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Asiana says pilot error likely caused US crash

SEOUL--South Korea's Asiana Airlines admitted for the first time Tuesday that pilot error was the “probable cause” of last year's San Francisco crash in which three people died.

However, in a press statement, the airline cited other contributing factors including technical issues with the plane's auto-throttle system.

As it came into land after an otherwise routine flight from Seoul to San Francisco on July 6, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 clipped a seawall with its landing gear, skidded off the runway and burst into flames.

“The probable cause of this accident was the flight crew's failure to monitor and maintain a minimum safe airspeed during a final approach,” the Asiana statement said.

This resulted in the plane deviating below the intended glide path on its runway approach which caused it to hit the seawall.

Three people were killed and nearly 200 injured in the crash.

The statement added that the cockpit crew had been misled by “inconsistencies” in the Boeing 777-200ER's automated systems, which led them to believe the auto-throttle was maintaining the set airspeed.

Asiana said its conclusions had already been submitted on March 17 to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is leading the investigation.

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