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CNN NEWSROOM

Video of Crash Landing Shown; NTSB News Conference; Interview with Fred Hayes, Filmer of the Crash

Aired July 7, 2013 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED HAYES, VIDEOTAPED PLANE CRASH: Yeah, yeah, he does. Look at that one. Look how his nose is up in the air. Oh my God! Oh, it's an accident!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you're filming it, too.

HAYES: Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh no!

HAYES: Oh my God. Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've filmed the whole thing.

HAYES: Oh Lord have mercy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DON LEMON, CNN: Just look at this. Flight 214's final moments. Imagine the panic inside that airliner as passengers realized they were inside a burning plane that had just crash landed. The man who shot that video, his name is Fred Hayes, he joins me now via phone. Fred, thank you for joining us.

You had no idea obviously this was going to happen when you took this video. How close to this plane crash were you?

Fred, can you hear me? Fred Hayes, are you there? OK. Fred Hayes is the man who shot that video, and it appears he was across the water just taking pictures of airplanes as they were coming in, and he just happened to be able to catch this. We'll get Fred back on the phone with us in just a moment.

In the meantime, we want to go to CNN's Dan Simon, who has been covering this since the very beginning. He was at the airport yesterday shortly after this happened, and, Dan, that video really shows what happened. I'm sure it will be a tool investigators will use, invaluable to investigators, trying to figure out what caused this crash.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No question about it. I can tell you exactly where Fred Hayes was. He was at a place called Bayside Park. This is a place aviation enthusiasts go, and they like to watch the planes take off and land here at the airport. This was right near the runway, so here's Fred Hayes watching these planes. He's there with his wife, and he pulls out his cell phone or some other kind of camera, and he was just rolling, and he happens to capture these very dramatic images. You can hear in the tone of his voice that he was quite surprised to see that occur. He knew instantly that there was an issue, and if you take a look at that video, Don, it totally matches up with what we have been hearing from the survivors and the witnesses.

You see the plane come in low. You see that tail hit what appears to be the sea wall, and then the plane seems to rotate almost 360 degrees counter-clockwise before it comes to a complete stop. You also see what appears to be a fireball. We don't know if in fact that's a fireball or debris, but it certainly looks like a fireball. Very, very dramatic images, and as you said, this is something that investigators will definitely want to take a look at, Don.

LEMON: Absolutely, Dan. Stand by. Fred Hayes is back with us. Fred, how close were you when you shot this video?

HAYES: We were probably within a mile or so. We were just across the bay on the bay shore walk.

LEMON: And so you were there just randomly taking video of planes coming in just out for the afternoon?

HAYES: Well, me and my wife had taken a walk. We were staying at a hotel nearby, and we were taking a walk and, you know, I'd been observing planes pretty much all morning since I was out there earlier, and so we walked down to the boating (ph) area of the walk where the airport is, and we were watching the planes fly in and out for, you know, about half hour or so, and I kind of became transfixed on this one plane that was taxiing real slow and going, you know, in the direction I had not seen before. So as I was following that plane, then that's when the other plane came in.

LEMON: Did you notice anything unusual when you were -- this plane, was it coming in too low or was anything out of the ordinary for you?

HAYES: You know, I'm not sure -- give me one second, sir.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: All right. Fred, obviously --

HAYES: OK. Can you hear me?

LEMON: -- is having a conversation. Yeah, yeah, Fred. I can hear you. Go ahead.

HAYES: Yeah, OK. So anyways, you know, as far as the only thing I noticed that was unusual was the airplane that I was filming -- it just seemed that that plane was, you know, not where it was supposed to be. I hadn't seen any plane, you know, taxiing in that direction. They were also coming from, like, the far western part of the, you know, tarmac, to fly off. So, you know, at the end I just thought, well, he's kind of going where nobody's been before, and then he was taxiing slowly. So I just decided to film him just to see what he was going to do.

LEMON: We're looking at an enhanced version of your video that we zoomed in on, and you can see the plane sort of pitching up. You see it hit the ground and then you see it pitching up, which is why people may have thought it cartwheeled because you can actually see the entire underbelly of the plane. And were you able to observe that as you were taking this video, Fred?

