TODAY | July 09, 2013
>>> crash. the tragic crash of asiana flight 214 . the pilot was making his first landing in a 777 at san francisco 's airport. this morning we're able to give you a better idea of what the crew was facing in the cockpit.
>> as investigators sift through the wreckage of flight 214 they're also trying to get inside the cockpit and the minds of the crew at the time of the crash.
>> we're looking at what they were doing and we want to understand why they were doing it.
>> as the approach run way 28-l on saturday the pilot had a view similar to this one.
>> you're flying manually now.
>> all right.
>> a view i got to experience firsthand in a 777 flight simulator in 2007 . like my simulated landing, the descent was routine and uneventful until something went wrong in the final seconds.
>> too low, too slow. that's usually a disasterous outcome.
>> he is a former 777 pilot who made hundreds of landings at the san francisco airport .
>> most of us would say this is my first landing in san francisco , watch me, make sure i don't do anything stupid.
>> this would be a normal approach.
>> reporter: in this simulation he gives us an idea what the pilot of flight 214 was seeing as he approached the same run way. the flight data recorded shows a normal speed of 154 miles per hour at 500 feet but a few seconds later it drops to 136 miles per hour. well below what it should have been at 200 feet.
>> i am not over the run way.
>> yeah you are.
>> reporter: at the same altitude in my simulated landing i had a hard time gauging my position. he says he tells pilots when that happens so close to the ground , it's always better to be safe.
>> if you're not 100% positive about this approach, go around.
>> reporter: cockpit voice recordings indicate he made the decision to go around but by the time the engines accelerated it was too late.
>> as you watch that, a spokesperson for the airline asiana said that any discussion that inexperience played a role in this part on the part of the pilot is inaccurate. they talk about how many hours in any plane this pilot had.
>> more than 10,000.
>> and 43 hours behind the controls of a 777. but as you come in, it's difficult to gauge your surroundings.
>> it's nerve racking. it's an exact science being able to land that plane.
>> no question.
>> and the investigation is far