The doomed Asiana Airlines jetliner had its throttles set to idle and was moving so slowly that it nearly stalled before it smashed into a seawall bordering a San Francisco International Airport runway, federal investigators said Sunday.
The crew tried to abort the landing and avert the disaster, which killed two teenage passengers and injured dozens of others, but it was too late, according to a preliminary review of flight data and cockpit communications by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The crew sought to accelerate 7 1/2 seconds before impact, investigators said. Three seconds later, a vibrating “shaker stick” in the cockpit signaled an impending stall – a condition in which the wings lose lift and a plane can’t be controlled.
And with 1 1/2 seconds left, someone on board alerted an air traffic controller that the Boeing 777 jetliner would try to pull up and circle around. It could not, and at 11:27 a.m. Saturday it bounced and skidded across the ground, losing its tail before it came to rest on the side of Runway 28L.