July 9 Here is an account of the final minutes
before Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed in San
Francisco on Saturday, killing two teenage girls and injuring
more than 180 people. The National Transportation Safety Board
said the plane's speed at landing should be 137 knots, or
nautical miles per hour, but fell below that before the crash.
Air speed is necessary to provide lift and keep the plane aloft.
82 seconds before impact: Plane's altitude is about 1,600
feet (488 meters). Autopilot is disengaged. Speed not given. The
plane is configured for approach and proceeds normally with "no
discussion of any aircraft anomolies or concerns," NTSB Chairman
Deborah Hersman later says.
73 seconds: Air speed slows to 170 knots. Altitude is about
54 seconds: Speed falls to 149 knots, altitude drops to
34 seconds: Speed falls to 134 knots, below safe landing
target of 137 knots. Altitude is 500 feet. Instructor pilot
realizes plane is too low.
16 seconds: Speed falls to 118 knots, altitude now 200 feet.
Pilots notice plane not centered to runway and try to correct.
Indicator lights near runway show plane is pointed too low.
8 seconds: Speed falls to 112 knots, altitude 125 feet.
Plane's throttles start moving forward.
7 seconds: Crew member is heard on cockpit voice recorder
calling for more speed.
4 seconds: Sound of "stick shaker" is heard warning of a
3 seconds: Flight reaches lowest speed of 103 knots. Engines
at half power and power increasing. Engine response to command
to increase power appears to be normal.
1.5 seconds: Call is made to abort landing and "go-around."
Impact: Speed is 106 knots. Plane's tail section hits sea
wall at edge of runway reaching into San Francisco Bay and
breaks off. Debris is strewn along runway as plane comes halt.
SOURCE: National Transportation Safety Board, based on
information from the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice