Nightly News   |  July 09, 2013

Flight attendant who helped Asiana passengers took action ‘immediately’

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have now talked to all four of the pilots who were on board Asiana flight 214 that crashed Saturday in San Francisco. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

Share This:

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

>>> good evening. and again tonight a lot of attention is being focused on a runway in san francisco , along with a seawall and the waters just offshore. nearby, of course, sits that burned out hull of a wide bodied jet. just tonight, at the latest briefing of the site of the crash, the plane was flying too slow and too low to make touchdown without incident. we learned a lot more about the cockpit crew today. because of their experience, the investigation into what went wrong here now gets more intriguing. again tonight, nbc's tom costello starting us off from the scene at sfo in san francisco , we also learned of a close call for other members of this crew?

>> that's right, two flight attendants on board were ejected out of the back of this plane as it crash landed. amazingly, they survived. the training captain, the captain who was training his colleague, said he thought they were coming in at 137 knots, they realized they were in trouble when they saw the red lights at the end of the runway that were supposed to guide them in, they were not lined up properly, and from there, something went terribly wrong. today new pictures of the crash scene in san francisco , the top priority has been to interview all four pilots who were on board flight 214 , including the veteran captain who was new to the 777 and at the controls saturday. he said he realized at 200 feet they were coming in too slow and too low.

>> he recognized the auto throttles were not maintaining speed and he established a go around attitude. he went to push the throttles forward, but he stated the other pilot had already pushed the throttles forward.

>> reporter: investigators are not alarmed that a veteran captain was making his first attempt landing a 777 at sfo .

>> they have to get experience. we have to figure out how that happens.

>> reporter: ross amer teaches new pilots that if an approach isn't perfect, they abort the landing attempt.

>> decisive, be decisive, if you think you're too high or too slow, do something immediately.

>> reporter: today the president and ceo of asiana arrived to a media frenzy in san francisco , promising full cooperation of the investigation. meanwhile, the only crew member to speak to the media, a flight attendant who worked frantically to help passengers and crew members off the plane.

>> as soon as i heard emergency escape , i conducted the escape.

>> reporter: of the more than 180 passengers injured, 26 remain hospitalized six in critical condition, including one child. a tae kwon do team return iing explained what happened.

>> i looked over and i could see fuel dropping from the wing.

>> reporter: meanwhile, some passengers grabbed their luggage, purses and duty free shopping before exiting the plane.

>> it's a life and death situation for you to stop and get your bag rather than thinking of all the other people coming behind you.

>> reporter: because this is a foreign crew, there was no legal obligation to drug test them. having 28 closed has created problems here at sfo . they have delays running up to an hour or so. they may take another week or so to continue to look at this aircraft that's out on the runway. back to you.

>> tom costello leading our coverage starting off tonight in san