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NTSB: Asiana captain worried about visual landing prior to SFO crash

  • FILE - In this Saturday, July 6, 2013 aerial file photo, the wreckage of the Asiana Flight 214 airplane is seen after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco. According to an investigative report released Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 the Asiana Airlines captain who crashed the airplane in July told investigators he was "very concerned" about attempting a visual approach because the runway's automatic landing aids were out of service due to construction. The jet crash landed after approaching low and slow in an accident that left three dead and more than 200 injured, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The investigative report was released at the start of a daylong NTSB hearing into the accident. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

That focused attention on Lee, who did not speak at the hearing but whose actions — and failure to act — were a major part of the daylong meeting.

The NTSB's chairman, Deborah Hersman, stressed that the agency has not yet concluded what caused the crash. But she acknowledged that the agency was examining signs of confusion about the 777's elaborate computer systems and an apparent lack of communication in the cockpit.

Documents released Wednesday cataloged a series of problems that, taken together, could have been factors in the crash.

The 46-year-old pilot told investigators he had been "very concerned" about attempting a visual approach without instrument landing aids, which were turned off. A visual approach involves lining the jet up for landing by looking through the windshield and using numerous other cues, rather than relying on a radio-based system called a glide-slope that guides aircraft to the runway.

Lee said the fact that he would be doing a visual approach in a jet as big as a 777 particularly troubled him.


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