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Asiana Flight 214 Crash; Six Critical at SF General Hospital; Five Killed, 40 Missing in Train Derailment; Daughter Saw Wreckage of Dad's Plane; Tennis Star Becomes Living Legend; Defending George Zimmerman

Aired July 7, 2013 - 20:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN: I am Don Lemon in the CNN newsroom. We have so much information to give to you throughout the hour here on CNN. We have new information from the National Transportation and Safety Board. We're going to have Mary Schiavo guide us through that information point by point as the NTSB chairwoman makes those points and gives us the new information. We also have new pictures in from the National Transportation Safety Board that shows that plane up close both outside and inside the cabin of that plane. We also have exclusive video to show you of that plane coming in for a crash-landing, so stick with us. We're going to get you through all of this, this hour here on CNN.

The passenger jet that crashed and burned on landing in San Francisco was going way too slow, flying way too low. That's what federal officials say at this stage of this investigation. At this stage right now. You're going to hear that for yourself in a moment, but, first, I want you to watch this video. It's exclusive to CNN. It's of that Asiana airline 777. It's the moment when something went terribly wrong.


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.


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


LEMON: The plane that broke into pieces and started burning with more than 300 people on board. I want you to listen to what the NTSB boss says that they have learned so far from the cockpit recordings.


HERSMAN: A call from one of the crew members to increase speed was made approximately seven seconds prior to impact. During the approach, the data indicate that the throttles were at idle and air speed was slowed below the target air speed.


LEMON: We are going to walk you through this point by point very shortly here on CNN to make sure everyone understands exactly what happened and what we know at this point in the investigation.

The casualty figures, 182 people were rushed to hospitals around San Francisco. Six of them are in critical condition. Two teenagers sadly died. They were both from China.

Now I want you to see and hear the entire video that Fred Hayes shot yesterday. He is just out walking with his family and has no idea he's about to witness a disaster. Here it is.


FRED HAYES, RECORDED ASIANA AIRLINES CRASH: 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 are filming it, too.

HAYES: Oh, my god.


HAYES: Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're filming it.

HAYES: Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You filmed the whole thing.

HAYES: Oh, Lord, have mercy.


LEMON: That is video that you will only see on CNN and it's the only video of the plane's impact that we are aware of. Fred Hayes talked to CNN just a short time ago.


HAYES: I was watching it come in and I did notice that nose being up in the air and, you know, my initial reaction was that it was trying to avert the landing and trying to go back up, and then we heard -- and you know, I seen the tail section hit the -- what I thought was the tarmac. I guess it's -- it hit the rocks first or something, but it was a big boom and then it pitched forward and bounced off its nose.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Mary Schiavo is here. She has devoted much of her government career to air -- to air safety. When she was with the Department of Transportation, she was the inspector general. And then also Jim Tilmon, who is an aviation expert, joins us by phone. They will both go through the NTSB press conference point by point and we'll figure out exactly what's going on.

Before we go to the press conference, I want you to look at this new animation, which is based on this -- on the video. There it is.

And that appears to show pretty much exactly what happened. As you're watching this animation, Mary Schiavo, what do you make of it?

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Well, what I make of it is from the second they hit that seawall, right there, that was it. There was no going around. There was no point increasing the throttle. They had dissipated so much speed and the plane, by staying on its belly, it was very fortunate for the passengers for two reasons. One, they were able to evacuate, but also, their seat belts would have helped them.

Not completely. There are many seat belt injuries, head injuries, et cetera, but the string of events where that plane did manage to stay on its belly was very fortunate given the horrific impact. That was a very strong impact that the plane did suffer, and it could have easily right there tipped. It could have cart wheeled, and it did not, fortunately.

LEMON: Jim Tilmon, as you're watching this animation, again, based on that video, what does this show you? And this is going to be a very valuable tool for investigators, Jim.

JIM TILMON, RETIRED AIRLINE PILOT (via phone): Yes, it will, and I agree with Mary that, you know, we're looking at final seconds. And we're just looking at seconds. You know, if you slowed that down, you get a better feel to all the actions that really took place with that airplane and how it managed somehow miraculously to stay belly down. The thing is that there he is too low, he is too slow, and then when you consider the fact that they had fled -- tried to go around after they had a -- they were too late also.

