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Asiana captain worried about visual landing before San Francisco crash


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The instructor pilot said he never saw a bright light outside the aircraft.

According to a transcript of the Asiana plane’s cockpit voice recorder, the crew did not comment on the jet’s low approach until it reached 200 feet above the ground.

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"It’s low," an unnamed crewman said at 11:27 a.m.

In an instant, the plane began to shake.

At 20 feet, another crewman broke in: "Go around," he said. But It was too late.

NTSB investigators also raised concerns about a safety certification issue involving the design of Boeing 777’s controls, warning that the plane’s protection against stalling does not always automatically engage.

When the plane’s autothrottle is placed in a "hold" mode, as it was during the Asiana flight, it is supposed to re-engage or "wake up" when the plane slows to its minimum airspeed.

But a pilot who oversaw the Boeing 787 flight tests for the Federal Aviation Administration told the NTSB that both the 787 and the 777 have the same anti-stall protection systems — and that the wake-up system did not always work when tested at minimum speeds.

Boeing’s retired 777 chief pilot, John Cashman, underscored that auto controls are not designed to replace pilots.

"The pilot is the final authority for the operation of the airplane," he said.


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Follow Martha Mendoza at https://twitter.com/mendozamartha .

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Mendoza reported from San Jose, Calif. Associated Press Airlines Writer David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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