As the investigation of Saturday's crash of Asiana Airlines flight 214 proceeds, officials are examining exactly what the crew did in the moments leading up to the deadly incident.

Airline officials have said that the tragic crashed that killed two young Chinese students and sent 180 to hospitals was not caused by mechanical failure. It seems clear that the plane was coming in for its landing at a far-too-slow speed, which the pilots apparently realized seconds before hitting the ground, but it was already too late. So at the moment, investigators are trying to determine if human error might be the cause. This was the first time one of the plane's pilots, Lee Gang-guk, had ever landed this particular type of plane, a Boeing 777, at San Francisco's airport.

Fortunately, the plane's black box was found intact. That, combined with the availability of hundreds of eyewitnesses both on the plane and in the nearby area, means that the investigation has plenty of leads, but it doesn't mean that we'll know the exact reasons for the tragedy anytime soon. Former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark Rosenker told CBS, "There's a long way to go before they can really understand exactly what happened, why it happened, and then make recommendations to prevent it from happening again."

It's a process and it takes time, perhaps months, even with all the available information. Though it is obviously tragic that the two teenagers died, it is rather remarkable that the 305 other passengers and crew members survived. As San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said, "We're lucky there hasn't been a greater loss of life."


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