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Pilots Won't Testify In NTSB's Asiana Crash Hearings

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The National Transportation Safety Board hearings to investigate the crash of Asiana Flight 214 are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday this week, but the pilots will not be testifying.

One Walnut Creek lawyer will be paying close attention to the hearings in Washington. Michael Verna was one of the first to file a lawsuit on behalf of the passengers, but he said answers will be limited without the testimony of these key witnesses.

The hearings are designed to find probable causes of the July 6th crash and look for recommendations, but not necessarily to find fault.

Pilots Won't Testify In NTSB's Asiana Crash Hearings

What makes it unusual, compared to other aviation crashes that occur out at sea, is that we know what happened. Video exists of the plane coming in too low and too slow, but we don't know why.

"The ultimate question as to why did this happen can best be answered by the three people that were flying this airplane and they're not testifying. If these cases have to go to trial, we can subpoena them to have them testify in front of a jury and they'll have to answer those questions," said Verna, who specializes in aviation regulation.

Asiana is sending its chief pilot and training manager to talk about training protocol and use of automated controls.

The NTSB has suggested that the crew may have inadvertently shut off the auto throttle which maintains speed that allowed the plane to come in at its slow speed and low altitude.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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