Published on : Tuesday, February 10, 2015
The flight GE235 was carrying 58 passengers and crew members. Only 15 people survived.
The engine could not produce enough thrust to the propellers two minutes after takeoff and there were attempts to turn off and restart the engine said the China’s Aviation Safety Council.
According to the black box data and voice recorder the two engine aircraft showed problems with the right engine followed by the left engine. The plane warned five minutes before crashing in the river in the centre of Taipei.
The plane managed to skirt buildings but hit an overpass and a taxi with its wings and finally crashed in the shallow river on Wednesday 04.02.15
The first engine went in a state of “auto-feather” reducing the propeller according to Thomas Wang, managing director of the council. The flight crew reduced acceleration in the left engine and attempted to restart but could not gain on the thrust.
The problem was at first identified in the first engine at 1,200 feet, 37 seconds after takeoff. The pilot announced “flameout”, a situation faced when fuel supply to the engine is interrupted and there is faulty combustion. But that had not been the case.
The flight crew started the accelerator of engine 2 (right-hand side). The engine was still operating, but neither engine produced power.
The plane could fly with one engine. The plane was powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW127M engines. Pratt & Whitney is part of United Technologies.
The 42 yrs old pilot, Liao Chien-tsung hailed by the Taipei Mayor for his heroic action in the final moment as he held the joystick in the cockpit when his body was found. He managed to skirt the commercial buildings before he finally fell with his plane in the river.
The pilots tried to save the plane from plunging into the river till the last moment. The pilot had broken his leg as he held on to the joystick in the new turboprop ATR 72-600’s cockpit.
The plane took off from Taipei’s Songshan airport and was bound for Taiwan island of Kinmen. The plane had 31 Chinese tourists mainly from south-western city of Xiamen.
An engine and fuel system check will be conducted by TransAsia and Uni Air, a subsidiary of EVA Airways Corp on the remaining 22 ATR aircraft.