LEMON: OK. Now let's listen to Deborah Hersman, the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board. We'll talk about it.

HERSMAN: 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 --

LEMON: OK. Stop it. Roll -- go back to the beginning of that sound bite. I want you to leave our microphones open, producers, and when I say pause it, pause it. Start from the beginning of the sound bite. And then Mary and Jim and I will go through it. OK. Play it, please.

HERSMAN: The approach proceeds normally as they descend. There is no discussion of any aircraft anomalies or --

LEMON: Pause it. OK.

SCHIAVO: Tremendously important right there because that piece of data tells us that up until that point things were proceeding normally and crew resource management, if something was going wrong. One pilot is supposed to challenge the other. Excuse me, this is wrong. This is wrong. But that wasn't occurring.

Everything was occurring normally, so up to that point there's no indication of engine problems, flat problems, control problems. You know, no tricky winds, updrafts, down drafts, nothing. That's a very important piece of data. I think Jim probably feels the same way.

LEMON: Yes, you mentioned a certain tool, too, that you said there was about challenging. What is it called that you're supposed to?

SCHIAVO: It's called Crew Resource Management, and the United States has really pioneered it. And I'm sure Jim has been more than trained in it and does it well, but what that means is that the pilot not flying, especially, is supposed to challenge the pilot flying. If there's anything at all wrong. And they're supposed to work as a team that challenges each other to do the best things at all times.

And we'll want to listen when the NTSB puts out the full cockpit voice recording. If they even did that when they were low and slow. Seven seconds out, they should have done it.

LEMON: OK. Let's pick it back up. And to Jim next. Let's listen for the next points. Leave our mikes open, please.


HERSMAN: Concerns with the approach. A call from one of the crew members to increase speed was made approximately seven seconds prior to impact.


LEMON: Pause it there. Jim Tilmon, seven seconds prior to impact.


LEMON: Go ahead.

TILMON: Well, at seven seconds before the impact, let's understand something. We already know that this is seven of the last seconds that they have to get anything done. This is not a whole lot of time to go from what was reported to be idle all the way up to go around power. (INAUDIBLE) out of there. It takes a little bit of time for the instance to actually spool up to the range that you need to have in order to correct that situation.

I don't know that they weren't behind the power curve, and Mary can help you understand what I mean by that, even at that point. You know, even if they had really had the power at that point, whether or not they really could have climbed out of there in time.


TILMON: It's a question in my mind how they used the last seconds.

LEMON: OK. Stand by. Roll the rest of it. Let's go.


HERSMAN: The sound of the stick shaker occurs approximately four seconds prior to impact.


LEMON: Pause it, please. Mary.

SCHIAVO: Four seconds before impact with the stick shaker, there is very little they can do, but that stick shaker would have startled them. It literally vibrates and shakes, but at four seconds, as Jim just mentioned, there isn't even time to get the power up at full speed to push it in and really get all the power that you need, and they couldn't do the other thing you do with a stick shaker, which is something called the stick pusher, which puts the nose down to give you more air speed. That wasn't an option because they were already too low.

LEMON: As Jim said, already behind the power curve as he mentioned earlier.

SCHIAVO: That's right.


SCHIAVO: In more than one way.

LEMON: All right. Roll it again, please.


HERSMAN: A call to initiate a go around occurred 1.5 seconds before impact.


LEMON: Pause it, please. Jim, I'll get to you in a second, but I see you shaking your head.

SCHIAVO: Too late. 1.5 before impact to call a go around, you don't even have time to react to get the power, you know, to pull back, to get the plane out of there. 1.5 seconds. I mean, just a split second. It's just too late to save the plane at that point.

LEMON: Agreed, Jim Tilmon?

TILMON: Not only do I agree. I can tell you something, at that point, yes, that stick shaker, the worst thing you can do once you're at that point, and the sequence of events, is to pull back on the stick because when you do that, you aggravate the stall and there's no other thing that you can do.

