San Francisco Plane Crash: Crew Were Ejected

San Francisco Plane Crash: Crew Were Ejected

Two flight attendants on board a Boeing 777 were thrown from the back of the plane when it crashed at San Francisco airport, investigators have revealed.

The crew members were tossed from Asiana Airlines flight 214 when it slammed into a sea wall and lost its tailplane as it came into land.

Two teenagers were killed but the remaining 305 passengers and crew survived.

"Two of the flight attendants in the rear of the aircraft were ejected during the impact sequence, so they were not at their stations when the aircraft came to rest," Deborah Hersman, who chairs the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said.

"They were found further down and off to the side of the runway. They survived but they've obviously been through a serious event and have some injuries."

Further details about events leading up to the crash emerged as the NTSB held a news conference to announce its latest findings.

Ms Hersman said the pilots - one of whom had just 43 hours' experience flying 777s - were relying on automated cockpit equipment to control the speed of the aircraft during its final approach.

It raises questions about whether the equipment malfunctioned or had been programmed incorrectly.

The speed the plane was travelling has become a key part of the NTSB's investigation.

All aircraft have minimum flying speeds that must be maintained to prevent stalling. Below these speeds, the aircraft cannot be manoeuvred safely.

The 777 was travelling well below its target speed of 157mph as it came into land.

Meanwhile, Ms Hersman confirmed the aircraft's landing gear hit the sea wall before the tail.

She also said the lead pilot, who had flown 3,200 hours in 777s and around 12,000 hours in total, was serving as a flight instructor for the first time.

He was sitting alongside the captain, Lee Gang-Guk, who was around half-way through learning to fly the plane and had never landed at San Francisco before.