Latest News:  


NTSB: Plane flew dangerously slow before crash

By CAROLINE BERG in New York (China Daily)

09:15, July 08, 2013

Federal aviation investigators have reviewed two hours of cockpit voice recordings from the Asiana Airlines-operated plane that crashed at San Francisco International Airport, and preliminarily analysis suggests the aircraft was traveling at dangerously slow speed seconds before impact, a key official said on Sunday.

Deborah Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, described in the first on-scene briefing since Saturday's crash a sequence of events leading to the incident in which two Chinese teenagers were killed and several dozen other passengers injured.

Although the engines of the Boeing 777 had seemed to respond "normally" in the moments before Flight 214 crash-landed, she said, pilots allowed the jet's airspeed to reach levels "significantly below" the designated approach level of about 130 miles (113 knots, or 209 kilometers) per hour.

According to Herman, a preliminary readout of both the flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders indicate the situation in the cockpit on Flight 214 from Seoul was normal, with no discussion of problems or concerns among the crew about its visual approach to the runway on a sunny day. However, seven seconds before impact, a crew member acted to increase the speed, but by then it was too late to correct the approach.

A stall-warning had activated, letting the crew know that plane with 307 people aboard was losing aerodynamic lift. The crew finally tried to increase engine thrust and climb away from the runway — a maneuver known as a "go-around" — but instead the jet struck a seawall alongside the landing strip.

The flight had been cleared to land by visual approach, and communications between the crew and cockpit confirmed the aircraft was configured for that, Hersman said in her news conference at the airport.

"The approach proceeded normally as the plane descended," she said, citing the cockpit-recorder data. "There is no discussion of any aircraft anomalies or concerns with the approach."

Stressing that the investigation had only begun, Hersman stopped short of identifying pilot error as a probable cause of the crash. The preliminary data-based analysis, however, indicates investigators will be focused on understanding why the crew allowed the plane's speed to reach such a slow speed and then failed to take decisive action until the plane was 1.5 seconds from impact. It appears that possible failure in one of more of the plane's systems is less likely to be identified as a culprit.

Over the next few days, Hersman said, the NTSB plans to interview the flight crew and continue other technical investigations to determine the cause.

We Recommend:

U.S. presidents and their pets

Highlights of 50th Int'l Paris Air Show

Best photos of week (June 17 - June 23)

Venezuelan Army School boat visits Cuba

Afghan refugees at UNHCR registration center

Beauty contest held in Budapest, Hungary

Angelina Jolie visits refugee camp

'Super moon' hangs in the sky over Rotterdam

LA' Chinatown sets up statue of Bruce Lee

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:YaoChun、Liang Jun)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Chinese Navy opens to the public in Vladivostok

  2. Sino-Swiss free trade pact signed in Beijing

  3. Wheel of death" performed in Indonesia

  4. National cat tour competition in Harbin

  5. Hot yoga practiced in Nanchang

  6. Sand-washing operation at Xiaolangdi

  7. Shaolin martial arts performed in Taiyuan

  8. Lotus flowers bloom in Yinchuan

  9. Jiaxing-Shaoxing Sea Bridge in E China

  10. Sales of ice cubes up in Beijing

Most Popular


  1. Chinese-Swiss FTA, a model for cooperation with EU
  2. Witnesses' account of Xinjiang terror attacks
  3. Culture facilities should be better managed: minister
  4. Alipay, should banks worry?
  5. Chinese visitor spending brings changes to NZ
  6. Transparency urged in China's college enrollment
  7. Nokia deal will not affect business in China
  8. Obama trying to get foothold in Africa
  9. CIC needs to recruit global talent: analysts
  10. China to strengthen ties with Uganda

What’s happening in China

First panda born in Taiwan is female | Photos

  1. Taobao service: to hire someone to visit parents
  2. Memorial tablet brings soldiers' souls home
  3. Police uncover packs of chicken feet from 1967
  4. Half Year Festival celebrates family reunion
  5. Lovebirds separate when the going gets rough