I mean, they just ran out of options. I mean, it was at a point in time where the options were very, very poor and very limited. At this point I just feel like you need to hold on the best you can.

LEMON: OK. Roll it, producers, again.


HERSMAN: Again, what I just gave you was a brief recap of what our team in Washington is and our lab heard on the cockpit voice recorder when they auditioned it.


LEMON: OK. Meaning when they auditioned it, that was a cursory listened --

SCHIAVO: Yes. What they do is they literally just play it, just like you're playing a recording, but then they have a whole team of people, and including from Asiana, including from Boeing, including experts, and they will listen to every single sound, every little click, every noise, every vibration. The grunts of a pilot, any interrupted conversation, if someone said, hey, don't you think we should, every single piece of that will be analyzed and many times.

LEMON: OK. Jim, before I get your response, there is a sound bite in the system about the throttle where she talks about the flight data recorder. Let me know when you have that sound bite, and we'll listen to it and analyze that one as well.

OK. OK. We'll get it for you. Jim, your response to this as well. A cursory listening to the recording.

TILMON: Well, it's frankly very unnerving for me because one of the things that keeps a pilot continuing to fly as a pilot instead of a passenger is that he has control or she has control. When you get to the place you really do not have control, that's the most terrible nightmare that a pilot can have. For that matter then you're just trying to save what you can save. And it's got to be an awful feeling for the people that are sitting in that cockpit at that time.

LEMON: According to Miss Hersman, the flight data recorder had 24 hours of information on it. Fourteen -- when she says 1400 parameters of data, what does that mean?

SCHIAVO: That means there are 1400 different things that are being recorded. Air speed, altitude, every position of every lever in the cockpit. The pressurization, the -- every single thing on that plane that can have an electronic lead put to it and then and recorded is being captured in that black box. So you have 1400 pieces of data to tell you precisely what's going on. And that's a great black box.

Some of them in the olden days had as few as a couple of dozen things, but with 1400 they will know everything, every position, of every flight surface lever, whatever in that plane. LEMON: Yes. I have to say that I'm glad you're calling it the black box because it's sort of an old school way of -- you know, there was some debate about it. Is it a data recorder? Is it a cockpit recorder? And, you know, it's almost like the Richter scale. It's doesn't -- it's not the -- the boxes aren't black anymore. But that's the vernacular. That's what can help you go over --


SCHIAVO: That's right. They're black boxes but today's black boxes are so much better and they're so life-saving. It's hard not to get excited about them because they're so very important for safety.

LEMON: OK. Thanks to both of you. We're going to analyze the Flight Data Recorder information from the National Transportation Safety Board a little bit later on in the show.

Jim Tilmon will be back with us as well as Mary Schiavo.

Thanks to both of you. Very informative. Very informative.

Flight 214 was flying too slow. Pilots trying to abort the landing. We have more details on the investigation.

Plus, a panicked daughter watched the crash from her balcony. Her father on board. Up next, the daughter's emotional story.


LEMON: The cockpit voice recorder of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the plane that crashed and claimed the lives of two teenagers, appears to show that the pilots tried to abort the landing just one and a half seconds before the plane crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport.

This just one of many new details coming from the National Transportation Safety Board.

CNN's Dan Simon joins us now from San Francisco International Airport.

Dan, you arrived at that airport just after this plane crashed, and you've been there reporting to us for almost 24 hours straight now. Walk us through the investigation, the details that we are learning.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I was listening to your conversation earlier with Jim Tilmon. I think you zeroed in on some of the important points, but I don't think you can really hammer home enough that these guys, the flight crew, seemed to realize that there was a real issue seconds before that plane crashed.

You know, you gleam some of that data from the Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit Voice Recorder, and it's this. They really needed to increase their speed. If you hear some of the witness statements and also from the passengers, they seem to indicate that the plane was too low and that the engines revved up just before the plane was about to touch down. I want you to listen now to the NTSB chairwoman who boils things down second by second. Take a look.


HERSMAN: A call from one of the crew members who increased 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.


