Veteran flight attendant Lee Yoon Hye sensed something was awry as Flight 214 neared the San Francisco International Airport runway.
As the plane was supposed to land, it rose briefly as if it was trying to lift off again.
Lee had worked 18 years with Asiana Airlines and on Saturday, her skills were tested.
The plane slammed down with "great impact," said Lee, who sat in the front.
Then boom -- the plane hit again.
"It was even more than a hard landing," Lee, 40, said. The plane teetered left and right.
After striking the edge of the runway at San Francisco International Airport, the Boeing 777 tumbled into the ground, igniting flames and a trail of smoke. Its tail splintered off and parts of the plane peeled off as it skidded into the earth.
When the aircraft finally stopped, she noticed that the emergency inflatable slide located at the right side of the front door had deployed inside the plane. Witnesses say the overhead bins dropped open.
Hailed as a hero who ushered passengers out of the Asiana plane, Lee was one of the 12 flight attendants on Flight 214.
Two other flight attendants were not in their seats at the rear of the aircraft when the plane finally ground to a halt, because they were ejected as the aircraft broke up. They were later found near the runway, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Lee calmly described the chaotic minutes of the Asiana plane crash. Dressed in her airline uniform, her name tag pinned to her jacket and her hair in the airline's trademark bun, she addressed Korean journalists gathered in San Francisco earlier this week.
According to the airline, flight attendants helped passengers get off the plane safely. They opened doors, deployed slides and helped passengers escape, according to JoongAng Daily, a South Korean newspaper.
As soon as the plane stopped, Lee knocked on the cockpit door to make sure the pilots were OK.
The captain opened the door.
"Are you OK, Captain?" she asked.
"Yes, I am OK," he replied.
"Should I perform the evacuation?" she asked. He told her to wait, she recalled.
Lee made an announcement to assure increasingly agitated passengers, telling them that the plane had come to a complete stop.
Once evacuation began, Lee said she had a plan.
"I was not thinking, but acting," she said. "As soon as I heard 'emergency escape,' I conducted the evacuation."