HAYES: I am -- again, I am right here in the beginning of the game here (inaudible) outside. Sorry, I didn't hear your last comment.

LEMON: As you're watching this, were you able to see, because it was a little far away, but as we zoomed in, we saw the zoomed-in version of your video earlier, and you can see really the entire underbelly of the plane, which is why some people may have thought it was cartwheeling. Were you able to observe that while you were shooting this video?

HAYES: Well, as far as when the plane was coming down, you know, it was definitely coming in low. And -- but the nose was up, and that's what I really, really, you know, what struck me was the nose was really pitched up in the air, and, you know, so I was like, well, look at that guy. His nose is pretty high. And so, you know, it was one of those things where, you know, it appeared to me that the pilot's trying to prevent the landing. That's what it appeared to me.

LEMON: Yeah. Were you able to see rescue crews? Did they arrive? How quickly did they arrive? Did you actually see passengers escaping from the plane?

HAYES: Well, obviously, you know, when it happened, there was a few minutes where -- where there was, you know, nothing going on, but I would say the response team was pretty awesome. And they, you know -- excuse me one second.

LEMON: Viewers, stand by. We're talking to the gentleman who shot this video, and obviously he is in a very noise place and has some distractions around him, but this is important that you get this information.

This is no doubt the best video that we have seen, the most concise, of this crash. Everything that we have seen up until this moment has been after the crash and people escaping the plane. The photographs that we have gotten. This video that you are looking at now actually records the plane coming in, the moment of impact, that crash landing. And if you look there, it skids down the runway, and then it pitches up from side to side, which some people may have thought was a cartwheel. That was the initial report. And then spinning around on the runway.

Fred, are you back with us again?

HAYES: Yes, sir.

LEMON: OK. So Fred, you said the response was pretty quick after this. And you were not -- you said you were about a mile away, right? So you were not able to observe -- you couldn't see people on the runway, you couldn't see them escaping the plane?

HAYES: I did not. We could not -- we could see the landing or the chutes come down, and we've seen them come out, but I didn't observe any people coming out. I believe my wife said she had seen a couple, but it wasn't like on our side and our view that there was a lot of people, you know, coming down the evacuation chutes.

LEMON: Were you able -- on the video, we can't hear an explosion. We can't hear the moment of impact. Could you hear it where you were?

HAYES: Yes.

LEMON: You could. Describe it to us, if you will. What did it sound like?

HAYES: It wasn't an explosion by any means before the plane impacted. It was, you know, again, it was just -- it looked like a normal landing, you know, maneuver. But he was just coming in nose high. And then I'd seen the tail section of the plane strike the tarmac. And, you know, it struck and then bounced forward, and then got a little bit of airborne, and, you know, kind of flipped over and kind of came into view of my camera, and then there was an explosion as far as -- we weren't sure -- there was some like orange or kind of gray colored dust, but there wasn't fire at first, and then, you know, fire kind of started after it settled.

LEMON: Yeah. As we're looking at -- that was my next question I was going to ask you. When you look at this sort of orange-colored dust as you were saying, it almost looks like an explosion. Hang on, Fred.

So this is that plane coming in. And just at the edge of the runway, right there, it clips -- see, it clips the edge of the runway? That was the first moment of impact and that is when the investigators believe the tail section may have fallen off, that's according to the investigators, that's what initially they believe. Not sure---

HAYES: Yes, the tail section -- oh, I'm sorry.

LEMON: Go ahead, Fred.

HAYES: No. The tail section, as far as what I could see, it did not fall off until impact.

LEMON: Until impact.

HAYES: Yeah. It was -- it appeared to me it was, you know, the plane was fine. Again, my initial thought was that with the nose pitched up and the degree that it was that the pilot was, you know, maybe trying to divert the landing is what it looked like to me, but it was, you know, as you can see in the video, he was pretty low at that point, and, you know, that may or may not have been the case. LEMON: It's unbelievable to watch this video, Fred. I'm sure you can't believe that you actually caught this on tape.