SIMON: So it's clear that they knew there was trouble. The problem, Don, when you're talking about just seconds, you know, it seems like there really wasn't enough time to make the appropriate adjustments to avoid this kind of mishap. So at this point you have to wonder whether pilot error is really what they're looking at here, but as the NTSB chairperson put it, at this point everything just really seems to be on the table -- Don.

LEMON: Dan Simon at San Francisco International. Thank you, sir. We appreciate that.

Two teenage girls died in the crash, but more than 300 people miraculously survived. Some walked away unharmed, while 182 were taken to hospitals. The most critical are at San Francisco General Hospital. The city's only level one trauma center.

Kyung Lah has been outside of that hospital -- at that hospital since moments after this happened. She's updating us on the latest now.

What do you have, Kyung?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, I can tell you that when you go over those numbers, how many passengers were aboard, how many were taken to the various hospitals, let me leave you with one number -- 17 remain in the hospital here. At this hospital where the most serious are injured. Six are critical and one of the six is a child.

Extraordinary numbers especially when you look at that extraordinary crash video. So the injuries that they're looking at here, according to the doctors, the head of ER saying that it is some of those bumps and bruises. It is the head trauma that they're worried about, as well as the spinal injuries. When that hard landing came to rest, what happened was that many of the passengers were rammed into the ceiling. The top of the plane.

And so two of the parents who have spinal injuries at this point are looking at paralysis. We don't know the prognosis for those patients. But if you talk to some of the patients and the family members who are aboard that flight and they've been coming back and forth in and out of that hospital, their stories are quite amazing. We spoke with a mother. Her 4-year-old is still in the hospital with a broken leg.

That mother describes how the view was from seat 40. She was in 40c. Two rows ahead of her was the bathroom. When the plane landed, the bathroom was gone. There was a hole. She grabbed her child, and she ran out of the side of the plane. Here's what she told us.


WEN ZHANG, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: The plane tail touched the ground directly.


ZHANG: I felt.


ZHANG: Yes, yes, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did people scream? What was your reaction?

ZHANG: Obviously. Sorry?


ZHANG: Everybody screamed.


LAH: One thing that's really consistent in talking to all of these survivors is that they are certainly still dazed. A lot of them are still trying to cope and still, Don, trying to process what they've been through.

LEMON: Kyung Lah, San Francisco General, thank you. We appreciate it.

For one woman the crash-landing of Asiana Flight 214 hit a little too close to home. Her father was on board that flight, and incredibly, she could even see the destruction from her balcony. Her father survived and was even able to take these pictures. He is back in the hospital now for tests, so wasn't able to join us, but earlier I spoke to his daughter, Eunice, about her dad's harrowing experience.


EUNICE BIRD RAH, FATHER SURVIVED ASIANA FLIGHT 214: I wasn't able to get ahold of him for a while. You know, it was -- it was traumatizing. You know, you could only think of the worst, and I can only imagine what the other families are feeling at that time. I was just praying and I know my family was praying as well. It was a good 30, 40 minutes before I was able to get ahold of him after finding out about the crash.

LEMON: Have you been able to see the video of the crash that the gentleman Fred Hayes shot and has been airing here on CNN?

RAH: I haven't, and, you know, I would rather not -- just not right, maybe later on, but, you know, before I knew that he was OK, there was a long waiting time when I was actually on my balcony, and my vantage point was the crash. I could see the line of fire, trucks and medics. I could see the smoke. And you know, just watching it from my balcony, you know, with my own eyes was enough, and just sitting, I was sweating because didn't know if he was OK. You know.

LEMON: Yes. It's too much for you right now.

RAH: Yes.

LEMON: Yes. And your dad is a remarkable man. He had -- he had the presence of mind to take pictures.

RAH: Yes. Other than the pictures, you know, which I'm sure a lot of people have probably seen by now, after crash when I was in the lounge with the passengers, he was able to tell me a little bit more in depth of what happened inside, and I really wanted to just note that he did mention the amount of heroism that took place.

You know, he did mention one flight attendant. She was a very tiny -- physically tiny woman. And she was helping men twice her size, you know, evacuate, and he said that Asiana's staff was just so professional. Of course they were in tears and they were just as shocked but they were professional and passengers were helping passengers.

