The South Korean plane that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, Asiana Airlines Flight 214, was "significantly below" its desired approach speed of 137 knots as it neared the runway, the National Transportation Safety Board has announced.
In fact, the jet began to stall just before the pilot gunned his engines in a futile effort to abort the landing, The Washington Post reported the NTSB as saying.
While a cockpit recorder revealed that a pilot had called for an increase in the plane's speed seven seconds before impact, Bloomberg wrote that it was "too late, as it can take 10 or more seconds from the time a pilot adds power until a jet engine revs up."
Three seconds after that, there was what aviators refer to as a "stick shaker" — a violent vibration of the control yoke designed to warn the pilot — which was another indicator that the plane was about to stall.
One-and-a-half seconds before impact, a crew member called out to abort the landing.
Watch the press conference from the NTSB live:
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According to Bloomberg, US investigators were trying to determine why the pilots didn't react to the critical loss on airspeed on approach to the runway.
Meanwhile, Asiana Airlines has admitted that the plane's pilot had just 43 hours of experience flying the Boeing 777.
Lee Kang-kook had flown a Boeing 777 only nine previous times and never to San Francisco airport, although he had significant flight time on other jets, said Asiana Airlines spokeswoman Lee Hyo-min, according to ABC News.
Lee also flew with an experienced Boeing 777 pilot mentor, in accordance with world standards, the spokeswoman said.
"It's a training that is common in the global aviation industry. All responsibilities lie with the instructor captain," Yoon Young-doo, the president and CEO of the airline, told reporters at a news conference on Monday.
Meanwhile, USA Today reported that an autopsy was scheduled Monday to determine whether one of the two 16-year-old girls killed as a result of the crash died of injuries sustained when she was run over by arriving emergency vehicles.
San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said senior San Francisco Fire Department officials notified him at the crash site on Saturday that one of the girls may have been struck on the runway.
One of the bodies was found next to the plane, he said, while the other body was found nearer to the point of first impact, where the plane struck the seawall.