HAYES: Yeah. It's -- you know? It's just -- you know, things happen by chance. Me and the missus just happen to be out there, and, you know, it was very unfortunate event. And the only thing we can say is we're just really, you know, happy that, you know, a lot of people survived because, you know, it wasn't looking good for them folks on that plane, for sure.

LEMON: When you -- let's talk a little bit about that orange dust again. Was it dust or did it appear to be an explosion? Because there wasn't a fire at first, as you said, right? Because that orange dust --

HAYES: It was, you know, it was -- I mean, the noises that we heard sounded like a plane hitting the ground and just, you know, the sound of a plane just crashing into the ground, and we didn't hear a distinct bomb go off or anything like that. As far as I could tell, you know, it was just the plane impacting the ground, and every time the wind -- or when the tail hit and then the nose hit, you know, you just heard the banging and the banging in the back. And the sound, and, you know, it did echo through the bay there, but it didn't sound like a bomb to me.

LEMON: Yeah. Producers, if we can get Jim Tilmon or someone, an aviation expert on the phone, I would love to get -- I would love to see what they have to say about this.

In the meantime, I want to tell our viewers that we have Fred Hayes on the phone. Fred Hayes shot this video exclusively, and it's exclusively running here on CNN. He just happened to be out, he said with his wife, with the missus, and they were recording planes coming in, just observing, taking a walk. They were staying at a hotel, and then all of a sudden this happens.

Fred, don't go anywhere. I want to continue to talk with you for a minute. Just please stand by with us. Can we roll this from the top? I want our viewers to see and hear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED HAYES, VIDEOTAPED PLANE CRASH: Yeah, yeah, he does. Look at that one. Look how his nose is up in the air. Oh my God! Oh, it's an accident!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you're filming it, too.

HAYES: Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh no!

HAYES: Oh my God. Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've filmed the whole thing.

HAYES: Oh Lord have mercy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Right you were, Fred. Lord have mercy. Just in the beginning before I could even see that the plane was coming in for a landing that was going to be a crash landing, you noticed something out of the ordinary from the beginning. You said look at that one, its nose is up. Looked like it was coming in low to you. Fred?

HAYES: Yeah. It was -- again, it was -- you know, my initial thought was that nose was up because he was trying to divert. But I also was thinking that if he had just came in as normal, that he was landing normal, that, you know, the flight looked -- his position looked, you know, maybe a little lower than some of the other planes, but I couldn't say that for sure. He looked like, you know, the reason he impacted is because I saw that the nose was in the air and the tail was down, and, you know, he just ran out of room. But I think in a normal landing pattern, you know, perhaps he would have made it.

But the tail section was definitely, you know, pitched down and the nose was up. You know? I don't know what degree, you know, probably 20 degrees or so. It was pitched up a little bit. And to me it looked like it was either, you know, trying to climb back up or maybe trying to get the nose up to avoid the edge of the bay there.

It's kind of funny for me. It's -- that I had very similar incident at DFW once upon a time back when I was flying in and the same exact thing happened. We were coming down, and our pilot diverted the landing right as we were about to touch down the tarmac, because there was another plane on our runway, and my initial thought was that the tail section, that we were going to hit for sure. That absolutely it was going to hit, and our pilot got us up and out of there and avoided the incident. So it just was ironic that that's -- you know, at least at that time appeared to be what happened with this, too.

LEMON: Fred Hayes, thank you so much. We appreciate you joining us and I know you have things you need to get to. You're in a very busy place. Go about your evening, sir. Thank you.

HAYES: OK, sir.

LEMON: Don Lemon here in New York. This video, again, just into CNN that you are looking at. And it is from the gentleman we just spoke to, Fred Hayes. This is of that flight, Asiana flight 214 that happened yesterday afternoon. Coming in to San Francisco International Airport.

This video will no doubt be used by investigators to try to figure out exactly what caused this crash, and you can see why the passengers who got off this plane and ran for safety are telling harrowing tales about the final moments before the impact and then getting off this plane. We're going to have our Jim Tilmon, or have Jim Tilmon who is an aviation expert, look at this video with us, go over it and see what he can assess from this exclusive video here on CNN, right after a short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Exclusive video now of that final moments of that landing yesterday Asiana flight 214 going into San Francisco International Airport. Roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED HAYES, VIDEOTAPED PLANE CRASH: Yeah, yeah, he does. Look at that one. Look how his nose is up in the air. Oh my God! Oh, it's an accident!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you're filming it, too.

