Experts: Boeing 777 has 'fantastic' safety record

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By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Aviation safety experts say the crash Saturday of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 in San Francisco is only the second major accident for the twin-engine, wide-bodied jet in the 18 years the model has been in service

The former head of aviation accident investigations for the National Transportation Safety Board, Tom Haueter, says the 777 has a "fantastic record."

The two accidents share a striking similarity: Both occurred just about the time the planes were touching down to landing.

The previous accident occurred in 2008 at London's Heathrow Airport. A British Airways 777 landed hard about 1,000 feet short of the runway and then slid onto the runway. There were injuries, but no fatalities.

An investigation revealed ice pellets in the fuel.

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