"Throttle Malfunction" Led to Asiana Crash in San Francisco, Pilots Say

An automatic system that was supposed to maintain airliner's speed failed, pilots say

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013  |  Updated 7:55 PM EDT
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The pilots of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 say that an automatic speed-control system onboard the plane failed prior to the fatal crash.

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The computer crashed first.

The pilots aboard Asiana Airlines Flight 214 say that an automatic speed-control system failed on the airliner, and the ensuing lack of speed then led to the fatal July crash at San Francisco International Airport, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The July 6 crash killed three people and injured dozens after the airliner came in too low and too slow and lost the tail section after striking a seawall.

The pilots, who thus far have been blamed for bringing in the plane in an unsafe fashion, say that an automatic system that was supposed to maintain the airplane's speed failed -- and that the system has failed on other flights as well, the newspaper reported.

The claim may conflict with the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board, the Journal reported: no mechanical or electrical problems have yet been discovered.

The pilots say the "auto-throttle" "disconnected on its own" -- while the NTSB say the pilots didn't pay enough attention to the plane's speed.

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