HAYES: Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh no!

HAYES: Oh my God. Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've filmed the whole thing.

HAYES: Oh Lord have mercy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: As I said before, Lord have mercy is right. Jim Tilmon, an aviation expert is on the phone with me now. Jim, you were on the air throughout the evening with me yesterday and now this. As you're looking at this video, what does this tell you?

JIM TILMON, AVIATION EXPERT: Well, I mean, frankly, I have about the same response that gentleman had to actually seeing this thing develop. One of the things that strikes me is that he was a lot lower on the approach than I thought he would be at that point. It's as if he was moving in a way that said, OK, I'm just a little bit below the glide slope, but that's OK, I'm going to make it to the runway. I mean, I was not in the cockpit with him, so I don't really know what his thoughts were, but the approach was a lot more shallow than what I thought it might be, and it did look like, hey, this is going to work out fine. Particularly when you looked at this from a long range, like we are right now.

The, see, right there, looking at it now, it is not that unusual to see that kind of approach, but it's almost flying level for a while. And then at the last second, it appears that the nose seemed to come up at about the same time he was about to strike that dike. Then, the remarkable thing that happens is the airplane is twisting and turning around with a severe nose down attitude, making one wonder, you know, if he's going to be able to keep those wings level so that we don't end up inverted. There's apparently a fair amount of skill involved in actually keeping the thing from going belly up. If that had happened, oh my goodness, this would be a completely different kind of report to make today, because there surely would have been a great deal more injuries as a result.

That's remarkable footage. And I'm sure you agree. It is going to be analyzed over and over again, and it will be zoomed in for a little bit just to get as much of the detail as we can get out of it, but even from a long distance, I got to tell you, this is horrendous. I heard you use that term yesterday, and you're right. It was horrendous.

LEMON: It's horrific. And I said, you know, anyone would, it's horrifying if you are in this situation and just watching this. And now, yes, confirmation it is horrifying, and you can see now why, Jim, at a certain angle - that people -- remember the initial reports yesterday when people were saying, oh, it looked like the plane cartwheeled. Right? We were trying to clarify that on the air?

TILMON: Yes.

LEMON: Well, you can see the plane, the entire -- looks like the underbelly of the plane, both wings come back up off the ground as it is skidding there. Just before -- there it is. Just before that orange smoke or dust. And which is probably -- you can correct me if I'm wrong -- the plane skidding into the ground. Do you think that's earth coming up?

TILMON: Yeah, yeah. I do. You know, I have to tell you. The -- my feeling about flying an aircraft and accidents and that sort of thing, pilots have an instinctive thing about never stop flying it. No matter what else is going on. They're still maintaining whatever control they have. And that's why I'm saying what I am about as the aircraft is skidding across the surface there, and it gets to a certain point, and the airplane wants to -- right there where the airplane wants to tip over, and it's my personal feeling (inaudible) the mind-set of an airline pilot, particularly, we have got to keep this thing belly down. And whatever we have to do, we have got to do that. And for whatever reason, he was successful at that, and that saved a lot of lives.

LEMON: Jim Tilmon, stand by. Don't go anywhere, because I'm going to come right back to you. But I just want to update our viewers now. This is that plane, as you can see it now on the air, coming in for a landing which became a crash landing. You see it hitting the ground. The first impact there on your screen. Now it is skidding across the runway, and then it tips up to the side, on its side, and then you see that orange dust, which may be dirt from the plane going off the runway and into the ground, to the grassy area.

This video was shot exclusively, was shot yesterday and exclusively given to CNN by Fred Hayes. He said he and his wife were just out for a walk. They just happened to be videotaping planes coming in, planes taking off at San Francisco International Airport. They were at a hotel, just out for a little sightseeing, and then they came across this. I'll continue here with aviation expert, with aviation expert -- and then we're going to go -- Jim Tilmon. And then I want to play this tape from the beginning and let you hear it, and then Jim Tilmon and I will talk about it again. Roll it again, please.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED HAYES, VIDEOTAPED PLANE CRASH: Yeah, yeah, he does. Look at that one. Look how his nose is up in the air. Oh my God! Oh, it's an accident!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you're filming it, too.

