Remembering Asiana Flight 214
02:40 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

"We were all bouncing all over the place," one survivor says

"It was so shocking that we could miss the runway," another says

Just last month, U.S. officials cited pilot crew errors

CNN  — 

A year ago Sunday, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed while landing at San Francisco’s airport, killing three passengers and injuring 187 more.

Survivors remember the incident, in which the plane clipped a seawall just short of the runway, spun violently for 330 degrees, broke into pieces and caught fire. It all occurred on a clear day.

“It was like we were all bouncing all over the place. I just remember there being dust everywhere, and I was freaking out and then it just stopped,” said Esther Jang, 15.

Said another passenger, Ben Levy: “And there was no wind, no fog. I’m a regular at the San Francisco airport. So, yeah, it was so shocking that we could miss the runway by so much.”

The crash marked the first time that the new Boeing 777, one of the most sophisticated airliners, was involved in a fatal crash.

Since then, another Boeing 777, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, disappeared after takeover from Kuala Lumpur on March 8. Authorities have yet to solve the mystery of what became of the plane carrying 239 passengers and crew.

In the Asiana crash, one of the three people killed was Ye Meng Yuan, 16, who died on the ground when she was apparently hit by a rescue truck responding to the scene, according to the San Mateo County coroner.

A subsequent video suggested that at one point emergency workers saw Ye’s body on the tarmac during the chaos.

But a January report by San Francisco authorities asserted that Ye was already dead when two fire trucks ran over her on the airfield.

Earlier this year, a lawyer for Ye’s family said a video shows that several firefighters saw her lying on the tarmac, but none “did the basic step of checking if she was alive.”

The teenage girl was on her way to an American summer camp from her home in China when the crash happened.

Last month, U.S. safety investigators determined that the pilots erred on the approach and landing of the plane.

Also contributing to the disaster was crew training and the complexities of a key flight system on the Boeing 777 and how it was described in operating manuals, the National Transportation Safety Board found.

Investigators, however, primarily faulted the crew of the South Korean-based carrier for not fully executing intricate systems of the jetliner packed with more than 300 people.

The flight crew mismanaged the plane’s descent being carried out without the help of navigational instruments, and one of the pilots unintentionally deactivated a system that automatically regulates airspeed, the board’s final report said.

The crew also delayed its decision to abort the landing with the plane flying too slowly to avoid catastrophe, investigators found.

Of the 307 people on board, almost 200 of them were taken to local hospitals with injuries such as bruises, broken bones and spinal damage.

Passenger Eugene Rah broke his jaw and injured his back and hip. A year later, he’s still dealing with the fallout.

“I’m grateful that I’m still alive. The problem is the consequences change some of my life,” he told CNN. “I couldn’t really do much normal activities and work as before.”

The flight originated in Shanghai, China, made a connection in Seoul, South Korea, and then flew 10 hours to San Francisco International Airport.

Pilots blamed for Asiana crash

CNN’s Dan Simon contributed from San Francisco.