Posted at: 07/06/2013 2:53 PM
Updated at: 07/07/2013 8:36 PM
By: Brianna Long
(AP) - Federal safety officials say the pilots of Asiana Flight 214 were flying too slowly as they approached San Francisco airport on Saturday, triggering a warning that the jetliner could stall, and then tried to abort the landing seconds before crashing.
National Transportation Safety Board chief Deborah Hersman says the Boeing 777 was traveling at speeds well below the target landing speed of 137 knots per hour, or 157 mph. She says "We're not talking about a few knots."
Hersman says the aircraft's stick shaker -- a piece of safety equipment that warns pilots of an impending stall -- went off moments before the crash. The normal response to a stall warning is to increase speed to recover control.
There was an increase several seconds before the crash, she says, basing her comments on an evaluation of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders.
And she says at 1.5 seconds before impact, there was a call for an aborted landing.
The crash at San Francisco International Airport killed two 16-year-old girls from China and injured dozens of others.