HAYES: Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh no!

HAYES: Oh my God. Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've filmed the whole thing.

HAYES: Oh Lord have mercy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He indeed did film the whole thing. There is a press briefing at the bottom of the hour. Jim Tilmon and I will talk on the other side of this very short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Back now live on CNN, we have exclusive video of that crash landing yesterday at San Francisco International Airport. It was shot by a gentleman who was out walking with his wife. No doubt this will be used in the investigation. Wanted to remind our viewers, as well, that we are waiting for a press briefing at the bottom of the hour it should happen at any moment from the National Transportation Safety Board.

In the meantime, we'll show you this video in its entirety and I'm going to speak about it with Jim Tilmon, aviation expert. Let's play it for you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Look at him. Hmm. Yes. Yes, he does. Look at that one! Look how his nose is up in the air. Oh my god! Oh, it's an accident!

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): You're filming it, too.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Oh my god.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): Oh no!

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Oh my god.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): You're filming it.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): You filmed the whole thing.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Oh lord have mercy.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LEMON: Jim Tilmon is an aviation expert who has been helping us out here on CNN as we await that NTSB press conference. Jim, I wonder if they're looking at this before they come out to brief the public. And I'm just being honest about that.

JIM TILMON, AVIATION EXPERT: Well, I imagine they're looking at everything. One of the things that appeared to me, occurred to me is that he was literally seconds from just making a normal landing and we wouldn't have this conversation. Literally seconds. One of the questions left on my mind is why was he that low and that shallow on the approach? That's -- I mean, you know, the chances of his touching down early starting at some point prior to reaching the runway, much greater than they should have been simply because he was -- his trajectory was so low.

It's almost as if the air craft was leveling off out there in the distance prior to reaching the absolute runway. You can see it there. The airplane is doing very little in the way of descending. Why aren't they getting the runway? It appears to me he had control. I mean, everything was working all right until final moment and just happens to drag the tail through that barrier. And then you can see what happened afterwards, once he lost control of the rutter or anything else.

And you know the thing is - there is nothing in there to tell him what has really happened. There is not an instrument on the instrument panel that says, hey, we have lost a part of the airplane or whatever else. I mean, if he looks out the window, he can't see anything like that. He doesn't know. We're seeing a whole lot more than the pilots are.

LEMON: Jim Tilmon, we're going to go to the NTSB press conference. Stand by, please. Let's listen.

JOHN MARTIN: -- Injured in the crash. I want to personally thank the 225 first responders who did an amazing job. The incident could have been much worse without their outstanding work, particularly thank my airport commission staff, police department staff, fire department staff and all of the first responders who responded on a mutual aid basis.

I want to report that as of 30 minutes ago, runway 28 right is back in service. So three of the four runways are back in service. We're handling about 32 to 33 landings per hour, equivalent to our normal weather condition with low clouds, so we'll be experiencing delays but it's a more normal level of delays to experience. I want to particularly thank Mayor Lee for his leadership. He was here all day yesterday and again today supporting our efforts and I'd now like to turn it over to Mayor Lee before the NTSB reports on their efforts.

Mayor Lee

EDWIN LEE, SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR: Thank you, John. Thank you everyone, for being here this afternoon for this update and report. As John Martin said earlier, we are now handing this whole investigation and it has been taken over by the National Transportation Safety Board, but before I do that, I just want to also give my personal thanks to the first responders.

We've been listening very carefully to the doctors and the nurses reports on the various Bay Area hospitals this morning and clearly from the doctors' perspectives, particularly those that are treating the critically injured from the crashes of yesterday, they are very appreciative that as chaotic, as dangerous as the crash -- incident site was yesterday, they're using the words miraculous and remarkable, that the persons that were brought to them with serious injuries that are surviving very serious injuries were the result of very, very good triage work that was done at the crash site with the various transportation modes that were used to bring them directly to the hospitals.

