NTSB findings on SF plane crash at a glance

AP News
Posted: Jul 08, 2013 7:07 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After departing from Shanghai and stopping in Seoul, Asiana Flight 214 makes its final approach into San Francisco International Airport following a 10-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean. A preliminary review of the crash by U.S. investigators turns up the following:

—APPROACH PROCEEDS NORMALLY: The plane receives clearance from air traffic control to land without its instrument landing system. Visibility is about 10 miles with winds out of the southwest at 7 knots. There are no distress calls or special requests in the air traffic control tapes that captured the discussion between the tower and the Asiana pilots.

—PLANE DESCENDS: At 1,600 feet and 82 seconds before impact, the autopilot is disengaged, a normal procedure. At 1,400 feet and 73 seconds before impact, the plane's speed is about 170 knots. At 500 feet and 34 seconds before impact, the speed has dropped to 134 knots, just below the optimal landing speed of 137 knots. At 200 feet and 16 seconds out, the plane is traveling at 118 knots.

—8 SECONDS OUT: At an altitude of 125 feet, there's a call in the cockpit for additional speed and the throttles begin moving forward. The plane is traveling at about 112 knots.

—4 SECONDS OUT: The stick shaker, a yolk the pilots hold, begins vibrating, indicating the plane could stall.

—3 SECONDS OUT: The plane is traveling at 103 knots, the slowest speed recorded by the flight data recorder. The engines begin increasing power from 50 percent.

— 1.5 SECONDS OUT: From the cockpit comes a call to abort the landing and go around for another try.

—CRASH: The plane, traveling at 106 knots, clips a seawall at the end of the runway and then slams down on the runway. The controller declares an emergency and rescue vehicles are deployed.