><p>Nearby, people who escaped were dousing themselves with water from the bay, possibly to cool burn injuries, authorities said.</p><p>By the time the flames were out, much of the top of the fuselage had burned away. The tail section was gone, with pieces of it scattered across the beginning of the runway. One engine was gone, and the other was no longer on the wing.</p></p> Sat, 06 Jul 2013 17:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/slow-landing-speed-san-francisco-jet-probed-107962 Man Subdued After Disturbance On S.F.-Bound Flight http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-05-09/man-subdued-after-disturbance-sf-bound-flight-86250 <p><p>A retired police officer and a retired Secret Service agent helped wrestle a man to the cabin floor after he began pounding on the cockpit as an American Airlines flight approached San Francisco, the third security incident in a day on U.S. planes, authorities said Monday.</p><p>The man, who had a Yemeni passport, was yelling unintelligibly as he brushed past a flight attendant minutes before American Airlines Flight 1561 was due at San Francisco International Airport on Sunday, according to Sgt. Michael Rodriguez of the San Francisco police. Flight attendants and passengers then tackled the man.</p><p>"They were able to get him to ground and a flight attendant put him in plastic handcuffs," Rodriguez told The Associated Press.</p><p>The Boeing 737, which reportedly came from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, was carrying 162 people and landed safely at 9:10 p.m.</p><p>The man was identified as 28-year-old Rageit Almurisi. He carried a California identification card and the Yemeni passport, but it wasn't clear if his nationality was also Yemeni, Rodriguez said.</p><p>Almurisi was charged with interfering with a flight crew, a federal offense. No motive has been established and the officer said he had no information when asked if the disturbance was linked to terrorism.</p><p>Rodriguez said that although things have returned to normal at the San Francisco airport, the mood is different after the killing of Osama bin Laden.</p><p>"You know, the officers are more aware based on, you know, the facts of that incident and stuff. So yes, I would say that there is just more heightened awareness here," he said.</p><p>It was the third disturbance of the day in U.S. airspace.</p><p>A Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Chicago diverted in St. Louis after a 34-year-old man from Illinois tried to open a plane door during the flight, officials said.</p><p>Continental spokeswoman Julie King said Flight No. 546 landed around 1:30 p.m. and was grounded about an hour before resuming it journey.</p><p>FBI and airport police questioned the passenger. No charges have been filed.</p><p>Shortly before that, a Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit to San Diego was landed instead in Albuquerque, N.M., because of a security scare but authorities found "no suspicious devices" on the plane, an FBI spokesman said.</p><p>Agency spokesman Frank Fisher declined to clarify the nature of the "potential security threat" that caused Flight 1706 to land in New Mexico. He said agents searched the plane and interviewed the crew and 107 passengers before clearing the aircraft to fly again.</p><p>Albuquerque International Sunport spokesman Daniel Jiron also declined to say what the potential threat was. No one was arrested.</p><p>The flight was diverted at 10 a.m. MDT, and Jiron said it was cleared to fly again around 12:30 p.m.</p><p><em>Joshua Johnson reported from San Francisco for this story, which contains material from The Associated Press.</em> Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. </p> Mon, 09 May 2011 10:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-05-09/man-subdued-after-disturbance-sf-bound-flight-86250 Single-origin chocolate, sold in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/single-origin-chocolate-sold-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//tcho.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I was walking along the Embarcadero in San Francisco earlier this week, and spotted a familiar sign on the side of one of the enormous piers that juts into the harbor.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>It said simply &ldquo;New American Chocolate&rdquo; and next to it, &quot;TCHO.&quot;<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Then I realized I had just read a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/dining/03chocolate.html" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">huge profile about the company</a>&nbsp;in last week&rsquo;s Dining section in the New York Times.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>I recalled their commitment to single-origin cacao beans, sourced from specific farms within about 15 degrees of the equator.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Like most progressive coffee companies, they adhere to a strict &ldquo;fair trade&rdquo; ethos, and like a lot of wine producers these days, speak of the&nbsp;<em>terroir</em>&nbsp;of the beans, describing their finished chocolates in terms of their associations with citrusy, fruity or nutty characteristics.</p><p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em;" class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p><p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em;" class="MsoNormal">I walked inside, and introduced myself to the guy working behind the counter (a former Second City/ImprovOlympic guy from Lake View, by the way), and he agreed to talk to me a bit on camera about the company and its philosophy.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Best of all, you can find it locally in Chicago at a number of places, such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fox-obel.com" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Fox &amp; Obel</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.marionstreetcheesemarket.com" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Marion Street Cheese Market</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.southportgrocery.com/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Southport Grocery</a>, to name just a few local outlets.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Easier still, just go to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tcho.com" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">www.tcho.com</a>&nbsp;to order directly.</p><p><iframe width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/16683148?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;color=c40215"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://vimeo.com/16683148"><br /></a></p></p> Wed, 10 Nov 2010 14:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/single-origin-chocolate-sold-chicago