WATCH: Matt Lauer tries to land a Boeing 777
The host of NBC's Today talks about the Asiana Flight 214 crash, drawing on his trip behind the stick of a 777 flight simulator
Airline pilots have been pretty critical of the media's coverage of Asiana Flight 214's crash-landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday. The extensive coverage has been rife with misleading or uninformed speculation from "aviation experts," some pilots charge, while others point out specific points reporters just got wrong. Most journalists and TV news personalities have never tried to land a Boeing 777 at any airport, much less San Francisco International, after all.
Matt Lauer has. Sort of. On Tuesday, the longtime host of NBC's Today revisited his 2007 trip to the Boeing plant in Seattle, and his experience there inside a 777 flight simulator. At 200 feet, the same altitude at which the Asiana flight hit trouble, "I had a hard time gauging my position," Lauer says. He also gives us a SFO-specific landing experience inside a generic flight simulator, with former 777 pilot and current consultant Ross Aimer.
As a bonus, the NBC graphics department has worked up a plausible animation of the Asiana flight's descent and crash into the SFO sea wall — it gives you a much better sense of what happened than the distant amateur video of the crash. Watch above.