Nightly News   |  July 07, 2013

Experts question how jetliner missed landing

Former NTSB investigator Greg Feith explains the key questions authorities will be attempting to uncover while determining what caused the plane’s crash landing.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> engines were performing fine, the flaps were set for takeoff. yet this plane somehow slips far below the approach speed. what are your thoughts?

>> that's going to be a big question that needs to be answered. the board has to verify that that was the correct speed for the weight. but then they have to find out why the crew didn't monitor that speed and see that it was falling below their target earlier than they did. it's parent that one of the crew members said increase your speed. but by then the accident sequence was already happening. and by the time they reacted and pushed the power up, the airplane settled into the ground.

>> is this the case where the auto throttle would have, controlling the speed or the pilots had positive control ?

>> it's a combination of both. that's what the board is going to have to ferret out is were they using part of the automation or a lot of the automation during the approach. and even if they do use the automation, they monitor it. they have their hands on the throttles and on the control yoke as well. they're basically shadowing what the automation is doing. if there's something wrong, they then disconnect the automation and then hand fly the airplane. they're going to want to know why the corrective action was so untimely before