NTSB: Too much 'automation reliance' led to Asiana crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Tuesday that a mixture of pilot error and "automation reliance" led to the crash landing of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport last year.

The report confirms earlier suggestions by the NTSB that the plane crash landed because it was flying too slowly as it approached the San Francisco airport's runway on July 6, 2013.

The agency said Tuesday that crash landing could have been prevented if the pilots had recognized errors that were made in their approach sooner.

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"The flight crew mismanaged the airplane’s vertical profile during the initial approach, which resulted in the airplane being well above the desired glidepath when it reached the 5 nautical mile point, and this increased the difficulty of achieving a stabilized approach," the NTSB said in its final report of the crash.

The agency added that the mismanagement "led to a period of increased workload that reduced the pilot monitoring’s awareness of the pilot flying’s actions around the time of the unintended deactivation of automatic airspeed control.

"The flight crew’s insufficient monitoring of airspeed indications during the approach resulted from expectancy, increased workload, fatigue, and automation reliance," the report said. 

The Asiana plane was carrying nearly 300 people at the time of its crash landing, which resulted in the deaths of three passengers. The plane was completing a 10-hour flight from Korea at the time of the accident.

The NTSB said Tuesday no other factors like drugs or alcohol were involved in the Asiana crash.

"The following were not factors in the accident: flight crew certification and qualification; flight crew behavioral or medical conditions or the use of alcohol or drugs; airplane certification and maintenance; preimpact structural, engine, or system failures; or the air traffic controllers’ handling of the flight," the agency said.