2 Flight Attendants Were Thrown From Plane, Survived

Crew says it was relying on automated cockpit equipment for speed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2013 6:38 PM CDT
2 Flight Attendants Were Thrown From Plane, Survived
Authorities investigate the crash. NTSB chief Deborah Hersman is pointing toward the plane.   (AP Photo/National Transportation Safety Board)

An amazing detail emerged today from the NTSB about the Asiana Airlines crash over the weekend: Two female flight attendants working in the rear of the plane weren't in their seats when it slammed into a seawall, and both were ejected upon impact, reports NBC News. "They were found down the runway and off to the side of the runway," says NTSB chief Deborah Hersman. Both survived with injuries that haven't been specified. Other revelations:

  • The crew said it was relying on something called an "autothrottle" to maintain speed, raising questions about whether the cockpit's automated gear malfunctioned or was programmed incorrectly, reports the AP.
  • Not only was the pilot flying the plane still in training on the 777, the instructor pilot supervising him was making his first trip as an instructor, reports CNN. It was their first time flying together.
  • The instructor pilot told authorities he realized soon before the crash that the plane was too low, but their efforts to abort were too late, reports the LA Times.
  • The four pilots aboard—three were in the cockpit and one in the cabin—were not tested for drugs or alcohol after the crash because the US doesn't have the authority to test foreign pilots.
  • The plane did a 360-degree spin before coming to a stop.
  • Hersman re-emphasized it's too early to blame pilot error for the crash.
(More San Francisco International Airport stories.)

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