Pilots, airline fault equipment in Asiana crash

WASHINGTON — An aviation expert familiar with the investigation into the crash of Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco in July says the pilots and the airline are raising the possibility that a malfunctioning device that controls the Boeing 777’s speed was a factor in the accident.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman has said investigators initially found no mechanical problems with the plane, but were investigating further.

According to the expert, who wasn’t authorized to talk publicly about the investigation and spoke only if not named, there have been previous incidents in which automatic throttles on some Boeing planes have disengaged for no known reason. The auto-throttle controls engine power and thus speed.

The possible equipment malfunction was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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