July 8 - U.S. investigators say the Asiana plane which crashed at San Francisco was 'significantly below planned speed for landing'. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
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The crew of the Asiana Airlines plane that crashed Saturday (July 6) at San Francisco airport tried to increase its speed and abort its landing just seconds before it hit the sea wall in front of the airport runway, according to flight recorders recovered by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman, speaking at a news conference at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) also said there were no indications of any problems with the plane or the landing until 7 seconds before impact, when the crew tried to increase the plane's speed. Hersman said data recorders show the plane was travelling "significantly below" the planned speed.
"I will tell you that the speed was significantly below 137 knots and we're not talking about a few knots. We still have to corroborate some information, as I mentioned, this was a preliminary read of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder." she said.
The crew tried to initiate a "go-around," in which it would accelerate and abort the landing, just 1.5 seconds before impact. Controllers became aware of a problem only when they saw the plane hit the seawall.
Asiana is a South Korean airline with a safety record that includes two other fatal crashes in its 25-year history.
Two years ago, one of its 747 cargo jets bound for Shanghai crashed into the sea off Jeju island after taking off from Incheon airport. Two pilots on board were killed in the crash, which was blamed on mechanical problems.
In 1993, an Asiana domestic flight from Seoul crashed in driving wind and extremely poor visibility in a botched landing attempt, killing 66 people and injuring 44.
An inquiry found pilot error was the cause of that crash when the plane began a descent while it was still passing over a mountain peak.
The airline is a member of the Star Alliance with 91 international passenger routes, 28 cargo and 14 domestic routes. It operates a fleet of 80 aircraft.
The NTSB says it will continue to release findings in the coming weeks, and plans to interview the flight crew and passengers in an effort to fully understand the reasons behind the crash.