This is going to be with the injuries that they have notified us about what they're treating, they're saying that but for that triage work, that was done at the crash site, some of these victims would not have survived as they are now. I'll be going over there to SF General this afternoon after this is over to give my own comfort to those that are still under treatment. But that is the assessment that the doctors are giving us.

Having said that, I also want to say that there's just quite a high number of people that have responded in addition in follow-up to the 225 first responders. United Airlines and special efforts were given to them flying additional personnel in from Chicago along with their partner Asiana Airlines and they have been treating the passengers and their friends and passengers all through the evening, this morning. And then I want to also give acknowledgment to the airport accommodations unit that has been helping other stranded passengers find their way to some comfort as the flights are canceled.

In addition, I want to thank the San Francisco Airport EOC. I've been with them this morning. They've been up all evening helping and assisting everyone at the airport get to a level of comfort and they've been working really hard to make sure everyone's taken care of. Even though we experienced a high number of flight cancelations, they have been working at a very high level. There are as John Martin said earlier the runway is now cleared on 28 right. I also want to thank the extra custodians that were brought in to work with the NTSB to clear that runway so that it can be used. But again, as chaotic as the site was yesterday, I think a number of miracles occurred to save many more lives. With that, we'll answer a few questions around this aspect of it before turning over to Deborah Hersman, chairman of the NTSB.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Mr. Martin, I know they haven't cleared off the other runway yet but what is going to happen to make sure that that particular runway is safe for aircraft to land on? What is going to happen?

MARTIN: This is an example where we really defer to the NTSB. They have an investigative process that they need to go through. They need to give us clearance that they've conducted the necessary work before items can be removed so we're going to defer to their process of investigation before we initiate efforts to reopen that final runway.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): Now, can you tell us if the ILSNB landing gear, were those working yesterday?

MARTIN: I would tell you that yesterday all the systems that were required were operable. Were operating under clear weather conditions and using visual flight rules and all the system that is required for runway use were fully functional yesterday. The --

(Inaudible)

MARTIN: Everything that was required. The FAA really determines what equipment's required to use the runways under any given condition and in this situation all of the systems that were required were in use. We have an ILS system which is made up of a localizer and a glide slope indicator. The localizer was functional and the glide slope indicator was not functional. But neither of these items were required (Inaudible) given yesterdays operations.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): Can you say the bevy lights, were those operable yesterday?

MARTIN: I don't have that information.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Would you say -- a seasoned pilot, I'm not trying to suggest, I'm talking about any pilot in particular, but with the weather conditions yesterday, would any pilot have needed the extra instruments to land the plane, any plane?

MARTIN: We were operating under what is called visual flight rules which essentially requires pilots to visually sight and report the runway. And that is the primary method under yesterday's conditions. We did also have augmenting that a precision approach monitoring system, a pappy system, which is a supplemental system but beyond what was required.

At this time, I'm going to turn it over to the NTSB chairperson Deborah Hersman.

Deborah.

DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB CHAIRWOMAN: Thank you. On behalf of all of the board members and the staff at the NTSB, we offer our condolences to those families that lost a loved one in this crash and our thoughts go out to those who are hospitalized for a speedy recovery.

I'm here to provide our first on-scene update of the crash that occurred yesterday here at San Francisco involving Asiana Flight 214. We had our organizational meeting this morning. We involved our parties to our investigation, those people that can provide expertise to our investigators as well as the individuals who have been working on scene since the crash occurred.

We outlined the work that we intended to accomplish today and I'm going to talk to you about some of the work that's already been completed and some of the work that's in progress.

First, I'd like to share with you a preliminary review or an audition of the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder. Yesterday, we had investigators that arrived on scene. They were able to secure the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder. They went back to D.C. on a red eye flight last night. They were escorted by federal air marshal and they were met by our investigators in Washington, D.C. this morning. They were taken to our lab in Washington and read out.

We had good data on the FDR and CDR and from a preliminary audition; I'm going to give you some high points. The CDR was a two-hour recording and it was of good quality. The recording began while the aircraft was in cruise flight two hours out. The flight is cleared for the visual approach to runway 28 left. This is confirmed by the crew. The aircraft was configured for approach. Again, this is based on the cockpit voice recorder. The communications between the crew and the cockpit.

