'Pilots tried to abort landing seconds before Asiana plane crash'

Published: 08th July 2013 10:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th July 2013 10:40 AM   |  A+A-


Pilots of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 tried to abort the landing less than two seconds before the plane crashed on the runway at San Francisco International Airport Saturday, according to officials. Three Indian nationals were among the 305 survivors of the crash that killed two Chinese girls and left 49 seriously hurt.

The Boeing 777's voice and flight data recorders show that the flight from South Korea was coming in too slow and too low and that the pilots appear to have increased speed seven seconds before impact, the head of the US National Transportation Safety Board Deborah Hersman said Sunday.

A stall warning sounded four seconds before the crash, and the crew then made an internal decision "to initiate a go-around 1.5 seconds to impact," she was quoted by CNN as telling reporters in San Francisco.

The NTSB's preliminary assessment of the plane's cockpit and flight data recorders appear to indicate that the flight went from a routine landing to a disaster in a matter of seconds.

But when asked if pilot error was to blame, Hersman said the crash landing was still under investigation.

"I would discourage anyone from drawing any conclusions at this point," she said, adding that investigators are still working to corroborate the information on the recorders.

"What we need to do is corroborate the information we have both on the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder," Hersman said.

The target air speed for the approach of the flight was 137 knots, and the crew can be heard on the cockpit voice recorder acknowledging the speed, Hersman said.

But the speed was significantly below 137 knots, and "we are not talking about a few knots," she said.

Hersman said her team plans to interview the pilots in the coming days. The pilot sitting in the captain's seat had 43 hours of experience flying the B777-200, CNN reported citing Choi Jeong-ho, the head of the South Korea's Aviation Policy Bureau. He was identified as Lee Kang-gook, he said.

Internal damage to the plane is "really striking," Hersman said, and officials are thankful there weren't more deaths.

In all, 182 people were hospitalised with injuries ranging from paralysis to "severe road rash" and 123 others walked away from the crash landing.

At San Francisco General, 17 survivors remained hospitalised, six of them in critical condition.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp