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Recorder of doomed Asiana flight proves pilot tried to abort landing

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 7th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In one of the most alarming plane crashes in recent memory, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 slammed into the ground at San Francisco International Airport this past weekend. Two people were killed and left 182 people injured in the tragedy. According to the cockpit voice recorder of the flight appears to show the pilots tried to abort the landing less than two seconds before it crashed.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The head of the National Transportation Safety Board Deborah Hersman said that the pilots appear to have increased speed seven seconds before impact, and they then "called to initiate a go-around 1.5 seconds to impact."

The NTSB's preliminary assessment of the plane's cockpit and flight data recorders show the flight was coming in too slow. Hersman said the crash landing was still under investigation.

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

What occurred inside the cockpit of the Boeing 777 may well be the deciding factor the accident that forced the temporary closure of one of the country's largest airports.

In a matter of seconds, Asiana Flight 214 went from routine landing to a disaster.

Amateur video has surfaced showing the plane approaching the runway and striking what appears to be a seawall before spinning counterclockwise and coming to a stop. Fred Hayes said he shot the video about a mile from the crash scene.

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

"...But I'll tell you some of the things we are seeing on the flight data recorder are mirroring some of the things that are going on the cockpit voice recorder."

The increase of power in the engines appears to correlate with the cockpit crew's request to "go-around," which is a call to abort the landing and try it again.

Asiana Flight 214 had 291 passengers and 16 crew members. The flight was at the end of a more than 10-hour direct flight from Seoul, South Korea, when it began its descent into California's second largest airport.

The flight approach appeared normal as the 777 descended, and "there is no discussion of aircraft approach" among the crew, according to the recorders.

The target speed for the approach of Asiana Flight 214 was 137 knots, and the crew can be heard on the cockpit voice recorder acknowledging the speed, Hersman said, adding that the speed was significantly below 137 knots, and "we are not talking about a few knots," she said.

At about four seconds before the plane crash landed, the pilots received an "oral and physical" warning inside the cockpit that the plane was on the verge of an aerodynamic, meaning it was about to lose its ability to stay in the air. Known as a "stick shaker," the command included a verbal warning that the plane that was flying too low, and a physical warning when the throttle shook.

The NTSB has ruled out weather as a problem and said that conditions were right for a "visual landing."

Asiana CEO and President Yoon Young-doo have said there was no engine failure, to his knowledge.

Survivors of the crash were being treated for injuries ranging from paralysis to "severe road rash." In all, 182 people were hospitalized and 123 others who walked away from the crash without the slightest injury prompted the city's fire chief to describe it as "nothing short of a miracle."

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