Both engines failed on the TransAsia plane that crashed into a river in Taipei this week, killing at least 35 people, but the pilots apparently restarted one of them.
The details were given at a news conference in Taiwan’s capital by Aviation Safety Council executive director Thomas Wang, after a preliminary examination of the black box flight-data and voice recorders.
Flight GE235, an ATR 72-600 turboprop, crashed on Wednesday, minutes after take-off. Fifteen people were rescued, but eight are still missing.
Mr Wang said the right engine triggered an alarm 37 seconds after take-off, but the data showed it had not shut down, or “flamed out”, as the pilot told the control tower, but moved into idle mode, with no change in the oil pressure.
In pictures: TransAsia crash
In pictures: TransAsia crash
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'Dash cam" footage posted on the internet of plane crash in Taiwan
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The plane clipped a taxi before crashing into the river
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Rescuers lift the wreckage of the TransAsiaAirways plane out of the Keelung river
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Picture from Taiwan television shows the damage to the car that the plane hit
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Rescuers search for survivors moments after the TransAsia plane crashed into a river in New Taipei City this morning (Reuters)
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Rescuers use dinghies to survey the wreckage of the plane's body as it floats on the river in downtown Taipei (REUTERS/Pichi Chuang)
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Soldiers remove aeroplane parts of the TransAsia flight 235 crashed this morning (REUTERS/Pichi Chuang)
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An ambulance arrives to take away survivors from the crash that saw 12 die and many more injured (REUTERS/Pichi Chuang)
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Bodies are removed from the plane by Taiwanese rescue workers (REUTERS/Stringer )
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A man walks next to the wreckage of the TransAsia Airways plane which clipped a bridge before falling into the river February 4, 2015. (REUTERS/Stringer)
Then, 46 seconds later, the left engine was shut down, so that neither engine was producing any power. A restart was attempted, but the plane crashed 72 seconds later.
Mr Wang said it was too early to draw conclusions about why the first engine ceased producing power. “It’s only the third day so we can’t say too much,” he said. “We haven’t ruled anything out.” It is unclear why the second engine was shut down, since the plane was able to fly with one engine. A fuller report will be available in 30 days, with a final report expected in three to six months.
The pilot, Liao Chien-tsung, 42, has been praised by Taipei’s Mayor for steering the plane between apartment blocks and commercial buildings before ditching in Keelung River. The bodies of Mr Liao and his co-pilot were retrieved.
REUTERS; APReuse content