And there was one flight attendant who was actually trapped for a while. The inflatable chute, the slide had gotten inflated inside the plane, and she was seated in her seat, and she was trapped, and he said as soon as they landed, he saw her leg hanging in the air, and he himself and another gentleman and actually her husband tried to rescue her and they couldn't deflate the chute because there's no sharp objects on the plane.

LEMON: Right.

RAH: And finally a gentleman was able to free her so she's OK now, but that just goes to show, you know, the passengers were very cooperative and the flight attendants and the crew were just as attentive as well.

LEMON: A lot of unsung heroes. Especially the flight attendants, and it should be much more respect for what flight attendants do. It's not just about getting water and peanuts and that sort of thing. They are the first responders in this situation.

Before I let you go, you know, many times when things like this happen, the passengers will develop certain bonds, will check on each other. Has your dad been able or have you been able to speak to any of the other people who were hurt and what can you tell us about it?

RAH: As soon as my dad had gotten home, he actually tried to get ahold of, you know, the authorities or just the airport just to check on members on the flight, and I actually overheard him on the phone with another gentleman that he was trying to rescue. The flight attendant. And just saying are you OK? You know, are you home? Are you safe? You know, are you at the hospital? What's going on?

And during the time I was relocated with my father, I happened to have another family friend on that same flight, and they've been doing well. It's just been traumatic for them, but everyone is doing well that I know of.


LEMON: Eunice Bird Rah, thanks. Eugene Bird Rah, thanks. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. And I'm sure the rest of the country, rest of the world watching CNN as well. Thank you very much for that.

We're going to talk about another crash now. This one involves a train in Canada. Five people are dead. Many are still missing. Up to 40 people. And it's believed -- this is according to investigators -- that some of them may have been vaporized by the flames.


LEMON: We're getting you back to the crash in just a moment. Got some other news to tell you about. Some very serious news. The wife of Secretary of State John Kerry was rushed to the today in Massachusetts. An ambulance was called to the Kerry home in Nantucket where Theresa Heinz-Kerry had become ill.

This is coming from a source close to the Kerry family. No one yet on her condition. Mrs. Kerry is 74-years-old and is a breast cancer survivor. We'll check -- keep checking and update you on her condition.

We're learning new details about a major train accident near the Canadian-U.S. border. An unmanned train with 70 tankers of crude oil broke free. Rolled seven miles down a hill, then derailed and exploded yesterday. Flames from the burning car spread to a small Canadian town near the main border. At least five people were killed in the inferno, but that number could rise. About 40 are still missing. The fire is finally out tonight, and here's CNN's Jason Carroll.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Canada's prime minister described the aftermath as looking like a war zone. Emergency officials say they are expecting more deaths as workers manage to get into the worst affected areas. The devastation began unfolding early Saturday morning. That's when a train transporting 70 tankers of crude oil which had been parked nearby slipped down hill then derailed in the town of Lac-Megantic in Quebec province.

This triggered a series of large explosions. At least 30 buildings were engulfed in flames. Authorities evacuated more than 2,000 people. But many remain missing. Witnesses on the ground still trying to come to terms with all that has happened to their small town.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last explosion was the biggest. This one, I saw the fire went up about 200, if not 300 feet high. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard people saying that they were running in the street and tried to avoid the fire. Jumped in the lake. It's like you can see it in Hollywood movies. This is -- this is terrible, terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through Translator): I have no news from my friends, she said. I haven't heard from many of them. I can't say more than that. We're waiting for confirmation. We're waiting.

CARROLL: Some of the town are calling it the runaway train, this after Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway confirmed the train had been locked down by the locomotive engineer. That engineer left for a crew change according to the company, and then soon after the train rolled into town unmanned. The company released a statement, saying, heartfelt condolences to those residents of Lac-Megantic who have lost their homes and particularly those who have suffered injuries and lost loved ones. MMA will cooperate with government safety agencies determining a cause.

Again, emergency workers have recovered five bodies so far. An estimated 40 people still unaccounted for.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


LEMON: My goodness, Jason. Thank you very much.

