One possible cause being examined is whether the pilot of Continental Connection Flight 3407 may have overreacted when an automatic safety system sensed the plane was slowing down dangerously.
The pilot pulled back on the plane's controls after the safety system tried to push the nose downward to gain speed and avoid losing lift. By pulling back and adding power to try to prevent the stall, the pilot may have doomed the plane.
Asked Monday whether that scenario was possible, Steve Chealander, a National Transportation Safety Board member, repeatedly said it was.
Keith Holloway, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said it is still too early to definitively say what brought the plane down.
Flight 3407 was only about 1,600 feet above the ground at the time and aviation safety experts said this week that it might have been too low to dive out of a stall condition.