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SAP HANA Analysis of Flight 214 Asiana Airlines

July 9, 2013


After the terrible accident of Flight -214 of Asiana Airlines, this past Saturday July-06-2013,  I got very curious in trying to understand from a Management point of view the possible causes of this incident.

As a frequent traveler myself, and knowing that many of my colleagues are also frequent travelers, I thought it will be a good idea to use the Power of SAP HANA to try to define possible causes of this Aerial accident.

In order to make this exercise a useful exercise, we will define some characteristics of who will be conducting the analysis, and what data will be relevant to find out possible causes of the aerial accident.

Taking into consideration that this will be a managerial analysis, we will consider that management are not aviation experts, and that they will just collect data to make educated questions to their real experts in their fields. Common management scenario in real life.

By other hand, we will define that management will not have access to the data that is under investigation by the federal authorities, so management should be able to balance this data constraint.

Metadata definitions

The ideal raw data scenario will be to get the data that will describe the behavior of the airplane minute by minute from the time of take off to the time of landing, and also it will be ideal to track similar flights from the same airline, airplane Model  Boeing 777, and same origin and same destiny.

Having that data sources, and analyzing such amount of data will give to Management a better view than the data collected by the federal investigation bureau, due to the fact that management will be able to compare exactly many airplanes that flew exactly under similar circumstances to be able to find patterns, and find possible solutions.

The suggested metadata is the following

Flight Date    ##/##/####

Time    ## : ##

Altitude in Feet : ##,###.##

Speed in MPG :  ###.##

Speed in KTS : ###.##

Range : ####,##   (Feets per minutes at Descent or Ascent)

Longitude of the Airplane Location  : ##.####

Latitude of the Airplane Location :  ##.####

Course : ## o

Direction : Text

Frequency of Data Collection

Data should be collected every minute at take off, until the unit finally land.

* The estimated number of records per flight will be  900 Records per flight, each record with 11 Columns for a total of  9,900 attributes.

* The total number of flights to analyse will be 20, to collect a total number of  200,000 attributes

The number of combinations to get the following results will be around 2,000,000 combinations.

Management should be able to analyze and compare the information of  each flight by :

Location  (latitude – Longitude)

Flight – Date



Speed Miles

Speed Knots


To be able to compare performance of the unsuccessful flight with other successful flights

Flight 214 Data

Data Sourcing

Flight Raw Data.

Data was collected from a  Public tracking site

The website was able to track  all Flights 214 from the 25th of  June to July-07-2013.

The data available for the analysis was of a total of 525 Flights,  350 flights for 2012, and 175 flights in 2013.

Each flight analysed had the same characteristics of Flight  214

Asiana Airlines

Boeign 777

Origin : Seoul Korea

Destination :  San Francisco California USA

total of 472,500 Records

total of 5 Million attributes

The raw data was loaded into  SAP HANA.

With this approach management then will have a good base to formulate a strong analysis, without depending on external sources.


  1. On Friday July-05-2013 a day before the accident , Flight 214, Boeing 777 experienced an unusual approach of landing at  151 MPH, less than the speed recommended. the rate of descending was -660 Feet per minute average in all airplanes Boeing 777 analyzed.
  2. On Saturday July-06 the accident airplane approached at 154 Miles per hour, at 400 Feet, below the speed recommended and with a rate of -990 feet per minute. Indication that the airplane started the descend maneuvers   before all other flights 214 analyzed.

Flight 214 Data II

3. At  14:28 pm Pacific Time 300 feet the accident airplane of Flight 214 presents a similar unusual pattern compared with other successful Flights 214’s  analyzed.

Speed of  142 Miles per hour, 15 % below all successful flights analyzed with a Rate of  descending of  -840  Feet  per

minute.  40% above the average of similar flights with speeds of less than 150 miles per hour

Flight 214 Data III

  1.    At  14:28 PM Pacific Time  at 200 Feet   the accident flight 214, has a very low speed of  98 MPH, significantly below all other Flights 214 analyzed, and their Rate is ascending at 120 Feet per minute, or ascending at 2 feet per second.    Indication that the plane engines were fully operational discarding the possibilities of a Fuel Gas pipe freeze as per the last  British Airways Boeing 777  Flight GYMMM-hard landing at Heathrow London in January 17 2008.

There is also indication then, that the Plane was forced in a last minute  ascending maneuver, bringing the airplane

nose 15 degrees up.

Flight 214 Data IV

Conclusions and Recommendations

  • SAP HANA supported the possibilities to run analyzes of  data recorded of hundreds of similar Asiana Airlines Boeing -777 equipment from Seoul to San Francisco like the accident Flight- 214, processing millions of combinations in a very short period of time.
  • SAP Lumira presentation layers, are intuitive and easy to manipulate and explode data, orientated to Senior Management with no training required.
  • Management Recommendations,  exhaust investigation to discard the 12.5 % possibility of an external agent, or external event that triggered a possible malfunction of the automatic pilot functions.
  • Open an investigation of Flight-214 of July-05-2013, that landed in San Francisco a day before the Flight-214 accident occurred on July-06-2013. Flight-214 of July-05  also presented a severe slow speed average during the final landing approach maneuvers


Analysis of Flight Asiana 214 July-06-2013 using a SAP HANA System (3)

One Comment
  1. hi sir the info you have given is the covered all sap modules info thats great. I am very thankfull to you for the info you provided.
    thank you very much sir.

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