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Official: Asiana flight flew too slow before crash

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Posted: Sunday, July 7, 2013 7:36 pm | Updated: 10:29 pm, Sun Jul 7, 2013.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal safety officials say the pilots of Asiana Flight 214 were flying too slowly as they approached San Francisco airport on Saturday, triggering a warning that the jetliner could stall, and then tried to abort the landing seconds before crashing.

National Transportation Safety Board chief Deborah Hersman says the Boeing 777 was traveling at speeds well below the target landing speed of 137 knots per hour, or 157 mph. She says "We're not talking about a few knots."

Hersman says the aircraft's stick shaker -- a piece of safety equipment that warns pilots of an impending stall -- went off moments before the crash. The normal response to a stall warning is to increase speed to recover control.

There was an increase several seconds before the crash, she says, basing her comments on an evaluation of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders.

And she says at 1.5 seconds before impact, there was a call for an aborted landing.

The crash at San Francisco International Airport killed two 16-year-old girls from China and injured dozens of others.

Sound:

%@AP Links

218-w-29-(Tim Maguire, AP correspondent, with Deborah Hersman, chairman, National Transportation Safety Board)--The head of the National Transportation Safety Board says the pilots of the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 tried to avoid a stall by increasing power to the engines as they approached the San Francisco airport. AP correspondent Tim Maguire reports. (7 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *218 (07/07/13)££ 00:29

207-a-05-(Deborah Hersman (HURZ'-muhn), chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, at news conference)-"rule anything out"-NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman says it's too soon to say whether it was mechanical or pilot error that caused the crash. (7 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *207 (07/07/13)££ 00:05 "rule anything out"

209-a-10-(Deborah Hersman (HURZ'-muhn), chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, at news conference)-"prior to impact"-NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman says the cockpit voice recorder reveals someone indicated the plane was coming in too slowly. (7 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *209 (07/07/13)££ 00:10 "prior to impact"

210-a-08-(Deborah Hersman (HURZ'-muhn), chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, at news conference)-"seconds before impact"-NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman says the pilots tried to abort the landing and make a second attempt, right before the jet crashed. (7 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *210 (07/07/13)££ 00:08 "seconds before impact"

208-a-12-(Deborah Hersman (HURZ'-muhn), chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, at news conference)-"the same time"-NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman says both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder showed there was a call to increase airspeed roughly two seconds before impact. (7 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *208 (07/07/13)££ 00:12 "the same time"

206-a-14-(Deborah Hersman (HURZ'-muhn), chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, at news conference)-"target air speed"-NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman says the flight data recorder shows the plane was not at the right speed for landing. (7 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *206 (07/07/13)££ 00:14 "target air speed"

APPHOTO CAMS117: National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman speaks during a press briefing on the investigation of the crash of Asiana Flight 214 at the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Sunday, July 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) (7 Jul 2013)

<<APPHOTO CAMS117 (07/07/13)££

APPHOTO NYKS206: This photo provided by Dawn Siadatan shows Asiana Airlines flight 214 just moments after crashing at the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Saturday, July 6, 2013. The Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed while landing after a likely 10-hour-plus flight from Seoul, South Korea. The flight originated in Shanghai and stopped in Seoul before the long trek to San Francisco. (AP Photo/Dawn Siadatan) (7 Jul 2013)

<<APPHOTO NYKS206 (07/07/13)££

APPHOTO NYKS201: This photo provided by the National Transportation Security Board (NTSB), shows the flight data recorder, left, and cockpit voice recorder, right of the Asiana Airlines flight 214 that crashed at the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Saturday, July 6, 2013, in Washington on Sunday, July 7, 2013. The Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed while landing after a likely 10-hour-plus flight from Seoul, South Korea. The flight originated in Shanghai and stopped in Seoul before the long trek to San Francisco. (AP Photo/NTSB) (7 Jul 2013)

<<APPHOTO NYKS201 (07/07/13)££

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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