People in Yarnell, Arizona, are going to be able to go home tomorrow after a killer wildfire drove them out. That's from our phoenix affiliate KNXV. The wildfire is now 90 percent contained, but before that happened the flames took the lives of 19 hot shots, an elite team of firefighters.

Today their bodies took a symbolic and somber journey home. A procession took them from Phoenix where they were initially taken to Prescott, team's base, more than 90 minutes -- 90 miles to the north.

Switching gears now to sports. Andy Murray ended 77-year British drought today with a decisive flick of his racket.

Right on. The 26-year-old Murray became the first British man to win at Wimbledon since 1936. Murray becomes a living legend. The tennis player the British people have waited generations for.

And here to talk about this is sports columnist Terence Moore. He is joining me. He's from the CNN center in Atlanta.

So, Terence, I want you to watch this video. Here's a reaction in Murray's hometown when he won.


Oh, Terence. That just about says it all. Thank you for joining us. See you later.


LEMON: Right. That's it.


MOORE: Well, thank you, everybody. Don't forget to tip the waitress.

LEMON: Exactly. You don't have to say anything after that. What is this victory mean for Murray and for Britain?

MOORE: You know, we saw it right there. There has not been this much cheering around England since victory in Europe Day. You know? And it kind of seems that way because what happened today with Andy Murray was totally unexpected. He was not supposed to win this thing in straight sets. And Then that's the third set. I tell you, Don, it was like everybody was hanging on his every single breath, and the way he is playing overall, you get the feeling that he could talk the powers that be into becoming that line into the monarchy there in England.

LEMON: I thought it was going to be Djokovic and El Potro. I've been, you know, talking about it and tweeting about them. But the now it's Andy Murray. So what does this do for Murray's tennis legacy?

MOORE: Well, it does a lot. When you follow this guy, he's kind of gone from sort of a semi-choker to a definite champion overnight. OK? On the very same center court at Wimbledon, last August, he went Olympic gold over Roger Federer are. That was huge. Then it got even bigger than that because the next month he won the U.S. Open, and now you've this.

And I tell you, this is very analogous to Phil Mickelson. Phil Mickelson went the longest time when he couldn't win any major. Then he won the masters. And then want three majors after that, OK, a guy like John Elway. John Elway was 0-3 in Super Bowls then won two straight Super Bowls. Here's Andy Murray at 26. This is the beginning for a lot of good things for this guy.

LEMON: I'm sure he is exhausted. He's been surviving on fumes. But the excitement is palpable there in Britain and really around the world.

Thank you, Terence Moore. We appreciate it, sir.

MOORE: Thank you.

LEMON: All righty.

You know, we have been watching this gripping new video that shows the moment Asiana Airlines flight 214 crashed to the runway in San Francisco. We have an expert breaking down what she sees in this video next.


LEMON: Some of you might just be tuning in. I want you to take a good look at this. Flight 214's final seconds in this exclusive CNN video. The plane was flying too slow. That's according to the NTSB. About seven seconds prior to impact. There was a warning to increase the plane's speed.

Four seconds before impact the stick shaker activated. That's meant to warn pilots of an imminent stall. 1.5 seconds before impact, pilots tried to aboard the landing. But it was too late. Two 16- year-old girls were killed. Their lifeless bodies found on the runway. The teens were from China headed to a summer camp in the U.S. traveling with dozens of classmates ready for a summer adventure.

That video of the crash will no doubt help investigators answer their key questions. What happened. Mary Schiavo is a former inspector general for the transportation department. She is here, and also Jim Tilmon is an aviation expert, a pilot, and also a meteorologist. He can help us out on a number of levels here. OK. So let's go through the NTSB press conference, Mary. All right? So first off, let's play the one where she talks about giving the crew visual clearance. Let's listen.


HERSMAN: Air traffic control. They gave the crew of 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 requests for special support or problems were noted in the air traffic control tapes between the controller and the Asiana crew.


LEMON: Jim Tilmon, first.

TILMON: Well, I couldn't hear much of what she said but I watched it when it actually happened, and am I right? What she's discussing you're going to the need to increase speed?


