orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Top Stories

July 12, 2013

Outline emerges of last moments before plane crash

(Continued)

SAN FRANCISCO —

When the pilots in the two front seats realized the plane was in trouble, they both reached for the throttle. Passengers heard a loud roar as the plane revved up in a last-minute attempt to abort the landing.

At three seconds before impact, the plane reached its slowest speed of 103 knots. Its engines were at 50 percent power and power was increasing. At this time, one of the pilots called for an aborted landing.

At one and a half seconds before impact, another of the pilots calls for an aborted landing.

At 11:28, with the airspeed up three knots, the landing gear, followed by the plane's tail, collided with the seawall just short of Runway 28 Left. The plane careened wildly before slamming down onto the tarmac and sliding about 1,000 feet. The tail was sheared off and three flight attendants seated in the back of the plane fell out. Rocks from the seawall and pieces of the mangled landing gear were strewn along the runway.

The NTSB's investigation is being followed closely by pilots in the U.S. and around the world. At one gathering of pilots in Dallas Wednesday night, the discussion centered on why the Asiana pilots didn't realize their low speed sooner. No one had an answer.

"There are a lot of very experienced airline pilots who are scratching their heads right now," Collins said.

Meanwhile, crews removing the plane's wreckage encountered smoke early Friday morning. The smoke was captured by KGO-TV cameras, and the news station said it occurred moments after crews used a sling to lift the fuselage.

It appears that the wreckage has since been removed.

Calls to airport and fire officials to determine the cause of the smoke were not immediately returned.

Airport officials hope to re-open the runway by Sunday. The closure has led to flight cancellations and delays.

Text Only
Top Stories
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide