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July 8th, 2013
10:43 PM ET

Robert Hager on the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash: "Big, heavy aircraft like that, going 120 miles an hour ... it's just inevitable it was going to stall"

Roughly two days since a frightening airline crash left two teenagers dead, on Monday evening "Piers Morgan Live" invited Robert Hager to offer his expertise and analysis:

One of the nations foremost experts on aviation accidents, Hager expressed disbelief regarding the relatively slow speed at which the aircraft was traveling:

"The target, the speed that they're supposed to slow down to just before touchdown was 157 miles an hour," he explained. "Already that plane had got that slow a half a minute out from the runway. Why they let it get that slow, they let it slow down then for another 30 seconds after it reached that speed, got down to less than 120 miles an hour. So imagine this great big 777 aircraft, big, heavy aircraft like that, going only 120 miles an hour. It's just inevitable it was going to stall."

Noting that the man flying the plane was still in training for this particular aircraft, Piers Morgan asked his guest if the crash was more likely the result of operator error, or a technical malfunction:

"Sometimes these investigations take some strange turns as they go down the line, but right now, clearly all the focus is on the performance of the crew, and investigators can't say 'pilot error,' but that's in essence what people are looking at," said Hager, a former NBC News correspondent. "There may be some other automatic system that is assisting in this landing. Could be an instrument was off. You never know. They're, by the way, talking to the crew today. That should clear up a lot of things."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's interview with the man who boasts more than 25 years of service to broadcast news,, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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