Crew of crash jet 'were confused'

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The Independent Online
HONOLULU (AP) - Moments before a Korean Air jet crashed into a hillside in Guam, the crew expressed confusion about whether the airport's automated landing system was working, according to a transcript of the cockpit conversation released last night.

The National Transportation Safety Board released the cockpit voice recorder transcript as it prepared to begin hearings on the crash, which killed 228 of the 254 passengers and crew in August. The transcript shows the Boeing 747's crew discussing the airport's glide slope, the electronic device used to guide planes' direction and angle of approach, even after controllers told the pilot it was not working.

Then there is the sounds of a warning horn and altitude alert in the cockpit. About 45 seconds later, the pilot asks: "Isn't the glide slope working?" The jet's computerized warning voice then calls out "1,000"and "500" when the plane should have been at least 1,440 feet up. The last words heard were "go around" - pull up and try another approach to the runway - from the flight engineer and then the pilot.

Then the mechanical voice counted down the altitude to 20 feet followed by the sound of the initial impact and groans. None of the flight crew members survived the crash.