Asiana is a South Korean airline, second in size to national carrier Korean Air. It has recently tried to expand its presence in the United States, and joined the Star Alliance, which is anchored in the U.S. by United Airlines (UAL).
The 777-200 is a long-range plane from Boeing. The twin-engine aircraft is often used for flights from one continent to another because it can travel 12 hours or more without refueling.
The most notable accident involving a 777 occurred on Jan. 17, 2008, at Heathrow Airport in London. British Airways (IAG) Flight 28 landed hard about 1,000 feet short of the runway and slid onto the start of the runway. The impact broke the 777-200's landing gear. There were 47 injuries, but no fatalities.
Lowy reported from Washington, D.C. Associated Press writers Jason Dearen and Sudhin Thanawala in San Francisco, Scott Mayerowitz in New York, Pauline Arrillaga in Phoenix, Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, and Louise Watt in Beijing contributed to this report.