The aircraft was configured for approach. With the flaps at 30 degrees and the gear down. The target speed for the approach was 137 knots. The approach proceeds normally as they descend. There is no discussion of any aircraft anomalies or concerns with the approach. A call from one of the crew members to increase speed was made approximately seven seconds prior to impact. The sound of the stick shaker occurs approximately four seconds prior to impact.

A call to initiate a go around occurred 1.5 seconds before impact. Again, what I just gave you was a brief recap of what our team in Washington in our lab heard on the cockpit voice recorder when they auditioned it.

Now I'm going to talk to you about the flight data recorder. There are 24 hours of recorded data on the flight data recorder. There are 1,400 parameters of recorded data. This flight data recorder captured the entire flight. During the approach, the data indicate that the throttles were at idle. And air speed was slowed below the target air speed. The throttles are advanced a few seconds prior to impact and the engines appear to respond normally.

Again, I've just given you a brief summary of what our team found today as they auditioned first the cockpit voice recorder and then the flight data recorder.

I'm going to talk to you a little bit about the 777 and give you some basic facts about the aircraft. This was an Asiana 777 200ER or extended range. The tail number was hl-7742. As far as manufacturing, it was line number 5-53 off the line. The factory rollout was in February of 2006. And the delivery occurred approximately one month later. It is equipped with Pratt and Whitney pw-49 engines. It has about 36,000 hours and the aircraft has about 5,000 -- configured for 303 seats, 32 of those are -- and 271 are economy seats.

Boeing delivered over 1,100 777's. Of the 777 200-ER type, they have delivered 421 of those. Of the aircraft that are equipped as 777's equipped with the Pratt and Whitney 4,000 series engines, that number is 169. There are 777's equipped with ge-90 series engines, there are 721 of those. And there are 777s equipped with Rolls Royce Trent Series engines. And those number -- the Pratt and Whitney engine entered service in June of 1995. We had our organizational meeting today. We talked about site securement since the accident. We have received excellent cooperation from San Francisco Airport officials with respect to securing the accident site since the accident and during the overnight hours. Airport emergency operations were activated. And today they were in the process of removing any hazmat or any materials from the site that could be of risk to our investigators and responders. So they are doing that today.

We have received excellent support from the FBI, both here in San Francisco and from teams that have traveled from Quantico. The evidence response team is helping us to document the site and we also teams from the field office that are here to help us, as well as hazmat experts from the FBI. We are receiving excellent support of our federal, state and local partners. We really appreciate that.

We have worked very hard to get 28 right cleared and reopened today and so Mayor Lee, I know that you and the airport officials were glad to see that airport runway reopened. I know that this inconvenienced a lot of travelers and we respect that they have many challenges associated with moving on and so we are working to complete our work as fast as we can to get the airport back to full strength.

Let me tell you about some of our other groups, about the activities they're under taking. We have an operations group. They are focused really on crew and operations issues. They're going to evaluate the geography of the site, document the cockpit, the instruments, the cockpit seats, windshields. They're going to be looking at flight plans, at flight kits, at the information that the staff -- that the crew have to make decisions. The overall conditions in the aircraft and in the cockpit, how they might have evacuated. They're going to be looking very close at flight training and operations manuals, at the crew's experience.

The system and the flight management computer. The cockpit configuration and there's been a lot of discussion about state and there's been a lot of discussion about stabilize approaches and we're going to be looking at that very closely. We do hope to interview the crew within the next few days. We have a power plants team and they are taking a look at the engines, they're going to be documenting general conditions, taking a lot of photographs. They can tell through their examinations whether an engine is -- the engine was rotating at the time of the crash. They'll be looking to document that and the conditions -- any evidence that there was any fire that might have originated in the engines and there are electronic modules or devices that do record faults. So they will be looking at the health and the trending of the engines.

They will likely be doing an engine tear down that will take place at Pratt and Whitney facilities in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, at a later point in time.

We have a survival factors team they are out on the scene. They're doing an initial site survey. They have been at this for hours today. There is an extensive debris field that they're documenting. They want to locate the four corners of the wreckage. They'll be looking through the wreckage field to identify important parts. They have documented the locations of rest of the two fatalities.