LEMON: She's talking about -- she said no prior distress calls or requests for special support of problems were noted from the controller, and the --

TILMON: Right. I think we're dealing with something that Mary is familiar with, that it's called situational awareness. Being really aware -- totally aware, sufficiently aware of where you and your airplane are at a specific time and place to have a firm fix on exactly what you should be doing to maintain safe flight, and it's a -- it's a category within the investigation area that has kind of grown up through the years.

But this is a very important thing. That, plus, something else that Mary has mentioned earlier in terms of the crew coordination, which I'm really concerned about. Why was there no tarmac from the pilot now flying that, hey, we're too slow or we're too low or we're too anything else? There was no complaint. That I find very interesting. LEMON: Go ahead, Mary.

SCHIAVO: Jim, so right. Situational awareness is so important that when you are in flight training, they train you to do a sweep. In other words, you take your eyes and you take your attention and you actually train to sweep the instruments in a particular way, and you keep doing that so you don't lose your situational awareness, so your air speed isn't deteriorating and you are aware so you're not -- you aren't paying attention to the altimeter.

And you just keep doing that and it gets board, what did you, second nature. And you sweep those instruments, and I have to wonder why they weren't doing it or if they were maybe something distracted them.

LEMON: I want to get -- I'm looking for an e-mail that I got earlier from a pilot friend, and he mentioned going over the mountains, coming in across the mountains. If I can find it here. But I'll look for it. Let's listen to the second soundbite where she talks about increase speed. Listen.


HERSMAN: A call was 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.


LEMON: Mary?

E. SCHIAVO: Well, the timing is just so vitally important. At seven seconds think they might have had a chance to initiate the go around. But as Jim has also mentioned, they don't have enough time to get the air speed back up before they get the stick shaker, and at that point that's the warning to the pilots that you are in danger of losing your flight, but with just seven seconds when they finally are snapped to awareness that they're in great danger, they ran out of time.

LEMON: OK. Jim, I found the e-mail, and again this is from a pilot, a longtime pilot. And you can weight in as well, Mary. He says to me, he says, the NTSB statement has confirmed in my mind that this was a pilot crew error. Again that has not been confirmed. It's very early on in the investigation. He said air and that they flew in unstable approach, meaning they were not in the proper power, speed, and altitudes for safe landing. Now here's the part that was interesting to me. He said it is common to come in over the mountain on a visual approach and be high. Is that true, Jim?

TILMON: Yes, I've had that experience. I will add one more thing to that. I think he is absolutely right, that there is a tendency to do that. But you know the landing is not made on the runway, as much as we would think it is. Really it's made way out of the airport surface. I mean, you set your airplane out for the proper approach. That's the most critical part of the landing sequence to get everything set and stable so that you don't have last minute decisions to make. You don't have any of that.

You just monitor this thing as it's coming down and you make sure you make minor corrections to make sure you stay in the slot. If you're outside of that slot, you've got to make some corrections. You need to make them right away. And the way I was taught, if anything doesn't look right, you go around.

LEMON: Yes. Mary, I've got to go to break, but Mary is shaking her head here in agreement when he said that. It's made way out.

SCHIAVO: Absolutely.

LEMON: Not on the -- not on the runway.

SCHIAVO: Absolutely. He's a great check airman, Jim Tilmon.

LEMON: OK. Stand by. We're going to talk a little bit more about the NTSB press conference. The very latest information here and go over it with our experts.


LEMON: Back now with our aviation experts. Let's listen to the NTSB talking about air speed.


HERSMAN: 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.


LEMON: Mary Schiavo, former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

SCHIAVO: She was giving us very important clues. Have they been on top of the instruments and put in power, increase the power sooner, she's telling us with that statement the engines responded normally. Had they put in more throttle, given it literally more power before the last couple of seconds of the flight, that at least in the last couple of seconds of the flight, it indicated that the engines would have responded. You could have given yourself more air speed, more altitude.

LEMON: Jim Tilmon, aviation expert and pilot, anything you want to add to that?

