Pilots tried to abort the landing just 1.5 seconds before Asiana Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport. According to a CNN report, the National Transportation Safety Board says the pilots appear to have increased speed 7 seconds before impact, and they then “called to initiate a go-around 1.5 seconds to impact.” Preliminary assessment of the plane’s cockpit and flight data recorders by NTSB show the flight was coming in too slow. But when asked if pilot error was to blame, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said “I would discourage anyone from drawing any conclusions at this point.” NTSB says according to the recorders, the flight approach appeared normal as the 777 descended, and “there is no discussion of aircraft approach” among the crew. 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. But the speed was significantly below 137 knots, and “we are not talking about a few knots,” she said. CNN also reports a Federal Aviation Administration bulletin says the plane’s Instrument Landing System, or ILS — which helps pilots correctly approach the runway — was not operating at the time. The NTSB has ruled out weather as a problem and said that conditions were right for a “visual landing.” National security officials also told CNN there are no signs that terrorism was involved. The Boeing 777 touched down heavily on the runway close to the water’s edge before it disappeared in a cloud of smoke. It is still unknown why the the plane was flying close to the seawall. The pilot flying the plane was a veteran who had been flying for Asiana since 1996. Asiana Flight 214 was at the end of a 10-hour direct flight from Seoul, South Korea. The accident killed two people, injured 182 and forced the temporary closure of one of the country’s largest airports. 19 survivors remained hospitalized, six of them in critical condition.
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