They're going to be working now to document the seating positions of those who were injured. We want to identify preliminary injury patterns. And interview survivors as well as conduct cabin crew interviews. We're going to evaluate the use of the slides, their deployment, their use and their performance in this sequence and we are going to be documenting -- restraint us and also whether child safety seats were used.

When we talk about the airport, I know we have the experts with respect to airport operations behind us, but I'll just give you a brief thumbnail of what we are looking at when we're looking at runway 28 left at San Francisco. There are about 1,200 operations per day; three quarters of those are commercial operations. There are two sets of intersecting runways, runways 119, left and right and runways 10, 28 left and right.

The threshold elevation of 28 left, you will remember the runway that we are focused on right now is 28 left, is 13 feet above sea level. It is 11,381 feet long. The FAA this morning requested a flight test to evaluate the equipment on the runway from a test aircraft. They were able to validate the localizer. As you all know, the glide slope was noted or issued in a notice to airmen that it would be out of service from June 1st to August 22nd. So the glide slope was out of service and there were no returns from the glide slope detected by the test aircraft.

There were also path lights or precision approach path indicator lights that were available to the crew however on 28 left those were significantly damaged in the crash sequence and so after the crash the Asiana Aircraft, those were put in a list that the path lights on 28 left are out of service. That occurred post crash.

They'll be looking at all of the approach lights to see if they were in working order. They'll be documenting the runway markings, lighting and conditions and they will also be evaluating construction activities that were taking place on the airport property.

We are looking at emergency response. This is the post crash response. Our deployed or the aircraft rescue and fire fighting operations deployed 23 responders in 9 vehicles after the crash. We'll be looking to determine the effectiveness of the response, how they organized, site safety and security, how the fire was extinguished and whether or not there were rescues made, crew or passengers from inside the aircraft and with respect to the triage what took place outside of the aircraft after the passengers and crew exited.

We still have with respect to the emergency response to conduct interviews with the ARF operators and we are also seeking video. Video from the airport and also video from the ARF operations if they had any video on their fire trucks. We are looking to obtain that, as well.

We have human performance investigator and what he'll be doing is looking at the performance of the crew. We typically do a 72-hour work rest history. We'd expect drug and alcohol testing to be done. We'd be looking at things like fatigue, medication use and sleep disorders, are human factors or human performance efforts are very extensive. We'll be looking at crew resource management or CRM and this is how the crew work together, how they communicate, how they follow procedures. We'll look at crew monitoring and we'll look at coordination.

The weather on the day of the accident, at the time of the accident, winds were from the southwest at 2.10. At 7 knots with 10 miles visibility. There were no reports of wind shear or adverse conditions reported. Air traffic Control, they gave the crew the Asiana flight a visual clearance. Handling appeared routine until the controller noticed that the aircraft hit the sea wall.

The controller declared an emergency. No prior distress calls or request for special support or problems were noted in the air traffic control tapes between the controller and the Asiana crew. The pilots communicated with air traffic control post crash and emergency vehicles were deployed. United is helping Asiana set up family assistance center to serve both the survivors as well as the families of the victims and the survivors. This is a part of our process when we launch to a major aviation accident. Those efforts are coordinated by the NTSB but those services are delivered by others. United is stepping in as a co-chair partner with Asiana to provide services here locally.

The Korean Accident Investigation Board and Asiana personnel from Korea have arrived today and they are being integrated in to our team. I'd like to finish up my prepared remarks by saying thank you so much to all of the responders for assisting our team as we arrived on site. Thank you to the mayor and thank you to the team at the airport. We really do rely on others to help us as we come in to a community new to do our job so we very much appreciate that support. I'd be happy to take questions.

LEMON: Almost top of the hour, you are watching an NTSB press conference happening at San Francisco International Airport. Taking questions now, Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Let's listen.

HERSMAN: The question is I had mentioned that the approach speed was 137 knots. And the question was whether or not we had the lowest speed that the crew achieved. I will tell you that the speed was significantly below 137 knots. And we're not talking about a few knots. We still have to corroborate some information.