TILMON: No, that's absolutely on target. I mean, there's going to be some question in my mind for a long time as to whether or not seven seconds was enough time. I just want to know what was going on prior to that. Before that seven second warning that we really need to add more power and everything else. What was going on in that cockpit?

LEMON: Yes. TILMON: What were they thinking? What was their plan? What was the -- what was the deal? I mean, you know, they are seven seconds from hitting this wall. It sounds -- well, it just sounds casual to me, and this is not a casual situation.

LEMON: OK. Let's listen now to the NTSB chair being questioned about how fast the plane was going or how slow the plane was going as it approached the runway.


HERSMAN: 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. As I mentioned, this was a preliminary read of the Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder.

The 137 knots came from the crew conversation about their approach speed. We need to take a closer look at the raw data on the Flight Data Recorder as well as corroborate that with radar and air traffic information to make sure that we have a very precise speed.

But again, we're not talking about a few knots here or there. We're talking about a significant amount of speed below 137.


LEMON: Mary.

SCHIAVO: Well, again, she tells us something very surprising, in that the crew, at least according to what the information they have now, is actually discussing the air speed, and it's very important for her to match that up. Does what they say on the cockpit voice recorder, what's being said in the cockpit match the data recorder, what the instruments say?

LEMON: Jim, I'm up against the brake. What do you have to say?

TILMON: I just think that what Mary said is absolutely right. We need to know what was going on there. What kind of conversation was taking place? And what kind of activity followed that conversation.

LEMON: Yes. Very quickly, Mary. Should we read anything into the ILS, which is the --

SCHIAVO: Yes. The Instrument Landing System. There was a notice to airmen, which is a notice that's put out that you have to check. It said it was out. It also said that something called the VASI lights that give you an indication of what your glide slope is, where you are in relation to the runway, that those were out. Apparently they weren't. But that's kind of rare to have both those pieces of equipment out on a landing.

LEMON: All right. Thank you. Mary Schiavo and also Jim Tilmon, great, great stuff. We appreciate your expertise.

Let's move on now and talk about the trial that's going in Florida when the mother of slain teenager Trayvon Martin took the stand. We got a taste of the defense's tough cross-examination. Now we're in more for as the trial of George Zimmerman takes a different turn.

Our preview of tomorrow's testimony next.


LEMON: The murder trial of George Zimmerman resume tomorrow. CNN's Martin Savidge tells us what to expect.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When court resumes on Monday morning, the defense will pick up the case pretty much where it left off on Friday. Now exactly who you will see take the stand first is not precisely known because the defense doesn't like to give that kind of information out. They would consider that kind of tipping their hand.

However, that said you can anticipate you're probably going to see a number of people you have already seen before take the stand. I'm talking about neighbors, residents of the Twin Lakes Retreat where the shooting took place, these would be people like Jonathan Manalo, he's the man that took the photograph, the bloody head of George Zimmerman. And then also you might hear from Jonathan Good, he was the man that claims that he saw Trayvon Martin on top of George Zimmerman, which is of course key for the defense.

And then you will probably hear from the medical personnel that treated the injuries of George Zimmerman. They will -- the defense will try to get them to portray his injuries as serious, which is something that George has maintained. Also, too, you will likely hear from the lead investigator. That's Chris Serino, who will get up on the stand and talk more about the investigation. Medical experts, forensic experts are also likely to be called to talk about the DNA and the bullet tracing that is being done regarding the shot that was fired that killed the 17-year-old.

And there is another possibility that you could see a member of Trayvon Martin's family take the stand. This time perhaps his father, Tracy Martin, because it's been reported that Tracy told authorities initially when he heard that 911 call with the screams and the darkness, that was not his son, but now, of course, he says it is. So the defense is likely to put him on the stand to ask him why initially he said it was not.

By the end of the week this case could be in the jury's hands but there's still the potential for a lot of dramatic testimony in between.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Sanford, Florida.


LEMON: All right. Thank you very much, Martin. I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for watching. Make sure you go to all night long for the very latest on the crash of Flight 214, and, of course, our morning show starts at 4:00 a.m. Eastern Time with "EARLY START" and "NEW DAY" at 6:00 a.m.