TransAsia Pilot ‘Shut Down Wrong Engine’ before Crash
A new report on the crash of TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 found that a pilot accidentally shut down the plane’s only working engine after the other engine failed. The stalled aircraft then plunged into a river, killing 43 people.
The TransAsia Airways flight plunged into the Keeling River shortly after take-off from Taipei’s Songshan Airport in February with 53 passengers and five crew on board. Only 15 people survived.
A report released Thursday by Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council revealed that, seconds before the crash, a pilot said: “Wow, pulled back wrong throttle.”
The error led the plane’s one working engine to fail after the other had already lost power, investigators said.
Dramatic car dashcam images showed the plane hitting an elevated road as it banked steeply away from buildings before crashing into the river.
Initial reports from the black boxes found the plane’s right engine had “flamed out” about two minutes after take-off while the left engine was then shut down manually by the crew for unknown reasons.
Thursday’s report confirmed that one engine had failed and was no longer delivering power to the aircraft.
One of the three pilots in the cockpit then pulled back the throttle of the other engine, the report said, causing it also to lose power.
Investigators said that with both engines shut off the plane began a descent and was unable to recover.
“Why the pilot did this, we don’t know. That’s the main task for our (final) analysis report,” said Thomas Wang, head of the aviation body.
The draft of that report is due out in November with the final report expected in April 2016.
Thursday’s evidence was described as a “factual report” giving more detail about the crash but not attributing responsibility or drawing final conclusions about the cause, France24 reported.
Taiwan’s aviation regulator ordered TransAsia pilots to take an oral test on basic operating and emergency procedures for the French-made aircraft after the initial findings pointed to pilot error.